- A Sotheby’s auction for 104 CryptoPunks was pulled after the seller “decided to hodl”
- The collection, bought last year, had a floor price of some $18 million
- The auction, billed as the “highest profile NFT sale of all time”, was pulled at the last minute
Sotheby’s was forced to pull the sale of 104 CryptoPunk NFTs at the last minute last week after the owner “decided to hodl”. Billed as the “highest profile NFT sale of all time”, the owner of the CryptoPunks, known only as 0x650d on Twitter, announced the sale in conjunction with Sotheby’s three weeks ago. The sale should have had a theoretical floor of $18 million, but there are suggestions that 0x650d was aware that bids weren’t reaching that level and pulled the sale before it could start.
Sotheby’s Hype Balloon Bursts
Sotheby’s had gone all out for the auction, ramping up the hype as far back as three weeks ago:
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 fact that all 104 CryptoPunks were being sold as a job lot was quite unique, with such large sales often split into groups. Christies sold a collection of nine CryptoPunks last May for $14.5 million, showing how far they have dropped in price since.
0x650d said at the time that he purchased the CryptoPunks in August last year and was selling them through Sotheby’s in order to give “the crypto and broader NFT community the opportunity to attend and participate in the auction.”
As for the reasons for the sale, 0x650d opined at the time that CryptoPunks would become one of the largest benefactors of the drive towards scarce digital assets and that he “simply could not pass up the opportunity to elevate CryptoPunks in the international art community”, adding that “the CryptoPunk collection will be solidified in the broader art world.”
The fact that it came with the chance to take home at least $15 million for the collection was seemingly not a factor.
CryptoPunk Collection Stays Where It Is
Come the day of the auction, which was accompanied by a panel talk hosted by Sotheby’s just before the auction itself, it seems that 0x650d’s desire to elevate CryptoPunks in the broader art world wasn’t that strong after all:
nvm, decided to hodl https://t.co/WdQ5H7I0fl
— 0x650d (@0x650d) February 24, 2022
The motives may have been much simpler than that, according to some observers:
only two reasons to withdraw a lot from auction at the last minute:
1, massive amount of private interest, deal is done privately to preserve confidentiality
2, auction house advises you that there isn’t sufficient demand and the lot is likely to BI (go unsold)
— AD (@Durer1502) February 24, 2022
I guess we’ll never know.
Jk, we know.