Table of contents
- What Are PFP NFTs?
- How Did PFP NFTs Start?
- Top PFP NFT Projects
- In Conclusion
Crypto has been around for 15 years, and thanks to its popularity, it is impossible not to have heard of at least one crypto-related topic, such as blockchain technology, Bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain and its smart contracts, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), mining, staking, and many more.
And while investing in cryptocurrencies can be a good strategy, many crypto enthusiasts have started considering NFTs, too. Since 2021, non-fungible tokens have become widely known, and PFP NFTs may be some of the most popular digital collectibles.
But what is a PFP NFT, how does it work, and how can it be used? Well, this article will explain PFP NFTs, along with a short history of the hype around these tokens and the top PFP projects on the market.
What Are PFP NFTs?
Profile picture (PFP) non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital collectibles that can and usually are used as social media profile pictures on various channels. The main difference between PFP NFTs and other NFTs is that the former is suitable for a profile picture, while other NFTs might also take other forms, such as videos, audio files, or GIFs.
Generally, PFP NFTs are static, in the form of 2-dimensional images, usually created through a generative algorithm. To be a PFP NFT, a digital collectible should show a bust of a human, an animal, or any other real-life or virtual character.
Considering that most profile picture NFTs are created through generative art, you may see projects with over 10,000 NFTs. However, each piece of art is different. As we all know, each NFT is unique, and PFP NFTs work the same.
For instance, let’s think of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs. While they all show monkeys, each monkey is different, having various accessories and colors. Furthermore, in some cases, each PFP NFT might have a different price according to its traits. This usually happens with game character NFTs.
If you’re playing a blockchain-based game, you might hold at least one such digital collectible with a character. Let’s say the game is about saving the world, and you, as a player, are a fighter. Your character might have a specific power and various traits that help it compete in battles, like the ability to become invisible.
On the other hand, another player’s character (and NFT) might be able to immediately restore its health when being attacked in battle. Depending on how important each trait is, your NFT might have a value of 1 ETH, while the other digital collectible might be available for 1.5 ETH.
How Do PFP NFTs Work?
PFP NFTs operate on a blockchain, just like other types of digital collectibles. Thus, they have a clear history, and each NFT collection has a fixed supply.
While most NFTs are developed on Ethereum, there also are other blockchains supporting such digital assets, such as Arbitrum, Avalanche, BNB Smart Chain, Base, Optimism, Polygon, Solana, and more.
Some developers might choose Ethereum rather than other networks because the NFT-specific ERC-721 standard built by Ethereum is well-established and already supports most collections available.
Furthermore, developers can rely on Ethereum’s smart contract technology, which allows them to create unique, indivisible assets.
How to Create a PFP NFT?
If you want to create such an NFT, you will have to choose a blockchain to work with. While not all networks support NFTs, there are numerous options you can choose from.
Then, you should set up a crypto wallet, but make sure you choose one that supports NFTs, as not all of them do. Some wallets that support NFTs include MetaMask, Coinbase, and Trust Wallet. Afterward, just mint your NFT and publish it on a marketplace.
How to Use PFP NFTs?
As the name suggests, PFP NFTs are usually used as profile pictures. NFT holders can display their digital assets this way, and this practice is getting increasingly popular.
However, some projects offer NFT collectors access to a broader range of benefits, such as access to the metaverse, where the NFTs can serve as virtual avatars. Furthermore, some projects, such as BAYC, offer NFT holders exclusive access to other features and real-world special events.
To use a PFP NFT as your profile picture, you simply have to purchase the NFT and download the image to upload it to your profile. At the moment, only a few platforms have integrated NFTs, but things might change in the future.
How Did PFP NFTs Start?
While the first NFT was created in 2014, it was not until 2017 that the first PFP NFT collections were launched. CryptoPunks was the NFT collection that made the concept of PFP popular in the field, and once developers noticed the success of Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the founders of CryptoPunks, many other such collections were launched.
The growing popularity of PFP NFTs was also fueled by the surprising sale of a digital collectible developed by Beeple. In March 2021, Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) sold one of its NFTs for $69 million through a Christie’s auction.
Soon after CryptoPunks launched, NFT holders started using their CryptoPunk characters as profile pictures on social media platforms and social networks such as X (Twitter) and Discord, respectively. After some time, CryptoPunks and its digital collectibles experienced wide adoption by NFT enthusiasts, and so did PFP NFT projects in general.
The popularity of PFP NFTs also started to increase when projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club also offered NFT owners access to real-life private events, merchandise, and many other benefits.
Besides, thanks to the projects’ clear and promising roadmaps, the NFT community could be a little more sure that the project was planning to have long-term value.
Top PFP NFT Projects
At the moment, there are hundreds, if not even thousands, of PFP NFTs, but some of them have become widely known thanks to their art, features, and trustworthy developers. Thus, let’s talk about some of the most popular PFP NFT collections.
CryptoPunks is an NFT collection launched in 2017 by Larva Labs. A CryptoPunk NFT is a 24×24 pixels, 8-bit-style unique avatar that can be used as a profile picture (PFP). The NFT profile pictures provided by CryptoPunks have different traits, accessories, and styles, and the prices vary depending on their rarity.
When Matt Hall and John Watkinson began working on the collection, they planned on creating 10,000 Crypto Punks and had no idea that their avatars would get featured in places such as The New York Times, Christie’s London, and PBS NewsHour.
CryptoPunks NFTs have various prices, and users can purchase an NFT for as low as 0.01 ETH. However, some digital collectibles reached surprising prices. For instance, CryptoPunk #5882 was sold for $23.7 million on February 12, 2022.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)
Bored Ape Yacht Club is an NFT collection of 10,000 unique digital assets. The project was developed by Yuga Labs, a top player in the NFT industry. After seeing the popularity BAYC gained, Yuga Labs also developed its native token, Ape Coin.
In April 2021, when it launched, there was such a big hype around Bored Ape Yacht Club that the 10,000 digital collectibles available sold in just 12 hours from launching for a price of $190. The price of BAYC assets surged in July 2021, when the collection became one of the most popular NFT projects.
The intriguing thing about BAYC is that Yuga Labs does not provide an NFT only. When purchasing a BAYC NFT, you get access to many benefits, such as special events organized in real life, merchandise, and many more. While you can purchase a BAYC NFT for close to 1 ETH, some digital collectibles also reach surprising prices, such as 1,688,888 ETH.
Mutant Ape Yacht Club
Mutant Ape Yacht Club is an extension of Bored Ape Yacht Club, consisting of 10,000 digital collectibles. MAYC managed to have $96 million in sales in the 1st hour from launch, given the popularity of its related NFT collection, BAYC.
MAYC was launched as a cheaper alternative to BAYC and was part of Yuga Labs’ initial roadmap. Part of the collection was airdropped to BAYC holders as a way to prove the company’s dedication to its community.
How do I use an NFT as a PFP?
To use NFT PFPs, you simply have to download the image of the NFT you hold and upload it to your profile. While not so many platforms have integrated NFTs, things might change as the popularity of such digital assets increases.
What is a PFP collection?
A PFP collection is an NFT collection offering NFTs suitable for profile pictures. Such collections usually show busts, and each NFT has various traits, styles, and accessories.
How to Create PFP NFTs?
To create PFP NFTs, choose a platform to work with, set up a crypto wallet that supports NFTs, and mint your artwork.
Is it ok to use art as PFP?
Yes, as long as you own the NFT you are using. Some artists may kindly ask you to give them credit when using the digital collectible.
What are the top PFP NFT collections?
Some of the most popular PFP NFT collections include CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Pudgy Penguins.
The NFT market has grown surprisingly, especially after the hype created around them in 2021. One of the most popular types of NFTs is PFP NFTs. Profile Picture NFTs differ from other NFTs because they are suitable for being used as profile pictures.
If you want to purchase a PFP NFT, you can do it on an NFT marketplace such as OpenSea, Rarible, or SuperRare. The prices vary depending on a digital collectible’s rarity, traits, and the overall popularity of the collection. However, you will surely find some profitable options, but if you are looking for popular collections, the prices increase surprisingly. Still, a significantly more valuable profile picture NFT will come with a higher price.