Sotheby’s to auction 104 CryptoPunk NFTs for $20-30 million

Home » Sotheby’s to auction 104 CryptoPunk NFTs for $20-30 million


Sotheby’s, counted amongst the biggest art brokers of the world, is set to auction a single-lot of 104 CryptoPunk NFTs with a landmark estimate of $20-30 million. 

Post the phenomenal success of its inaugural NFT sales last year, which have fetched $100 million till date, Sotheby’s will soon hold a single-lot sale of 104 CryptoPunk NFTs, with the expected price tag of $20-30 million. This is the highest-ever asking price for any digital art NFT sale.

The event branded as ‘Punk It!’ will take place at Sotheby’s New York saleroom on Feb 23, 2022. It’ll also be streamed live for all art lovers across the world. 

Sotheby’s made the news public via a detailed press release on its official website. It said, “The live evening auction will also bring together the physical and digital in an unprecedented showcase for NFTs and digital art with a presentation on par with the most significant and high-profile sales for Contemporary and Modern art.”

Yet to jump on the NFT train?! Learn all about them here.


What are CryptoPunks?


CryptoPunks are essentially 24×24, 8-bit-style avatars that were algorithmically generated and launched on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017, by Larva Labs. There are 10,000 of them, each with its own unique features, with no two CyberPunks being exactly alike. While most of these images depict classic punks, with piercings, coloured hair and unique hairstyles, many can be seen with pipes or cigarettes hanging from their mouths. Few of them are representations of aliens or apes, with the rarer images commanding more price in the market.

The collection actually constitutes Ethereum’s earliest NFT projects, and is also the primary inspiration for the network’s widely popular ERC-721 non-fungible token (NFT) standard. Being the first-of-its-kind avatar project in the crypto industry, CryptoPunks reflect the philosophies of community, pseudonymity and tradability, all of which are crucial for the blockchain ecosystem. They’re also a representation of blockchain tech’s simplicity and elegance.

Fewer pixels, but bigger bucks


CryptoPunk NFTs’ values have skyrocketed ever since they came into being, especially in the recent times when the ERC-721-based NFTs have become such a phenomenon at the global level. In fact, Sotheby’s sold a single CryptoPunk (CryptoPunk #7523) in June 2021 for a whopping $11.8 million! 

As of writing, the lowest-priced CryptoPunk available in the market has a price tag of 67.4 ETH, which translates into $215,270. Some of the popular NFT marketplaces where you can buy CryptoPunks include Axie Infinity’s Marketplace Dashboard, SuperRare, NFT Showroom, OpenSea and Rarible. 

Michael Bouhanna, the Co-Head of Digital Art said about the sale, “CryptoPunks are the original PFP series that created the template for other NFT projects that have followed, and which helped propel NFTs to the global stage as one of the most recognizable visual styles that have become synonymous with the digital art movement. To offer a group of 104 CryptoPunks as a single lot is a monumental occasion, and one that we are excited to present as a first-of-its-kind evening auction. Never before has there been a dedicated auction presenting NFTs on this level, and we can’t wait to invite the NFT and crypto art community to participate in this special sale.”

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