Christie’s, the renowned art auction house, is all set to grab headlines once again after a groundbreaking $69 million NFT sale. It has announced that it would put up a set of nine CryptoPunk NFTs on May 13. Christie’s has planned to auction the set for an estimated amount of $7 million to $9 million in May. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital collectibles from the personalized collection of NFT marketplace Larva Labs. They would be available for auction in Christie’s ‘21st Century Evening Sale’ event in New York.
Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs are the most talked about topic after the $69 million sales of artwork by digital artist, Beeple. The rare artwork of Beeple, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”, garnered a price of $69,346,250 in an auction held by Christie in March. Now, NFTs have drawn millions in the form of trades and rare artifacts.
The auction of the nine CryptoPunks is also poised to be another high-profile NFT auction for Christie’s. According to post-war and contemporary art specialist at Christie’s, Noah Davis, CryptoPunks are the most dominant entities in the digital art world. He also expressed his positive thoughts about the sale and expected that it would also mark another historic NFT auction. Christie’s has announced that the auction would allow accepting payment in Ethereum.
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What are the CryptoPunk NFTs?
CryptoPunks are unique collectibles in the form of 8-bit images with 24×24 pixel resolution. The designs of the CryptoPunks are based on the punk scene in London. The overall CryptoPunk Series includes 10,000 unique collectibles generate algorithmically. The nine punks that will be put up for auction come from the personal collection of the creators of CryptoPunks, John Watkinson and Matt Hall.
The CryptoPunk NFTs about to go on auction in May feature some unique visual traits in the overall CryptoPunks series. The visual features include muttonchops, hoodies, big shades, Mohawk, crazy hair, earrings, and many other traits. CryptoPunks first came into existence in June 2017 at Larva Labs and was way ahead of CryptoKitties in the NFT space. As a matter of fact, the CryptoPunks series is a profound driver of innovation in the NFT landscape.
The 10,000 unique CryptoPunks feature their own proof of ownership on the Ethereum blockchain. The 10,000 characters also include 88 zombies and 24 apes with 9 alien characters known as special punks. Prior to the Beeple NFT sale, one of the nine alien CryptoPunks NFTs fetched almost $7.5 million in the most expensive NFT auction on March 10. Furthermore, more than 8000 sales of CryptoPunks have been able to fetch a value of over $251 million last year.
Despite the increasing popularity of CryptoPunks, the limit on the series is also a noticeable highlight. There could be a total of 10,000 CryptoPunks only, with all created and sold already on secondary marketplaces. Other than the Christie’s auction, CryptoPunks are available for sale and purchase on the ‘Punks for Sale’ page of the Larva Labs website. In addition, online digital art marketplaces for NFTs are suitable places to buy CryptoPunks.
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Understanding a Non-Fungible Token
An NFT is basically a cryptographic token that provides representation for a unique entity. NFTs are not mutually interchangeable, just like other crypto-based assets. Non-fungible tokens are capable of providing vital opportunities to ensure verifiable digital scarcity. NFTs are available in different forms such as digital art, digital collectibles, music with copyrights, and in-game artifacts in role-playing games.
CryptoPunk NFTs have made a return to the mainstream landscape in January 2021 with the sale of CryptoPunk 2890. Since then, the bids for CryptoPunks have continued to portray massively astonishing numbers. Interestingly, CryptoPunks are presently the top NFT art marketplace in terms of weekly and total traded volumes.
Demystifying the Value of CryptoPunks
The popularity of CryptoPunks is an interesting enigma for many people all over the world. If you look closely, CryptoPunks have not achieved anything special. You don’t have any famous artist behind the CryptoPunks collectibles, and there is no popular franchise backing them. According to renowned market investor and commentator, DCInvestor, CryptoPunks ride heavily on the 8-bit charm alongside the fun appeal with the avatars. He also added that the 10,000 number could support a large collector base, although with adequate scarcity for value.
According to Matt Hall, CryptoPunks have been created for testing the dynamics of demand and scarcity. CryptoPunks have been created from a set of templates with algorithms such that every character is different while some characters feature rarer template pieces.
CryptoPunk NFTs have a collectible nature, just like art and trading cards. However, the creators intended to create ideally scarce resources without any impact of the whims of other individuals such as the creators. After CryptoPunks were issued live on the Ethereum blockchain, they achieved the desired scarcity with no one having the ability to issue additional punks or modify the existing ones.
The value of CryptoPunks as NFTs relies profoundly on the elements they represent. CryptoPunks represents a unique blend of art, social experimentation, technology, and absurdity. CryptoPunks carries out experiments with tokenization of images that possibly seem valueless. The Ethereum contract and the blockchain address help in proving ownership of the asset, thereby adding value to individual CryptoPunk.
The Christie’s auction in May will bring the first-ever minted CryptoPunk NFTs to auction. The auction would feature CryptoPunk 2, 532, 30, 603, 58, 757, 635, 768, and 602 alongside a rare alien collectible planned for addition.
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The Next Steps
The news of Christie’s announcing another high-profile NFT auction in May sends out a positive signal for the NFT landscape. It shows that established art firms recognize the legitimacy of NFTs. The auction also comes at an opportune time as many musicians and athletes are also joining in the NFT revolution.
The auction of CryptoPunk NFTs will also encourage other art auction houses to engage in the auction of NFT art. Furthermore, the demand for CryptoPunks in recent times also indicates positive news for Christie’s. NFTs have been transforming the trade of art, music, and other collectibles in recent times. Where is the future of NFTs directed from here?