Yuga Labs’ First “Punk in Residence” Release Sparks Controversy

The community questions Yuga’s decision to launch an official CryptoPunk collaboration.

By: Squiffs Loading...

abstract figures with expressive gestures, glowing in vibrant neon colors

Yuga Labs, the NFT company best known for creating the Bored Ape Yacht Club and current owners of the CryptoPunks IP, sparked controversy after it unveiled the first “Punk in Residence” collection by Nina Chanel Abney.

Many CryptoPunk holders question Yuga’s decision to launch an official CryptoPunk collaboration, citing the potential for execution risk. The reaction on crypto Twitter was summed up by well-known artist and investor OSF, who tweeted “Just let punks be punks”.

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The Punk in Residence program is designed to be a series of collaborations between CryptoPunks and artists who hold CryptoPunks. The first artist slated to take part in the program is Nina Chanel Abney, a contemporary artist and painter who released her first NFT collection known as “Super Cool World” in 2022 through the Gallery of Digital Assets. Abney’s work can be found in museums across the globe, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

In reference to her original collection, Abney’s Punk in Residence release is named “Super Punk World,” a generative collection of 500 avatars. It was originally meant to be sold in a Dutch auction format.

A Dutch auction is a form of auction that begins at a high price and incrementally decreases until the collection either sells out or a reserve price is met.

Official Preview of Super Punk World
Official Preview of Super Punk World

In response to the backlash, Yuga Labs CEO Greg Solano took to social media to address the community’s concerns.

“Our plan is to get Nina’s latest collection into the hands of those who have been supporting her work in this space by making it available only to SuperCoolWorld holders. Current thinking is via randomized airdrop.”

He went on to say, “What about punks? Yuga will no longer touch punks. They will just be decentralized and preserved on the blockchain.”