World Record Price Paid For CryptoPunk at Auction: $11.8 Million

June 13, 2021, 9:00 AM AEST - 4 months ago

Sotheby’s sold a non-fungible token (NFT) artwork for a whopping US$11,754,000 this week, setting what the London auction house described as “a new world record [price] for a single CryptoPunk”.

Sotheby’s tweet, June 11

Titled “Covid Alien”, CryptoPunk 7523 is considered to be a rare NFT collectible, one of nine “alien punks” in a series and the only one with a COVID-appropriate mask.

The buyer is believed to be Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of online sportsbook and daily fantasy sports company DraftKings. Meckenzie has a net worth of US$1.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Once Free, Now Worth Millions

There are a total of 10,000 CryptoPunks, with no two exactly alike. When launched in 2017 by Larva Labs, original CryptoPunks were made available for free but several have changed hands recently for millions of dollars.

Two other “alien punks” sold for more than $7.5 million each, according to CryptoSlam, and seven more have gone for over a million each. In May, a collection of nine CryptoPunks sold for almost $17 million at Christie’s.

CryptoPunks are now among the most sought-after NFTs on the market … We’re excited to continue to explore new and interesting ways to present these cutting-edge works.

Michael Bouhanna, contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s

Anyone can view the artworks represented by NFTs, but only the buyer has official status as owner. Do NFTs have value? It is debatable whether NFTs actually have value, especially at the prices they are being sold for. All manner of digital objects – images, videos, music, text and tweets – can be turned into an NFT. American rock group Kings of Leon released their latest album in NFT earlier this year, allowing fans exclusive access to limited-edition vinyl or future concert seats.

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