Rare CryptoPunk ‘Alien’ Brings $ 11.8 Million at Sotheby’s Auction

A rare CryptoPunk sold for a record $ 11.8 million at an auction hosted by famous auction house Sotheby’s.

The non-fungible token (NFT) was sold to Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder in the daily fantasy and sports betting company DraftKings. The CryptoPunk was part of a pseudonymous collector’s NFT collection Sillython, which will donate a portion of their profits to programs that support the CryptoPunk community as well as COVID relief organizations around the world.

What are CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks are widely regarded as the first NFTs ever released on the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique, non-interchangeable assets stored on a digital ledger and represent items such as images, videos, audio files, and other digital files.

In 2017, software company Larva Labs released a collection of 10,000 8-bit style 24×24 unique pixel characters. The proof of ownership of each collectible is recorded in code on the Ethereum blockchain. Each character comes with different characteristics, accessories, and traits. They vary in rarity, and somewhat accordingly, in value.

A range of CryptoPunks. Image: Larva Labs

This particular CryptoPunk, Alien # 7523, is one of nine rare “Alien” tokens. It’s the only one in the Alien collection with a mask, and also has a knit earring and beanie, all of which are rare features.

Most Expensive CryptoPunk Sale Yet

This is not the first time that a major auction house has sold a character from the original CryptoPunks collection. In May, a collection of nine CryptoPunks sold for nearly $ 17 million in a sale organized by Christie’s. However, this is the most expensive CryptoPunk sale to date.

The auction was part of Sotheby’s “Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale”, where a total of 28 works were auctioned. According to a press release from the auction house, the sale broke 14 new artist records and received offers from more than 1,300 potential buyers. But that wasn’t the only unconventional thing about the sale.

To showcase all of the work on display, Sotheby’s has partnered with Samsung to create a global exhibition spanning multiple cities, including its very first virtual gallery in the Metaverse via Decentraland. Decentraland is an Ethereum-based blockchain platform with a virtual world where users can own the items they create and acquire. All property is tracked through transactions on Ethereum.

The Virtual Gallery, a digital replica of the galleries at Sotheby’s New Bond Street in London, was located in the Voltaire Art District. The gallery featured five gallery spaces on the ground floor as well as a digital figure of London Sotheby’s commissioner Hans Lomulder, who stood at the entrance to greet buyers.

A digital version of London commissioner Hans Lomulder. Image: Sotheby’s

Although the number of weekly NFT transactions experienced a decline in recent weeks, auctions and fundraising rounds involving digital collectibles continue to take place.

Popular blockchain company Animoca Brands has partnered with the International Olympic Committee to launch a collection of Olympic-themed NFT. Data privacy-focused blockchain startup Snickerdoodle Labs has grown $ 2.3 million to create a platform that uses NFT technology to protect user privacy and data. And, more recently, last week, Binance handpicked 100 artists to lead the launch of its NFT marketplace.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

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