CryptoPunks enthusiasts and hopeful bidders gathered Wednesday night at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City for what turned out to be a non-event after the consignor of 104 CryptoPunks decided to hodl.
Following this announcement, a panel discussion was held on the history and impact of nonfungible tokens. Sherone Rabinovitz (technologist, CryptoPunk expert) and Kenny Schachter (art critic, curator) constituted the panel. Colborn Bell, the founder of Museum of Crypto Art, moderated.
— sherone.eth (@Sherone33) February 23, 2022
When asked about the early history of Larva Labs and CryptoPunks, Rabinovitz, who produced a documentary about the team in 2018, began by lauding CryptoPunks as the first project “to get everything right.” Larva Labs used their “magic” to create a digital ownership experiment that tested everything, from its aesthetics to its market. He said that CryptoPunks’ beauty goes beyond the pixels and cultural payload, and that the code is beautiful enough to print, frame, and hang on the wall.
In 2017, Larva Labs heralded blockchain-based generative art on Ethereum with its algorithm that randomly generated pixelated punk characters. Punks has been a well-known NFT and is now one of the most valuable in the world. It is currently the most-traded collection on OpenSea in terms of volume.
Schachter, on the other hand, discovered NFTs and CryptoPunks much later in 2020, admitting he didn’t like it at first. He said that “I believe one of the most important aspects in life is to connect and try to understand why your don’t love what you like,” adding that he later fell in love with CryptoPunks. He explained:
“They’ve become a paradigm shift in the history of culture, something which is a hybrid between Fine Art and collectibles. They’ve changed the history and meaning of art, without ever being intended to be art pieces. “
Colborn then chimed in to point out that even though Schachter doesn’t own a Punk, he embodies the spirit of one. Colborn said that Punks are people who are brave, speak up, and believe in the possibility of change.
Rabinovitz noted that an element about CryptoPunks that goes “unappreciated” is that the collection falls within the pop art movement, alongside Andy Warhol’s work:
“If you’re focusing too much on rarity, you’re kind of missing the point. Remember what Punks are. They are ambassadors for a new age and a new movement. “
Schachter, who launched his own parody collection of NFTs called CryptoMutts, left the audience with his hopes for a future where all digital works will be projected into real space and where NFT communities continue to inspire more artists.
Last year, Sotheby’s set a world record with an $11.8 million sale for a single CryptoPunk. And Bored Apes Yacht Club, the second-most traded NFT collection, flipped CryptoPunks’ floor price. At the time of publication, the lowest priced Punk is at 59. 95 ETH, or $148,223, whereas the lowest priced Bored Ape goes for 80 ETH, or $201,549.
CryptoPunks earned the #20 ranking in Cointelegraph’s 2022 list of Top 100 influencers in crypto and blockchain.