Since exploding onto the scene in 2021, non-fungible tokens—or NFTs—have pushed the boundaries of digital space. Whether creating new forms of art that build upon themselves or providing one-of-a-kind profile photos, NFTs have gained serious ground in the luxury marketplace, especially with platforms like Sotheby’s betting big on the assets.
Since 2021, Sotheby’s has brought in $100 million in NFT sales. Now, the auction house continues that streak with a single lot of 104 CryptoPunks estimated to be worth between $20 and $30 million.
Aptly titled “Punk It!,” the auction is set for Wednesday, Feb. 23. It will be Sotheby’s first NFT auction relegated to a physical location. The company’s New York flagship office will host the event.
CryptoPunks get the Sotheby's treatment. Our next #SothebysMetaverse sale 'Punk It! 104 CryptoPunks. 1 Lot.' will be a landmark LIVE Evening Auction on February 23. A truly historic sale for an undeniably historic NFT project. pic.twitter.com/LAu6j8Atu3— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) February 8, 2022
The auction will just be one part of a special night dedicated to the growth of NFTs. Before the sale, Sotheby’s will host a live panel to discuss the complete history of NFTs and CryptoPunks, showing their growth into the metasphere and their adoption into mainstream culture, including their use as profile pictures by major celebrities including Jay-Z and Jason DeRulo.
CryptoPunks are perhaps the most well-known NFT collectible on the market, and have been used as a symbol of the movement’s growth for the past year. First released in 2017 by a group called Larva Labs, each image features a pixel-art head with plenty of defining features, such as a scar, hat or glasses.
“CryptoPunks are the original PFP series that created the template for other NFT projects that have followed, and which helped propel NFTs to the global stage as one of the most recognizable visual styles that have become synonymous with the digital art movement,” Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s co-head of digital art, says in a statement. “To offer a group of 104 CryptoPunks as a single lot is a monumental occasion, and one that we are excited to present as a first-of-its-kind evening auction. Never before has there been a dedicated auction presenting NFTs on this level, and we can’t wait to invite the NFT and crypto art community to participate in this special sale.”
Moments ago in our #London saleroom, an extremely rare “Alien” CryptoPunk #7523 from the collection of @sillytuna sold for $11.8M as part of our #NativelyDigital NFT auction – setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk. pic.twitter.com/PDVUSttI3o— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 10, 2021
Sotheby’s is no stranger to the CryptoPunk brand, having regularly featured the group in its NFT digital auctions, including the “record-breaking” sale of CryptoPunk #7523. That image sold for $11.8 million in June 2021.
These 104 punks come from a single collector, the anonymous “0x650d.” The NFTs will be sold in a single blockchain transaction, and buyers will have the option to purchase the lot in cryptocurrencies Ether and Bitcoin, as well as the standard US Dollar. The images will be on display for five days before the auction in both a physical and digital exhibition, for those who wish to look before they purchase.
For those with $20 million to spend, perhaps you can pick up your next profile picture.