Spending millions on digital collectibles never made sense to you but like the look of CryptoPunks? Sotheby’s understands.
To bypass whatever mental block prevents you from spending your great-grandfather’s oil fortunes on intangible blockchain-based digital collectibles, the prestigious auction house is facilitating the sale of five print-outs from the collection of ten thousand lo-fi mugshots.
“These five fantastically rare ‘phygital’ punks form a very important bridge between the physical and the digital,” said Michael Bouhanna, a sales specialist from Sotheby’s, in a statement. “This is where the digital artworld meets the traditional.”
Of course, just like you can view all five here for zilch, you can print each of them here for millions less than the bidding price by the time the hammer swings on July 1. (A couple of the prints have attracted bids of about $120,000. Yesterday, Sotheby’s sold an “Alien” punk for a record $11.8 million).
The hefty price tag of the prints may be justified by their exclusivity. Only 24 “official" prints exist, and this auction marks the sale of the first five. In addition, the prints are signed and certified by the co-creator of CryptoPunks, John Watkinson.
Winning bidders will also receive an envelope sealed in wax with the insignia of CryptoPunks, inside which is a “paper wallet” that contains the mnemonic for the CryptoPunks NFT token.
The seller of the prints is Georg Bak, a Swiss curator and crypto art expert, who displayed two of the Punks in 2018 at the first exhibition held by the creators, Larva Lab.
“Just as revolutionary Duchamp’s urinal was over 100 years ago, the CryptoPunks have propelled the NFT onto a global stage, which continues to shake the art world today,” he said.
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