Sotheby’s auction of 104 CryptoPunks NFTs, estimated to fetch $30M, canceled after seller withdraws

Sotheby's has canceled the auction of 104 CryptoPunks expected to fetch an estimated $20-$30 million after the owner had a change of heart.
Sotheby’s has canceled the auction of 104 CryptoPunks after the owner had a change of heart. Credit: CryptoPunks

Key Takeaways

  • Sotheby’s had to cancel the auction of 104 CryptoPunks after the owner decided to keep them.
  • The auction house expected the lot to fetch anywhere between $20-30 million.

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) – Sotheby’s has canceled the auction of the much-anticipated collection of 104 CryptoPunks NFTs. The reason? Either the seller has had a change of heart, or he was trolling the famous auction house. 

The action was set to take place on February 23, according to an announcement Sotheby’s put out earlier this month. The auction house went as far as calling it “A truly historic sale.” Well, it has now turned into a historic disappointment. 

“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,”  

the auction house announced.

The unidentified owner who goes by the name “0x650d,” acquired the group of 104 CryptoPunks in July 2021. He had planned to auction the entire collection as a single lot. Sotheby’s had estimated the group to fetch between $20 million to $30 million. 

According to reports, the owner purchased the entire lot for $7 million. 

Recommended: Man takes OpenSea to court over his stolen Bored Ape (BAYC) NFT.

Owner cancels CryptoPunks auction: people find it distasteful 

On the day the auction was supposed to commence, Sotheby’s announced the cancellation of the auction. 

“Following discussions with the consignor, tonight’s Punk It sale has been withdrawn. Thank you to our panelists, guests, and viewers for joining us,” 

the auction house announced.

The holder of the CryptoPunks also took to Twitter to confirm that he had decided not to go ahead with the auction.

“nvm (never mind), decided to hodl,”

 he wrote.

He even shared a meme claiming to have rug-pulled Sotheby’s. While some laughed, it did not catch the fancy of everyone. 

Farokh, the founder of RugRadio founder slammed him for acting like what he did was funny.

Compound Funds founder Robert Leshner also found the cancellation unfortunate. 

“The last-minute withdrawal of the Punk It auction unfortunately had the opposite effect. A sad day for digital art collectors,” 

he said.

However, not everyone was disappointed. Some considered the cancellation decision reasonable, claiming it would be a mistake to part with the CryptoPunks.

“Amazing day. The seller realized just how valuable what he holds is… maybe he never understood Punks are the Warhol’s of the 21st century and the panel before the auction saved him from the biggest mistake of his life by letting them go,”

 CryptoPunk #4052 holder said.

As the nonfungible token industry continues to gain traction, CrytpoPunks continues to be one of the top coveted collections out there. At the time of writing, the project has generated 846.5,000 ETH, according to data on OpenSea. In fiat currency terms, that is over $1.5 billion. 

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CryptoPunks, Sotheby’s auction of 104 CryptoPunks NFTs, estimated to fetch $30M, canceled after seller withdraws

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