NFT prices have fallen substantially in recent weeks across the board from NBA’s Top Shots to Beeple B20 tokens but that hasn’t dissuaded Christie’s from pursuing the market. Today the auction house announced a single-lot of nine CryptoPunks being offered by Larva Labs, the creators of the cult digital collectibles, during the marquee 21st Century Evening sale on May 13th. This sale was formerly the Post-War and Contemporary art sale that saw seminal auction bidding wars like the battle for the $450 million Leonardo painting, Salvador Mundi.
CryptoPunks may not be Christ-like figures but for many in the digital collecting world the works have an almost religious significance. Christie’s specialist in the field, Noah Davis, captured that feeling this way: “The CryptoPunks are the alpha and omega of the CyptoArt movement.”
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Created by developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the 10,000 CryptoPunks are 8-bit 24 x 24 pixel images available on Larva Labs website. According to Christie’s, “There are 6,039 male Punks and 3,840 female Punks.” In addition, there is a subset or rarer “88 green-skinned zombie Punks, 24 hirsute ape Punks and nine light-blue-skinned alien Punks.”
Originally launched in 2017 when they were given away for free, Hall and Watkinson set aside 1000 of the CryptoPunks for themselves, “just in case it becomes a thing.” It did. Now Christie’s has a $7-9 million estimate for group of nine.
The peak of CryptoPunk value was March 11 of this year when CryptoPunk3100 sold for 4200 ETH ($7,678,482). Since then, prices have come down a fair bit. That doesn’t mean demand has evaporated. 184 sales of CryptoPunks in the last week for the equivalent dollar value of $8.396m suggests buyers are still clamoring for CryptoPunks.