Auction house Christie’s will auction 9 rare CryptoPunks during their 21st Century Evening Sale this May in New York City. These punks all have mint numbers below 1,000, making them very wanted. They come out of the Larva Labs collection, and the selection includes an alien punk.
The nine CryptoPunks collectibles that will be sold, are pictured above. Among them is one alien punk, of which there are only nine in total. Two of those sold for a record $7.5 million each in March. Larva Labs and Christie’s will auction punks 2, 532, 58, 30, 635, 602, 768, 603 and 757. According to DappRadar’s value estimator, the floor prize of this collection is $5.8 million. Because of the low mint numbers and the fact that the auction is happening through Christie’s, we could be looking at an amount perhaps a couple of million higher.
Christie’s highlights CryptoPunks as the beginning of the modern crypto art movement. In total there are 10,000 punks on the market, minted three years ago on June 23th 2017. Each punk is 24×24 pixels and randomly generated following a set of rules. Christie’s considers the auction to be an historic sale. They will accept bids through traditional routes, and in ETH. The sale takes place on May 13th.
Keep in mind that Christie’s already has some experience with crypto art. They auctioned Beeple’s: The First 5000 Everydays for a record-breaking $69.3 million. Back in 2018 they also registered the auction of a collection onto a blockchain, while Robert Alice’s Block 21 combined both a physical piece and an NFT in October last year.
What are NFTs?
NFT is the abbreviation for non-fungible tokens, which are tokens that signify ownership over unique digital assets. These assets can for example be items in a game, crypto art, or digital collectibles. In addition it could also be a ticket for a cinema or perhaps a subscription for public transit. The usability of NFTs doesn’t end with gaming, it only starts there.
A non-fungible token can’t be swapped one-on-one with another non-fungible token. It represents something unique. That’s why non-fungible tokens can be based compared with rare art, an owned house or a signed mint edition of a certain comic book. These products are unique and in the same way a non-fungible token is unique as well. This gives non-fungible tokens also an unique value that only represents that one specific token.
What is crypto art?
Crypto art is a piece of digital art that is tokenized on the blockchain as a non-fungible token. That means that the owner of the token will always hold a proven and original copy of a piece of art. Just like physical art, there can be unlimited copies. But ultimately there can only be one Mona Lisa.
Mostly we value art for its aesthetics and cultural relevance, but above all on the ability to verify the creator and its proven rarity. With blockchain technology these last two features are part of the blockchain. Everybody can see and confirm who minted these original creations.
The concept of seeing a digital image as art, is one thing. However, for many people it will be a challenge to consider digital images as valuable. Consider this: The Mona Lisa is worth many millions of dollars. If I would paint the Mona Lisa in an exact copy, it would be worth only 50 dollars. Because we all know where the original version is. Being able to verify the authenticity and rarity of a piece of art is crucial. In the end everything can be art. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a still image, moving image, video, music or a combination of everything.