The Defiant

Sotheby's Landmark Auction of 104 CryptoPunks Lot Was Withdrawn at Last Minute

It was supposed to be a landmark event for the world's oldest auction house: on Wednesday night Sotheby's held a single-lot sale of 104 CryptoPunks carrying the estimate of $20-$30M, the highest-valued estimate for an NFT or digital art ever offered at auction.

By: Brady Dale Loading...

Sotheby's Landmark Auction of 104 CryptoPunks Lot Was Withdrawn at Last Minute

It was supposed to be a landmark event for the world’s oldest auction house: on Wednesday night Sotheby’s held a single-lot sale of 104 CryptoPunks carrying the estimate of $20-$30M, the highest-valued estimate for an NFT or digital art ever offered at auction.

But as attendees were getting ready for the auction to begin after listening to a panel discussion, they learned the lot had been withdrawn. Champagne was still served as a DJ with a CryptoPunk mask played. The auction, called Punk It!, follows Sotheby’s record-breaking sale of CryptoPunk #7523 for $11.8 million in June 2021.

Image: DJ at Sotheby’s auction. Credit: Brady Dale

The failed sale comes amid a souring cryptocurrency market, with total market cap shrinking to $1.7 trillion from a record $3 trillion in November.

The group of 104 CryptoPunks were acquired together in a single blockchain transaction by anonymous collector “0x650d.” This stand-alone acquisition connects each of the 104 Punks with the same provenance—a wallet that currently represents more than 1% of the entire CryptoPunks collection.

While Sotheby’s did not immediately disclose a reason for the withdrawn auction, “0x650d” tweeted at the time of the sale “nvm, decided to hodl,” signaling the collector may have backtracked on the decision to sell the lot.

nvm, decided to hodl https://t.co/WdQ5H7I0fl

— 0x650d (@0x650d) February 24, 2022

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