In Test of Bitcoin NFTs, Yuga Labs' TwelveFold Art Auction Draws $16.5M

In Test of Bitcoin NFTs, Yuga Labs' TwelveFold Art Auction Draws $16.5M

8 months ago

The 300-piece generative art project was largely a toe dipped into the fledgling Bitcoin ordinal market, in which NFT-like inscriptions are saved on the smallest fraction of a BTC.

In Test of Bitcoin NFTs, Yuga Labs' TwelveFold Art Auction Draws $16.5M


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The studio behind top Ethereum NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club dipped a toe into Bitcoin Ordinals and came away with $16.5 million.

Yuga Labs developed the TwelveFold collection of 300 generative art NFT as a test of sorts of the new quasi-NFTs — technically inscriptions — that can be written onto individual satoshis, the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin. Each BTC has 100 million "sats."

The protocol allows anything from text and images to audio and even smart contracts to be inscribed onto Bitcoin. Last week, research from crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital predicted ordinals would be a $4.5 billion market by 2025.

The TwelveFold project has, unsurprisingly, a lot of connections to the number 12, which is in turn a nod to Bitcoin's blockchain, according to Yuga Labs chief content officer and TwelveFold artist Figge. The blockchain has "on average, 144 blocks (12x12) of Bitcoin are mined each day," Figge tweeted. "Each series maintains a theme spread across 12 unique pieces."

It goes on from there.

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As for the auction, the top 288 bids were accepted, with 12 TwelveFolds reserved for "contributors, future donations and philanthropic efforts.

The top bid was 7.1159 BTC and the lowest 2.2501. That's about $160,000 and $50,000 when the auction closed on March 6.

Unlike many Ethereum NFTs which simply link to JPEGs on a server, the art on TwelveFold's ordinals is inscribed on-chain — making it immutable, the project's website said.

Unlike many Yuga projects, which are interactive, related and have ongoing activities and even events associated with them, TwelveFold is "a complete art project and will not have other utility or interact with or be related to any previous, ongoing, or future Ethereum-based Yuga projects," the company said.

And while the top NFT artist by sale price, Mike "Beeple" Winklemann, registered his approval of the TwelveFold art — tweeting 🤘🤘🤘 — the actual bidding format of the auction raised some hackles.

Notably with Bitcoin Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor, who expressed his discontent with the method of taking custody of bidders tokens and promising to send non-winners their funds back. Prompting a complaint that while Yuga is likely good for it, normalizing that method is manna for scammers.

Among the less impolite of Rodarmor's comments was to call Yuga "highly regarded morons" and threaten to "wash my hands of you forever and encourage others, including those close to me to do the same" if they ever repeated the tactic.
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