Christie’s $17 Million CryptoPunks Sale Sparks Criticism

Key Takeaways

  • Nine CryptoPunks, including a rare Alien Punk, went on sale at Christie’s last night, fetching $16.9 million for the lot.
  • Miniature physical versions of the Punks were hidden around the Christie’s gallery ahead of the auction, leading many NFT fans to criticize the gallery’s non-prominent display.
  • The sale, conducted in fiat, was overshadowed by a Basquiat piece that sold for $93.1 million alongside other notable works.

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Nine rare CryptoPunks sold for $16.9 million at Christie’s last night as part of the art broker’s latest auction event.

Rare CryptoPunks Fetch Eight Figures 

The series of nine CryptoPunks sold for $16,962,500 via Christie’s. The iconic NFTs, created by Larva Labs in 2017, were included in the auction house’s 21st Century Evening Sale.

The CryptoPunks NFTs were originally released for free in 2017 in a quantity of 10,000 and have become a pillar of Ethereum’s early NFT history. Each piece features a distinctive 24×24 pixel art design with the accompanying data stored on the blockchain.

At the time of writing, the floor price for a Punk is 16.5 ETH, which comes to just over $70,000 at current Ethereum prices. 

CryptoPunks have become much more sought after in recent months as NFTs have become mainstream. Christie’s announced the CryptoPunks sale weeks after selling an NFT by Beeple for $69.34 million, which may have helped generate interest in the sale.

Critics Slam Christie’s Auction 

The estimated sale price of the nine CryptoPunks NFTs was initially placed between $7 and 9 million. Though the final sale amount doubled that estimate, the structure of the sale has drawn criticism. 

Many of the complaints leveled against Christie’s have focused on the way the NFTs were presented in the lead-up to the sale….

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