- The cancellation of an auction for 104 CryptoPunks, was worth $30 million.
- The anonymous owner of CryptoPunk goes by ‘0x650d’ on Twitter.
In 2021, the market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exploded. Blockchain analytics platform Chainalysis in Singapore said in February 2022 that NFT markets and collections grew from $106 million in 2020 to $44.2 billion in 2021, based on their data.
The cancellation of an auction for 104 CryptoPunks, believed to be worth $30 million, has placed NFT fans and fine art collectors in a state of confusion. This Sotheby’s-hosted sale was on pace to be one of the biggest NFT auctions in history—until a mysterious owner of the ‘Punk It’ collection unexpectedly pulled out of the auction.
Decided to HODL
The anonymous owner of CryptoPunk, who goes by ‘0x650d’ on Twitter, put out a careless post to his 12 thousand followers after the auction was cancelled, saying, “nvm, decided to hodl.” The collector then posted a meme implying that they were “taking punks mainstream by rugging Sothebys” in response to the circumstance. Sotheby’s and the community were kept in the dark, even if this wasn’t a genuine “rug pull,” in which investors are fraudulently robbed of their assets.
Since its beginning in 2011, CryptoPunks, developed by Larva Labs, has generated over $2 billion in sales volume for the NFT business, which is expected to continue growing exponentially in the years ahead.
Even though this would have been Sotheby’s first event devoted just to NFTs, the auction house has shown an ability to capitalize on the lucrative NFT industry, selling over $100 million in NFTs last year alone, with $24 million of that amount occurring at a single sale. The ideological divide between Web 3’s “cyberpunk” culture and established institutions’ more composed “highbrow” culture has recently been exposed through a high-profile fight.