On Tuesday, the British-founded American multinational luxury auction company Sotheby’s, headquartered in New York City, announced the auction house is planning to auction a lot of 104 non-fungible token (NFT) Cryptopunks. The lot of 104 NFTs is predicted to fetch around $20 million to $30 million in USD value, according to Sotheby’s.
Sotheby’s ‘Punk It!’ Auction to Sell 104 Cryptopunks
The luxury auction house Sotheby’s plans to auction 104 Cryptopunks on February 23, according to an announcement from the company’s official Twitter account. “Cryptopunks get the Sotheby’s treatment,” the company tweeted. “Our next Sotheby’s Metaverse sale ‘Punk It! 104 Cryptopunks. 1 Lot.’ will be a landmark LIVE Evening Auction on February 23. A truly historic sale for an undeniably historic NFT project.”
The lot of 104 Cryptopunks was originally purchased in July 2021 for $7 million in a single Ethereum block. According to reports at the time, the buyer purchased the 104 NFTs by paying the miner a bribe of five ethereum (ETH), and the acquisition bumped up the floor price for the entire collection of 10,000 Cryptopunks.
The individual who purchased the 104 Cryptopunks discussed the acquisition in a Twitter thread during the first week of August 2021. The buyer dubbed “0x650d” explained it was kind of like buying bitcoin (BTC) below $10 per unit. “You’re wishing you could go back in time and buy Bitcoin below $10, back when you thought it was a fad or there would be dozens of coins like it,” 0x650d said. The NFT collector added:
But you can’t. And there’s nothing like it. Same with NFTs: you can’t go back in time and be the first.
Sotheby’s Co-Head of Digital Art: ‘Cryptopunks Helped Propel NFTs to the Global Stage’
It’s not the first time the luxury auction house Sotheby’s has dealt with NFTs and NFT collectibles from the Cryptopunks collection. In June last year, Sotheby’s sold five original Cryptopunks prints and their associated NFTs. “These five fantastically rare ‘phygital’ punks form a very important bridge between the physical and the digital,” Sotheby’s co-head of digital art, Michael Bouhanna said at the time. “This is where the digital art world meets the traditional.”
In addition to the rare Cryptopunk, Sotheby’s Natively Digital auction in June 2021 sold NFT artwork by Pak, Kevin McCoy, and a myriad of other digital artists. The rare Cryptopunk sold at that Sotheby’s auction was Cryptopunk #7523 for $11.8 million. Alongside the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunks became a popular NFT phenomenon and today, a Cryptopunk’s floor price is around $200K. Sotheby’s thinks the lot of 104 NFTs will fetch around $20 million to $30 million at auction.
“Cryptopunks are the original PFP series that created the template for other NFT projects that have followed,” Bouhanna explained this week in a statement. “[The NFT collection] helped propel NFTs to the global stage as one of the most recognizable visual styles that have become synonymous with the digital art movement,” Sotheby’s co-head of digital art concluded.
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