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NFT: Sotheby’s auction of 104 CryptoPunks lot cancelled by its seller at the last minute

A lot of 104 CryptoPunks was set to go on sale for nearly $30 million before the owner cancelled the highly anticipated auction at Sotheby’s on Wednesday.

Sotheby’s announces first, offering 104 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from CryptoPunks for sale at a live auction in New York City on February 23.

CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 NFTs released in 2017 by Larva Labs, featuring pixelated avatars of punk rock-looking faces. Each NFT is unique, sporting various features and accessories, such as alien skin, a mohawk crest or a cigarette.

CryptoPunks has quickly become one of the most popular NFT collections, with a current floor price of around 65 ETH, or nearly $160,000 at the current Ethereum token price.

Since its launch on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017, CryptoPunks has generated approximately 683,000 ETH in sales volume, or over $2 billion.

Celebrities such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Serena Willliams have adopted CryptoPunks as profile pictures on their social networks.

The collection, which was to be sold as a single lot, is estimated by Sotheby’s to be worth between $20 and $30 million.

The group of 104 CryptoPunks was acquired for $7 million last July in a single transaction by anonymous collector “0x650d,” according to Sotheby’s. The transaction is also confirmed on the Ethereum blockchain.

The auction was to be titled “Punk It!” and preceded by a live chat about the history of the NFT universe and CryptoPunks.

A few hours before the event was set to take place, a Sotheby’s representative said the seller had decided to withdraw the lot. The auction had first been announced on February 8.

In a tweet, the pseudonymous collector said he had changed his mind:

Rumors of a mixed reception for the CryptoPunks lot may have contributed to 0x650d’s change of heart.

According to unnamed sources, the highest bid was as high as $14 million, the exact reserve price set at the auction.

The first time Sotheby’s handled the sale of a major NFT lot, a lot of 101 NFTs Bored Ape Yacht Club sold for $24.4 million.

The famous auction house declared over $100 million in NFT sales in 2021, the year it fully addressed Web3.

It was also sometimes possible to bid in ETH, the native crypto of the Ethereum network, at art auctions outside the NFT world.

On the other hand, the NFT community has often criticized Sotheby’s for a lack of involvement in promoting NFT sales on its platform. This new failure should not help relations.

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