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Sotheby’s Auctioned Covid Alien Punk for $11.8 million

Posted by
Robert Hoogendoorn

Punk 7523 just became the most expensive CryptoPunk in history!

The London office of auction house Sotheby’s auctioned CryptoPunk 7523, an alien punk wearing a mask, for a record $11.8 million on Thursday. The punk, also known as the Covid Alien Punk, sold as part of the Natively Digital NFT Auction event. It’s now the most expensive punk in the series. 

The auction at Sotheby’s took place live and online at the same time. Even before the live auction started, there had already been a $1.5 million bid. Ultimately CryptoPunk 7523 sold for $11,754,000 to an anonymous bidder. 

Collectors consider CryptoPunks to be the first NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, even though there were NFTs on for example Bitcoin Counterparty blockchain before that. Nonetheless CryptoPunks have a special status within the NFT community. Earlier this year two alien punks sold for $7,5 million each, while the Covid Alien Punk now took over the crown. 

NFT investor and entrepreneur Alex Amsel, better known as Sillytuna, celebrated his sale of punk 7523 on Twitter. “4520 ETH for a cryptopunk. NFTs are DEAD!”, he wrote with a sense of sarcasm.

The NFT hype

In the first quarter of this year NFT trading was good for $1.5 billion in volume. However, in April and May we’ve seen a total of approximately $700 million, which would suggest that Q2 2021 would end with $1 billion in volume. 

Nonetheless there’s a belief that NFTs are dead, simply because big celebrity-infused sales aren’t happening anymore. Furthermore, the hype around NBA Top Shot has died down quite a bit, as collectibles no longer instantly sell 50x the purchasing price. One might say that there’s more realism now surrounding NFT sales. 

Projects with historical significance, for example CryptoPunks, remain important parts of the NFT ecosystem. At the same time NFT technology expands to other blockchains, enabling more cross-chain interoperability. The next step would be for NFTs to embrace utility, and for example become membership cards, personal avatars or game items. These developments are happening, but haven’t gotten the mainstream attention NFT art and collectibles have gotten.

 

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