Sotheby’s: 104 NFT CryptoPunks withdrawn from sale

    Sotheby’s: 104 NFT CryptoSotheby’s: 104 NFT CryptoPunks withdrawn from salePunks ritirati dalla vendita

    On 23 February, the British auction house announced the grand sale of a series of CryptoPunks with an estimate of between $20 and $30 million. The owner decided to withdraw the lots at the last minute.

    A few days ago, Sotheby‘s auction house announced the first major evening auction, in the great hall of its New York headquarters, of one of the largest collections of CryptoPunks in history.

    The auction, called “Punk it!”, was supposed to be the first one with a million-dollar estimate dedicated to NFTs, but something went wrong.

    The set of 104 CryptoPunks for sale came from an anonymous collector known as 0x650d.


    CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 NFTs released in 2017 by Larva Labs, images minted as Non Fungible Token avatars with punk rock looking pixelated traits. Each NFT in the collection is unique, with different traits that are more or less rare, allowing it to stand out within the same collection.

    “CryptoPunks is the original PFP series – profile pic – that created the template for other NFT projects that followed,” said Michael Bouhanna, co-head of Sotheby’s Digital Art department.

    The auction house was prepared to accept bids in cryptocurrency only, giving the end buyer the option to pay in Ether, Bitcoin, USD or any fiat currency.


    Everything was ready, auctioneer, people in the room and the atmosphere was hot: everyone was sure that the sale of the 104 NFT CryptoPunks would happen, but as in the best stories here is the twist that comes via Twitter.

    The mysterious and anonymous collector 0x650d, owner of the NFTs, announced in a tweet that he wants to “hold” the NFTs in his possession and in his wallet.

    When the news spread around the room many people were astonished: it happens that one of many batches is withdrawn at the last minute, but in this case, since it was only one batch available, it seemed that this could not happen.


    At Sotheby’s New York showroom, rumours of the collector’s sudden decision caused many to turn up their noses, including one of the potential buyers who already had his paddle in hand to make his bid: Nabyl Charania.

    Charania was there representing the NFT-focused investment fund Meta4 Capital and said: “We’re not disappointed. We want the seller to get the price they want-we don’t want an antagonistic relationship“.

    Many people wondered why the batch was withdrawn, and here are some doubts:

    • The 104 Crypto Punks probably did not have any rare traits that could justify the maximum estimate of $20 to $30 million;
    • The anonymous collector 0x650d may have chosen to retain ownership because he believes in the long-term potential of the project: in the crypto community he was celebrated
    • Others saw the choice as the possibility of a flop, which would lead to a decline in interest in NFTs.
    • A fourth possibility is linked to the current unstable geopolitical situation, with the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the increasingly rapid decline in the value of ETH and Bitcoin, now at lows

    Whatever the reason that led the anonymous collector to withdraw the lot of 104 NFT CryptoPunks, Sotheby’s is not stopping, continuing to offer lots or entire auctions of NFTs, believing in the future of these digital objects.


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