The NFT market is getting hot molten as a rare CryptoPunk “alien” sells more than $750,000.
In the midst of an insane market-wide bullrun for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the ultra-rare ‘alien’ CryptoPunk sold today for 605 Ether, worth more than $750,000 at today’s prices.
CryptoPunks is widely believed to be the first NFT prototype released even before Cryptokitties, a blockchain-based collectibles project that propelled NFTs through common consciousness. CryptoPunks creators Larva Laboratories report that Punks have a lifetime turnover of $26 million on their home market, with a gross purchase price of $6,199 for Punks over the past year.
Each Punk has unique features, such as background colour, clothes, and even certain ultra-rare features, such as a “alien” or “zombie” look. The Punk sold today, #2890, is one of nine alien Punks in existence.
— CryptoPunks Bot (@cryptopunksbot) January 23, 2021
The Punk auction was lively over the last week, with DeFi’s megawallet-turn-twitter celebrity 0x b1 putting in a 500 ETH bid. The Punk was last sold for 8 ETH in July 2017, which means that the purchaser made a 75x return on their purchase.
The new owners are a consortium of investors that includes FlamingoDAO, a “NFT collective that supports and collects premium NFTS,” according to Flamingo’s spokesperson. The official Twitter account of FlamingoDAO reported the purchase with the following meme:
“It’s simple: Cryptopunks is a groundbreaking project; it pre-dated the ERC 721 standard and crypto kitties,” said the spokesperson on the investment thesis. “Aliens are the rarest form of Cryptopunk and we believe that the acquired Alien will be prized by collectors over time and mature into an iconic digital art piece.”
Crypto art collector @gmoneyNFT, who himself dropped 140 ETH on a Punk earlier in the month, thinks that the alien is a fine investment despite the sky-high valuation.
“I think it was a great purchase. As the world moves more digital, the digital “flex” will be more and more important. It’s how humans operate in the physical world. It won’t change in the digital realm,” he said.
Long-derided as a secondary use case for blockchain, sales like today’s prove that NFTs are only starting to get their day in the spotlight. NBA Topshot, a collectible highlight project from Dapper Laboratories, has proved to be exceedingly popular, and Axie Infinity’s native critters have been selling at impressive rates late as well.
Some analysts have raised the issue of the sky-high prices of rare NFTs, however, arguing that mere digital scarcity is a weak basis on which to justify a $750,000 deal. @gmoneyNFT denies these criticisms, stating that there are a lot of real-world analogues that make just as much—or as little—sense.
“Why would someone pay millions of dollars for an original Andy Warhol screen print when you can buy the same one online for $20? Why would someone buy a pair of yeezy’s for $300 when you can buy a fake from the same factory, made with the same materials for much less? Humans like to feel special. The provenance has value.”
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