Seller ‘Rugs’ Sotheby’s, Cancels $30 Million Auction At Last Minute

By Phil Stafford February 26, 2022 In Crypto News, NFTs

This week’s much-anticipated Sotheby’s auction of 104 CryptoPunks NFTs, dubbed Punk It!, was cancelled after the seller reneged on the sale and turned the non-event into a sick joke on Twitter:

Seller Only Succeeds in Rugging Bidders

Pseudonymous collector 0x650d facetiously tweeted “nvm, decided to hodl”, later posting a meme implying he was “taking punks mainstream” by “rugging” Sotheby’s. While no actual funds were lost, the collector did pull the proverbial rug from under bidders’ feet.

This stunt comes just over two weeks after the famous auction house announced the sale, which it estimated could have generated US$20 million to US$30 million.

Robert Leshner, creator of DeFi protocol Compound, tweeted that it was a “sad day for digital art collectors”:


In an apparent attack of conscience and a vain attempt to save face, 0x650d later tweeted that he had pulled out of the auction because of Sotheby’s exorbitant commission fees.

Stunt Blows Up in Seller’s Face

That drew an almost instantaneous withering response from @RugRadio founder Farokh.eth: “Bro you suck stop acting like you rugged Sotheby’s lmao you made everyone look stupid. Even the press here is laughing at us because of you stop hiding the guilt behind dumb ass memes.”

There was no shortage of support for Farokh’s comment. One tweet summed up the reaction of the NFT community:

The entire episode was also a bad look for Sotheby’s, which launched its own NFT marketplace – Sotheby’s Metaverse – in October 2021.

Phil Stafford

Phil Stafford

Phil is a long-standing Australian journalist with specialised experience in business, finance, travel and popular culture.

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