Less than two weeks ago, CryptoPunk 8129, one of only 24 super-rare Ape Punks, made major waves when it sold for a whopping 140 ETH ($176k at time of purchase). But the non-fungible token market is on steroids right now, and the newest major Punk sale makes 140 ETH look like a drop in the bucket.
This time, it’s CryptoPunk 2890, one of nine legendary Alien Punks—the single-rarest kind of Punk out there. It’s the first time an Alien Punk has been put up for sale since 2017. The Alien wearing a purple cap sold for 605 ETH, or $761k USD.
The NFT market in general is experiencing a massive high, with over $5M worth of tokens moving in the past week alone. But CryptoPunks, especially, have been a hot commodity. To put things into perspective, of the $10.7M all-time CryptoPunks volume of CryptoPunks, $1.8 million of that has moved in the past week.
NFTs are tokens of unique characteristics which are made to represent ownership in things, like art, real estate, in-game assets and collectibles (unlike BTC, ETH, and ERC-20 tokens which are meant to be interchangeable and used like currency). There are 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs and each one is different.
So why would a 24×24 pixel image be such a solid investment for NFT-focused investment fund FlamingoDAO? All property is becoming digital, including art, Priyanka Desai, community representative for FlamingoDAO, said in an interview.
“The NFT ecosystem is so vast. If you think about it we haven’t even really scratched the surface,” Desai said. “If you think of any sort of property in the real world, now just put that in the digital realm. So right now we have digital art, digital property, like land property and metaverses. We have collectibles. But you can start thinking about real estate and all these other items that can be tokenized as well.”
Possibilities for the Alien
This vision towards the future of NFTs is a guiding principle for Flamingo, and a great indicator of the potential value in spending so much on an Alien. While the community hasn’t come to any final decisions on what to do with the Alien, possibilities include DAO-ifying it, fractionalizing it, or even bringing it to life as a digital avatar.
“It doesn’t stop here for the alien,” says Desai.
FlamingoDAO was incubated by members of the LAO, a venture-based DAO where members hold capital and vote via tokens on different projects that they’d like to invest in. They weren’t initially focused on NFTs, but after making their second communal investment in SuperRare, some members had the idea to purchase an NFT on behalf of the LAO. This turned into a larger discussion, and soon, FlamingoDAO was born.
Now, deciding to purchase a rare “OG” NFT like the Alien is practically a no-brainer. “The Aliens very rarely come up on the market,” says Desai. “It was offered on Friday night and we bought it Saturday, early afternoon. Things moved pretty quickly.”
For their next big acquisitions, Flamingo members are now looking towards NBA Top Shots, on-chain generative art, and prominent digital artists—“really having high-value items in a bunch of emerging NFT buckets,” says Desai.
But no matter what the next big NFT happens to be, one thing is certain: The NFT market is exploding. Desai points to entertainers like 3lau and Soulja Boy taking interest in the NFT space as a glimpse towards the future. “There’s definitely going to be more of this in traditional media and entertainment,” says Desai. “Right now it definitely feels like a boom.”