Many CryptoPunk 9 portraits ended up being sold just under $ 17 million at a Christie’s auction on Tuesday night, marking another major moment for NFT’s art sales. The batch of pixelated portraits came from the collection of NFT platform co-creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson.
The CryptoPunks platform is one of the first NFT projects on the Ethereum blockchain. In 2017, ten thousand of the procedurally generated characters were given away for free. In the following years, a vibrant NFT community developed around the “Punks”. In recent months, in the wake of a broader NFT boom, prices have exploded.
Last month, TechCrunch profiled the community and some of its buyers who paid tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars each to join CryptoPunk’s exclusive owners club.
Tuesday’s sale marks a substantial payday for the creators of the project, but comes a few days after a much more substantial one: the release of their new project called dating which raised nearly $ 80 million in sales in just hours.
Christie’s final offering was $ 14.5 million, $ 16.96 million after fees.
Many within the crypto community had expected the sale to reach an even higher premium in recent weeks, which had led to a substantial increase in CryptoPunk prices in the weeks leading up to the auction. Although the lot was sold for a significantly higher dollar amount, when valued in denominations of the growing cryptocurrency Ethereum, the entire package was sold for slightly less than the selling price of the last alien figure, which was sold in March for 4,200 Eth (about $ 7.2 million USD at the moment).