‘CryptoPunk’ NFTs could sell for record $30M at Sotheby’s auction

Posted: 9 February 2022 12:42 am

NFTs take a leap forward into the world of traditional fine art with Sotheby’s auction.

An auction of 104 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is tipped to fetch as much as $30 million at a Sotheby auction, further bridging the gap between traditional and digital art.

Set to hit the block during a live sale in New York under “Punk It!”, all 104 CryptoPunks will be offered as a single lot.

As such, a buyer is expected to spend between $20 million and $30 million to buy the 104 NFTs.

The auction, which is set to go live on February 23, is largely predicted to set a new record even if it hits the lower side of estimations.

What is a CryptoPunk?

A CryptoPunk is an NFT of a small cartoon avatar, rendered pixelated cartoon-like characters, with each having a unique style.

The value comes in that each of the 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs in existence is unique. Despite the vastness of the collection, each piece has slightly different features including facial
hair, different hair colors, or even a a cigarette.

The rise of CryptoPunks

Launched on June 23, 2017 by Studio Larva Labs, the CryptoPunks were actually designed to be free for anyone with an ETH wallet.

Fast forward a few years and CryptoPunks are considered some of the most iconic NFTs ever created.

Why are they expected to sell for so much?

The easiest way to think about NFTs is that they are similar to a physical work of art, but just digital.

As the story goes in the crypto world, when investors are asked to explain NFTs, they say: “Think of the Mona Lisa.” Anybody on the Internet can download a version of the famous picture and hang it on the wall, but there’s only one original that can boast the receipt of ownership.

CryptoPunk NFTs do share some of the characteristics of a rare piece of art.

Like traditional art, the value of each value varies based on the eye of the beholder, but as a collection they have 4 key important features:

  1. Popularity. CryptoPunks are some of the most popular NFTs in existence, adding to their value. In August 2021 alone, they had over $680 million in transactions, proving their popularity in the NFT community
  2. Scarcity. Even though they are digitally created, there are still only 10,000 CryptoPunks.
  3. Age. Any investor looking to buy a bit of NFT history can do so through CryptoPunks, as they are some of the oldest NFTs in existence.
  4. Importance. When it comes to NFTs, the CryptoPunks served as a catalyst for the modern crypto art movement.

What does it mean for the NFTs?

The success of the CryptoPunk auction will ultimately help bridge the gap between the traditional art world and the NFT community, potentially bringing more investors into the world of NFTs.

While NFTs are still in their infancy, selling at a top-tier auction house will largely help the legitimacy of the asset class.

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