The Top 10 NFT Protocols And Tokens In 2023

Last Updated June 15th 2024
15 Min Read

Over the past two years, NFTs (non-fungible-tokens) exploded onto the scene. Across the globe, crypto investors and enthusiasts clamoured to get involved with the next big thing in cryptocurrencies.

NFT is an abbreviation for a non-fungible token, represented as digital art. For example, videos, photos, gifs, memes, audio files, and even Tweets can be an NFT.  NFTs run on smart contracts on Ethereum and other blockchains that verify their authenticity and distribute assets.

Non-fungible, in simple terms,  means that you cannot exchange one NFT for another. Unlike fiat currency or cryptocurrencies, where you can exchange one currency or token for a different one. For example, $1 for one $1. So, for that reason, every single NFT is unique and cannot be replicated.

The scarcity of each NFT increases demand, which makes them collectable items and, because of that, leads to higher prices. Sellers can put their NFTs up for auction or sell for a fixed price and Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin (BTC) is the typical form of payment.

As decentralised finance continues to grow, the future of NFTs may contribute to the DeFi marketplace because they have such diverse potential, such as putting up as collateral for loans, real estate, fine art and rare collectables.

The best NFT projects for 2023 are likely to be similar to last year, primarily those selling limited-edition collectables such as music, digital art, trading cards and games. In March this year, interest really kicked off for NFTs when a project created by digital artist, Beeple sold at Christie's Auction House for over $69 million, spiralling investor interest in NFTs to new heights.

Musicians and artists often struggle to get their work to the masses, and if they do, rarely can they achieve the sort of prices that NFT creations have produced. So, NFTs are an excellent way for artists and musicians to take back control of their work, and game developers can make significant profits from in-game creations.

In this post, you'll learn more about NFTs and find out about the top 10 NFT protocols and NFT tokens for 2023.

The 10 Best NFT Protocols And Tokens

  1. Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)
  2. CryptoKitties
  3. Codex Protocol
  4. Enjin
  5. Decentraland
  6. OpenSea
  7. Rarible
  8. NBA Top Shot
  9. 0xcert
  10. Ethereum Name Services

What Are The 10 Best NFT Coins For 2023?

Let's look at several popular NFT options.

The following list is not in order of the success or popularity of the NFT protocol or NFT.

1. Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)

WAX is a peer-to-peer decentralised and certified carbon neutral marketplace to trade NFTs. A considerable benefit of WAX is the DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake) consensus algorithm that maintains a high level of security. Developers can build games, apps and marketplaces on the WAX platform.

The Wax platform has 6 million accounts, 325k daily visitors, 15 million daily transactions and 30K dApps. The platform suggests that the Worldwide Asset eXchange is "the world's most proven and eco-friendly blockchain for NFTs, video games and collectables."

WAX works on a Proof of Stake (PoS) system, creating carbon offset NFTs. Much of the criticism targeted at cryptocurrencies is the negative impact, of mining, on the environment. But WAX has partnered with Climate Care and has made tremendous progress in building a sustainable future.

Users of the WAX token, based on Ethereum, earn rewards for staking their tokens to provide liquidity to the exchange, and it can be traded on several exchanges, such as Bittrex and Huobi.

To store WAX tokens, you need an Etherum compatible wallet.

Some of the top NFT's launched on the WAX platform, like William Shatner, Topps and Deadmau5.

Is WAX coin a good investment?

Considering the long-term sustainability of the eXchange, industry experts predict that WAX could be a profitable investment.

Read Also: 3 Crypto Projects That Are Shaping The Future Of NFT

2. CryptoKitties

In 2017, Dapper Labs launched the NFT game CryptoKitties, which was the protocol that brought NFTs to a mainstream audience in a blockchain video game.

In the game, players raise their CryptoKitties and resell them for a profit on the Ethereum network. As it is non-fungible, each token represents a one-of-a-kind digital cat that is 100% owned by you. Your CryptoKitty cannot be destroyed, taken away or replicated.

At its height, in 2018, the CryptoKitties game had more than one million daily transactions.

What makes CryptoKitties so popular? 87% of users love the CryptoKitties game, and it's understandable why. Dapper Labs focuses on the fun aspects of NFTs through the blockchain game. Their approach is lighthearted and has amassed a lot of users.

3. Codex Protocol

Codex is a decentralised title registry for the $2 trillion art and collectables asset class. The protocol aims to protect collectors and artists alike.

The protocol is secured by blockchain to verify the authenticity of NFTs. Creators of NFTs can create a digital record for each collectable item, which means that interested buyers can verify its authenticity via the Codex Viewer to check identity and ownership history. It's essential to know that you are buying an authentic product, so Codex is an excellent protocol for ensuring buyer confidence.

Former President Brook Hazelton of Christie's of America said, "Codex's best-in-class technology provides a valuable solution. Their approach serves the entire market, owners, creators and institutions, making them an obvious choice for anyone who cares about protecting the integrity and value of their collection."

4. Enjin

Enjin began developing a gaming network in 2009 and, in 2017, launched the Enjin coin (ENJ). In 2018, Enjin were the first to announce the first-ever gaming multiverses. Now, Enjin has over forty game developers on the platform creating games.

Enjin provides a suite of integrated products, making buying NFTs easy for developers, businesses and individuals. Developers need the right tools to make it easy to work with NFTs. Enjin's API and open-source SDKs make development seamless and intuitive to integrate blockchain, using popular coding languages and development tools.

In early 2021,  the Enjin coin had the highest market cap among all NFTs. Enjin is a purpose-built ecosystem for integrating digital products used for monetising and trading games. Developers use the Enjin coin to tokenise in-game objects on the Ethereum blockchain.

Enjin's products have powered over 1,300 marketing campaigns for CoinMarketCap, Binance, CoinGecko and Kyber Network to gamify online engagement. In March this year, Enjin launched its next-generation blockchain, Efinity, for NFTs built on the Polkadot protocol.

Crypto asset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.

5. Origin Protocol

Founded in 2017, Origin Protocol (OGN) is the creator of Origin Story, the leading white label NFT marketplace protocol on Ethereum. White label NFT marketplaces differ from generic marketplaces, such as Opensea, in that they’re the official storefronts for NFT collections. 

Only legitimate NFTs are listed on Origin Story, and each marketplace offers unique branding aligned with the NFT project’s aesthetics. Collectors can use Origin Story to find the best prices within NFT collections, as the platform aggregates listings across major marketplaces to offer the best liquidity for buyers. 

Origin Story enables creators and businesses to launch NFT ecosystems. From primary mints to secondary trading, Origin Story is the simplest solution for businesses to enter into web3. The protocol supports token-gated access, multi-chain support, fiat-onramps, and other features to foster the next wave of innovation in NFTs.

Origin Story is partnered with many leading collections including Pudgy Penguins, Sappy Seals, Karafuru, OnChainMonkey, 0N1 Force, and The Alien Boy. The protocol supports features that enable unique applications for NFTs, such as real-world real estate transactions for Roofstock onChain. Origin Story also enabled 3LAU’s $11.7M auction and Paris Hilton’s mass-scale NFT launch, Past Lives New Beginnings. 

OGN is the native token for Origin Story. OGN is available on Coinbase, Binance, and all leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Holders can stake OGN within seasons, earning 100% of the revenue generated by the Origin Story. 

6. Decentraland

A relative newbie, Decentraland, launched in February 2020 as a decentralised virtual-reality world powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Users can create and monetise applications and content and purchase virtual land plots. They can trade rare digital items, create and customise avatars and participate in governance.

To take part in Decentraland, you need fungible tokens and NFTs so you can connect with your crypto wallet via a web browser to set up your avatar. You then receive a virtual passport which represents your virtual identity.

Decentraland uses its MANA token, which you can purchase from most cryptocurrency exchanges, buy in-game assets and virtual land, and buy items supported on NFT marketplaces.

Can you make money in Decentraland?

You can make a lot of money in Decentraland from buying and selling virtual land. Decentraland made the news when they reported users made more than 500% profits from buying and selling virtual digital land.

Crypto asset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.

7. OpenSea

OpenSea is the first and largest decentralised NFT marketplace. Founded in 2017, OpenSea has over 50 categories of rare digital items and collectables. Their listing includes Decentraland and CryptoKitties.

The website categories for OpenSea NFTs are art, music, virtual worlds, trading cards, sports, utility art and domain names.

Developers can build marketplaces for their digital assets on Ethereum and interchangeable standards such as ERC1155 or ERC721, and they can earn commissions from secondary items. Game developers can create customised storefronts so they can trade collectables.

You can view the top NFTs on OpenSea, ranked by volume, floor price and other statistics.

Check Out: What Are NFTs And Why Are Some Worth Millions?

8. Rarible

Founded in 2020, Rarible is an NFT platform to buy, sell and create rare collectables. It supports a wide range of digital assets, such as memes, music, art, domain names, and DeFi insurance policies.

The creation of NFTs is minting. Artists have an Ethereum wallet and can release teasers for their digital content.

Rarible launched its governance token, RARI, mainly used in the DeFi space. Every week, Rarible distribute 41,250 RARI tokens among applications that are building on Rarible Protocol. So, if you have made a sale or a purchase in any one week, you will receive some RARI rewards.

Rarible wants to become a decentralised autonomous organisation and shows it is possible to integrate NFTs with DeFi. In September 2020, they teamed up with Yearn Finance and Nexus Mutual, a blockchain-based insurance platform providing insurance cover for NFTs.

9. NBA Top Shot

The National Basketball Association (NBA) launched the officially licensed blockchain application for trading collectables with Dapper Labs.

They built the application on the Flow blockchain instead of Ethereum. The Top Shot NFTs have video clips of the most memorable game moments. It includes player statistics and details of the NFTs trading history. Every week, the NBA releases limited packs of NFTs and prices vary depending on their rarity.

10. 0xcert

0xcert is a blockchain application programming decentralised interface (API) gateway, purposely built to "speed up adoption of blockchain technologies."

Developers can quickly build decentralised applications using NFTs and fungible tokens. The 0xert framework seeks to simplify issuing NFTs on the blockchain and reduce development time. The API dashboard is transparent in that it provides an overview of your app development.

0xert suggests that you can create and manage unique assets as NFTs on the blockchain in minutes using the user-friendly API interface. They use the ERC721 token standard, suitable for a wide range of applications and cases

11. Ethereum Name Services

Launched in 2017, the Ethereum Name Services (ENS) is a non-fungible domain naming platform on the Ethereum blockchain. Domain names can be integrated into marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible.

Users can receive any NFT, cryptocurrency, or token to their domain name and launch private, secure, and decentralised websites.

There are 385,000 domain names registered on the platform, 308 integrations and more than 142,000 owners. ENS has received financial support from The Ethereum Foundation, Chainlink, Binance_X, Ethereum Classic Lab and Protocol Labs.

Crypto asset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.

Recap Of The Top 10 NFT Protocols And NFTs In 2023

Interest in NFTs exploded in 2021 and looks set to continue into 2023. Next year, something to look out for is the integration of NFTs with DeFi, which could be a game-changer for several NFT projects.

The top 10 NFT protocols and NFT tokens in the above list are established, with investor confidence in project sustainability.

Gaming has always had a large and loyal audience, and now, with blockchain video games, there is the potential for a virtual games popularity explosion. There are also opportunities to make money from buying and selling game items and virtual land.

A reminder of the top 10 NFT protocols and NFT tokens in 2023

  1. Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)
  2. CryptoKitties
  3. Codex Protocol
  4. Enjin
  5. Decentraland
  6. OpenSea
  7. Rarible
  8. NBA Top Shot
  9. 0xcert
  10. Ethereum Name Services

The list is not in any particular order. All 10 NFT protocols and NFT tokens are worth researching.

NFTs aren't going away any time soon. Musicians and artists finally have a chance to retain ownership of their work, reduce risks of fraudulent copies and potentially make more money than fungible art.

Please note that the above information is not providing advice on tax, investment, or financial services. We provide the above information without consideration for risk tolerance and a specific investor's financial circumstances.

Trading or investing in financial instruments such as NFTs may not be suitable for all investors. It does involve risk and the possibility of a loss of capital. There are no guarantees for profiting from buying NFTs, and it's advisable only to risk what you can comfortably afford to lose. 

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How do I create an NFT?

Many of the above projects have the facility to create an NFT. It can be a bit complicated, and there are fees, but follow the instructions on each website, and you'll get an idea of how to create an NFT. You will need an Ethereum wallet for ETH because there are associated fees with building an NFT.

Can an NFT be fraudulently copied?

There have been fraudulent copies of NFTs, but they have been picked up and removed quickly from the platform involved. The American art community, DeviantArt, introduced an A1 tool to detect potentially stolen artwork on NFT platforms. Hopefully, such a tool can help reduce the chances of fraudulent NFT copies coming to market.

How do I pay for an NFT?

Most platforms require ETH, which means that you will need an Ethereum wallet.

How do I know which is the best NFT protocol or NFT token?

The above top 10 NFT protocols and tokens is a great place to start. But, naturally, you may be interested in other NFT projects. A quick and simple guide is to follow a checklist, such as below:

  1. Research the NFT founder's team – Look at their long-term plan
  2. What is the cost of failure for the team? – are they accountable?
  3. Can the team keep a high interest in the project? – a great team can whip up a frenzy of excitement from their followers for the NFT protocol or  token
  4. How strong is community? – following on from #3, a large and loyal community can influence the success of the project
  5. Is the NFT protocol sustainable? – if not, there's little point in investing
  6. How many users are there? – social proof is a significant indicator of the success of a project.
  7. Can users make money from the NFTs? – for instance, we mentioned the 500% profit example of Decentraland sales of virtual land.
  8. Is the platform eco-friendly? - It may not be a huge issue right now, but later down the line, it could make a difference to the sustainability of a project.

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