Sotheby’s set to hold live auction of 104 CryptoPunks for $30 million

New Delhi: Following the success of its inaugural series of NFT sales in 2021, Sotheby’s today announces the first evening live auction dedicated to NFTs or non-fungible tokens.

The Feb. 23 event, Punk It!, which the leading auction house calls the “first-of-its-kind NFT and cultural event,” will see a single-lot sale of 104 CryptoPunks.

The sale is estimated at $20/30 million, which is “the highest estimate for an NFT or digital art ever offered at auction,” Sotheby’s said in a press release.

In June 2021, Sotheby’s achieved a record NFT sale when CryptoPunk #7523 left for $11.8 million. The first round of NFT sales launched in 2021 have so far reached $100 million, according to the press release.

Sotheby’s said it will accept cryptocurrency for the auction, and the winning bidder can make final payment in Ether (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), USD Coin (USDC) or fiat currencies – all transactions subject to applicable laws and regulations. The auctioneer will also announce live bids from the New York auction house in ETH cryptocurrency alongside US dollars.

Prior to the live auction, Sotheby’s will host a special live panel discussion on the history of NFTs and CryptoPunks, which will focus on how punks gained mainstream recognition.

Speakers are yet to be announced.

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What are CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks have quickly become a prominent visual symbol of the global NFT movement. First released in 2017 by studio Larva Labs, CryptoPunks are said to be among the most iconic and valuable NFTs in the world.

“Their status in the crypto ecosystem, and more recently in the world of fine art, has evolved into a sign of visual identity for their holders,” Sotheby’s said in the press release.

The 104 CryptoPunks to go under the hammer next week were acquired together by an anonymous “0x650d” collector in a single blockchain transaction, he said.

The auction house said this standalone acquisition connects each of the 104 CryptoPunks with the same provenance, which is a wallet that “currently represents over 1% of the entire CryptoPunks collection.”

“CryptoPunks are the original PFP series that set the template for other NFT projects that followed, and helped propel NFTs onto the world stage as one of the most recognizable visual styles that have become synonymous with the movement. digital art,” Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s co-head of digital art, said in a statement.

He called the February 23 event a “monumental occasion.”

“To offer a group of 104 CryptoPunks in one lot is a monumental opportunity, and we are thrilled to present it as a first evening auction. Never before has there been a dedicated auction featuring NFTs at this level. … »

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