As the NFT craze continues to grow, one of the themes that have become apparent is the ability to host NFT projects on different blockchains. For newcomers to the NFT space, an NFT is just an NFT, but as you dig in, you'll realize that it can be important to choose on which blockchain to mint your NFT! One of these blockchain options is Cardano (ADA), which has been around for many years and has spent some time in the Top 5 cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap and general public knowledge
This unique blockchain also allows users to create their own contracts, much like they can on the Ethereum blockchain.
Even if you are aren't minting your own NFTs, it may still be of interest to you which NFT projects are being minted on Cardano since blockchain characteristics can have some influence on how NFT projects perform. NFTs on Cardano are not exactly like NFTs on other blockchains like Ethereum or Solana.
An Inside Look at the Top 10 NFT Projects on Cardano
Anybody who has been closely following NFTs in recent months already knows that Cardano is one of the top chains for hosting NFT projects. There are various reasons why we believe Cardano has seen some success in this niche so far. Let's take a deeper look into Cardano before breaking down our favorite NFT projects on the chain.
What is Cardano?
Founded back in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum, Cardano is a proof of stake blockchain, commonly seen as an alternative to the proof of work protocols that we find on the Bitcoin blockchain. Proof-of-stake is often marketed as “greener” or “eco friendly”, so at this moment, proof-of-stake chains are very popular. There are many issues with proof of stake that I won't go into within this article, but personally, I'm not a big believer in this consensus mechanism.
I would not choose an NFT project based on its claim to be environmentally friendly, because there will always be something “more green” down the road. Imagine a zero-carbon chain being outcompeted by a carbon negative chain!
For myself, I first heard of Cardano due to its ability to “stake” coins to earn “yield”, and if you can earn money by simply letting your money sit in an account, it is easy to understand why its massive growth happened as quickly as it did. Plus, the founder is somewhat famous in the cryptosphere.
What Makes an NFT Project on Cardano Different?
On the surface, it's important to note that an NFT project is an NFT project, regardless of the blockchain that its contract is on. If you're looking at a picture of a bored ape versus a cool cat, they look the same on the surface. The image you see is not the blockchain, and in fact, for most NFT projects, the art isn't even on the blockchain. With NFTs, what you see is a hosted image, while the hash, or “receipt of authenticity” stored on the blockchain.
For this reason, there is little reason to view a particular NFT project as being superior to another simply because of the blockchain. Even so, speculative investors still do this. This has more to do with individuals cheerleading their favorite cryptocurrency rather than reflecting on the quality of the NFT art itself.
Thus, much of the money coming into NFTs is still taking place on Ethereum. In the big picture NFT market, Cardano could perhaps be seen as an “underdog” in the space, providing an alternative ecosystem to the mEth-heads using Ethereum.
The main difference you'll notice is in the back end of transacting, where transaction fees and block times can be much faster on projects like Cardano rather than a congested chain like Ethereum.
Lower Transaction Fees
In recent months, one of the themes that has haunted the Ethereum blockchain is the outrageously high transaction fees (commonly referred to as “gas fees”). It is nothing out of the ordinary to pay anywhere between $75-500 for one transaction on the ETH chain. On the other hand, Cardano has an average fee of around $0.47.
Unique Cardano Themed Projects
As we will explore below, one of the perks of buying a Cardano NFT is that specific projects are both natively and uniquely found on the Cardano chain. Some of these projects' branding also focuses on the Cardano coin, making it ideal for those who love this chain.
Higher Growth Potential if Cardano Success Continues
Cryptocurrency is a niche marketing, and NFTs is a niche of that niche. NFTs on Cardano is a niche within a niche within a niche, so the market is extremely small. In any market, crypto-related or not, small niche projects are much higher risk, but may also offer higher rewards if they take off.
At this point in the history of cryptocurrency, it is still unclear whether or not Cardano the blockchain, ADA the crypto token, or Cardano NFTs will continue a trend of growth in the future. However, if this were to happen, it would be easy to see why the NFT projects would also potentially continue on a growth trend.
Regardless in a worst-case-scenario any one of these Cardano NFT projects could be moved to a competing blockchain, so judge the project by its merit as an NFT, not necessarily through the Cardano lense.
1. Yummi Universe
Self-described as being a “new Pokémon,” Yummi Universe is seen by many as the top Cardano NFT project for its unique and high-quality design. These characters all come with their own unique features and aesthetics. They can either be represented in 3D or 2D and can even include unique animations.
At the time of writing, Yummi Universe is experiencing a spike in the rolling 3-day floor price. If you have 500 ADA to spare, one of the top Yummi Universe NFTs can currently be yours on CNFT. There is also a staking program where owners of these NFTs can earn free passive rewards should you decide to purchase!
2. Clay Nation
The Clay Nation is a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs on the ADA blockchain with a clay theme. Like other similar projects, these NFTs have their own attributes and aesthetic qualities. Some are human, some are cars, motorcycles, and there are even animal Clay Mates that you can purchase.
According to Tokenref for this project, total sales for Clay Nation have already racked up to almost $15,000,000. Considering that this is a new project, this indicates to many NFT fans that there is a bright future on the horizon for this project. Currently, a typical Clay Mate will cost around 1000 ADA.
Pavia is the first metaverse project on the ADA blockchain and therefore comes with a large share of NFTs that can be purchased. Currently, there are over 17,000 people who own digital land in this metaverse. One feature worth mentioning is that transactions come with a 2.5% royalty payment handed over to the creator(s).
Currently, it is no strange occurrence for people to spend around 10,000 ADA for a chunk of digital land in this metaverse. Considering the massive spike of growth witnessed on other metaverse projects, investors in Pavia are bankrolling on the potential for this happening in this digital world too.
Deadpxlz is a unique NFT project in that these NFTs essentially function as web pages, allowing the owner to use them in a variety of different means. For example, one can put it as a shortcut on their smartphone, embed it into a post on social media, and potentially much more in the future.
As far as the NFTs themselves, they don't have much aesthetic appeal. In addition, they seem to be poorly put together. Nevertheless, this doesn't stop the fact that this is one of the most significant NFT projects currently active on the Cardano blockchain. Definitely keep an eye on this project since crazy things happen all the time in the crypto and NFT world.
Spacebudz has followed the formula for success that many other NFT projects have: 10,000 unique NFTs, each with their own set of aesthetics that no other SpaceBud has. The part that makes this project different from others is that they are astronaut-themed characters.
Some of them are cats, lions, monkeys, and even fish. Certain NFTs are notably very expensive. For example, SpaceBud #1123 is currently listed for a whopping 250,000 ADA. Typically, the median listing price for a SpaceBud is somewhere around 12,000 ADA. Clearly, this NFT project has already got enough user attention to gain steam and potentially shoot to higher heights in the future.
6. Cardano Kidz
Cardano Kidz takes pride in being on the Cardano chain, even giving its name to part of its main branding. As a result, much of the marketing behind this project also directly get more eyes to look at Cardano. As the name implies, these NFTs have a kid theme. However, not all NFTs in this project features a kid as the main piece of artwork.
The NFTs are released in a series and look much like a comic book cover. Some NFTs are released to commemorate particular events and individuals. At the time of writing, it seems that CardanoKidz recently went through a hardship where their website was taken down on the grounds of an allegedly fake copyright infringement. Lately, the site has been back, but its absence likely impacted the project.
Some of the top Cardano NFT marketplaces Galaxy of Art and CNFT do not have any listings for CardanoKidz. However, OpenSea is currently listing a handful of Cardano Kidz NFTs for 0.05 ETH, presently costing about $135.
As the name implies, ADAliens is an extraterrestrial-themed NFT project on the ADA chain. The artwork itself is a tad unique in that it is pretty high quality. It comes with unique accessories that include the environment and features unique aesthetic qualities with no background.
One otherworldly aspect of this project is that only a small amount of NFTs exist. After the first initial minting, only 888 more were on target for the future at the time of writing. Therefore, this project could blast off to another world if interest was also to spike.
Cardania is another metaverse project on the ADA blockchain. As a result, various land pieces are sold as NFTs. There are also founder's cards and packs that can be exchanged, which give you unique perks to take advantage of within the metaverse itself. Perhaps what makes this project the most memorable is that it is geared towards gamers instead of business or social purposes.
If you want an entrance into a metaverse project without whipping out an arm and leg, Cardania might be your best suitor. Land pieces are still typically below $1,000. However, there is no certainty as to whether or not this price will increase over time.
9. Degen Crypto Club
After being first made available in late 2021, the Degen Crypto Club made some quick sales that eventually cemented it as one of the top NFT projects on Cardano. Although no claims can be made, it seems this project also wanted to replicate the formula of success that was witnessed with the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks.
I say this because the NFTs themselves don't look that unique, other than they are humans as opposed to apes and aren't as pixelated as CryptoPunks. The rarity of these NFTs might generate price action, though, since there are only 2,480 total NFTs. However, this project's future is very unclear.
10. Boss Cat Rocket Club
Founded by a holder of one of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, the Boss Cat Rocket Club doesn't seem to try to differentiate itself much from this popular project. The name itself even seems similar. There are 9,999 different Boss Cats, each with their own unique qualities that no other Boss Cat will ever have.
However, one noteworthy unique aspect of this project is that it is on the Cardano blockchain, whereas the Bored Ape Yacht Club is on the Ethereum chain. In addition, there are “rocket parts” that are also being sold as NFTs as part of this project. They also have ambitions for joining the metaverse.
As far as price action, it isn't easy to gauge the future of this project. Currently, there has been only a volume of $88 in the past seven days, with 28 different owners. Although the quality of the project is similar to massively popular projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club, it looks like these kitties show little hopes of boarding a rocket ship anytime soon.
Cardano NFTs FAQ
With our top NFT projects on Cardano out of the way, many questions usually come up before deciding whether they want to purchase an NFT on the Cardano blockchain. Keep these questions in mind while you are still on the fence between buying a Cardano NFT or one from another blockchain.
What Makes a Cardano NFT Unique?
An NFT is a non-fungible token created after the developer makes a contract on the blockchain. From there, they can create their own NFT tokens that can be listed for sale on a platform of their choosing. Therefore, the only thing that makes a Cardano NFT unique is that the contract is based on the Cardano chain instead of another popular chain such as Ethereum.
As we briefly touched upon above, there is little distinction between NFT projects hosted on different blockchains. Perhaps what makes Cardano NFTs unique is that they are bought on platforms such as CNFT.io instead of OpenSea. In addition, they are commonly purchased using ADA.
Can You Stake NFTs on Cardano?
Staking is a common practice in cryptocurrency. This is essentially locking up your holdings on a particular platform, which promises free rewards and interest in proportion to the amount you are holding. Since this practice has become so common in the world of cryptocurrency, it was only a matter of time before NFTs followed suit.
As we explored above in the case of Yummi Universe, staking has already made its entrance into the Cardano NFT world. Of course, it is recommended to understand the terms of staking before locking up your assets on a platform you otherwise might not trust. In addition, keep transaction fees and any other project-specific terms in mind before agreeing to stake what is essentially hard-earned cash in the form of an NFT.
Will Cardano NFTs Spike in Value?
Up until now, the price for NFTs on the Ethereum chain are the most valuable. Exactly why this is this way is likely due to the higher popularity of the Ethereum chain. It is plausible to think that Cardano NFTs will also spike in value in the future.
However, the bottom line is that an NFT is a digital artwork that you can purchase and hold proof-of-purchase using blockchain technology. Whether or not it will increase in value is anybody's guess. In the world of cryptocurrency, there is often no rhyme or reason to market action. For this reason, use your own better judgment and research skills to determine whether or not a particular project will increase or decrease in value.