NFT enthusiasts and fine art collectors were baffled after a last-minute auction for a collection of 104 cryptopunks, valued at around $30 million, was cancelled.
Organized by renowned art auctioneer Sotheby’s, the event was set to be one of the largest NFT auctions in history – until the owner’s pseudonym “Punk It!” Collection unexpectedly pulled out of the auction.
The reasons why the CryptoPunk hodler made the move remain unclear, however, after the auction was cancelled, the anonymous owner, who uses “0x650d” on Twitter, sent out a seemingly casual tweet to his 12k followers, tagging “nvm solved the hodle”.
nvm, decided to go https://t.co/WdQ5H7I0fl— 0x650d (@0x650d) February 24, 2022
The collector continued to cover the situation by posting a meme hinting that they are “bringing punks to the mainstream by fighting Sothebys.” While it wasn’t really a “rug pull” whereby investors are illegally forfeited, it certainly left Sotheby’s and the community in the dark.
pic.twitter.com/M0l9wvH3T5— 0x650d (@0x650d) February 24, 2022
Charalobos Voulgaris, a quantitative researcher for the Dallas Mavericks, called the collector a “clown.”
“[0x650d]may have clarified a bit the reasons for his decision to withdraw – he decided to ridicule the high fees charged by auction houses such as Sotheby’s.
Salty, what now you have to buy at retail? — 0x650d (@0x650d) February 24, 2022
The NFT industry has seen near exponential growth in 2021, with Larva Labs-built CryptoPunks generating over $2 billion in sales since inception.
Although it would have been the first Sotheby’s event entirely dedicated to NFTs, the auction house has shown an ability to capitalize on the lucrative NFT market, selling more than $100 million worth of NFTs last year alone, of which $24 million came at one time. auction.
Related: CryptoPunks community reacts to ongoing copyright battle between v1 and v2
This recent clash sheds light on the ideological gulf between Web 3’s nonconformist “cyberpunk” culture and the more restrained, “intellectual” culture of traditional institutions.