CryptoPunk #5822 is seen as desirable for many reasons. It's only one of nine Alien Punks that exist — and has just one attribute: a blue bandana.
A CryptoPunk NFT has sold for $23.7 million — setting a new record for the biggest transaction that the collection has ever seen.
This more than doubles the previous all-time high of $11.8 million that was seen back in June 2021, and indicates that the craze surrounding the 10,000 uniquely generated characters is far from dying down.
There had been speculation that wash trading was to blame for inflating the value of CryptoPunk #5822 after it changed hands for 8,000 ETH.
But it's since emerged that the NFT was snapped up by Chain CEO Deepak Thapiyal directly from a marketplace operated by Larva Labs, which created the collection.
CryptoPunk #5822 is seen as desirable for many reasons. It's only one of nine Alien Punks that exist — and whereas several characters have a number of distinctive attributes, this punk only has one: a blue bandana.
Whereas some NFTs end up changing hands on a regular basis, this punk was last sold all the way back in July 2017 — long before collectibles hit the mainstream — for 8 ETH, worth $1,646 at the time.
This means that the CryptoPunk's ETH value has surged by 99,900%, while its dollar value is up by a staggering 1,397,226%.
Thapiyal confirmed that he had utilized Compound Finance to fund the transaction, writing:
"Basically long'd ETH to punk in. #DeFi FTW."
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The leaderboards for the most expensive NFTs ever sold are continually shifting — with Beeple's epic work Everydays: The First 5,000 Days stubbornly remaining at #1 with a price of $69.3 million.
Another of Beeple's works — Human One — had also commanded the second spot at $29 million. The dramatic 3D sculpture was equipped with video screens that drew images from the Ethereum blockchain.
But Human One was displaced from the #2 this week when AssangeDAO bought an NFT created by Pak for $54 million — with 100% of the proceeds going to a foundation that is supporting the WikiLeaks founder's defense as he battles extradition to the U.S.
With Human One now at #3, CryptoPunk #5822 slides in at #4 — but the question now is whether it will remain here for much longer.
Later this month, Sotheby's will be selling a lot of 104 CryptoPunks, and it's estimated they will collectively fetch $20 million to $30 million during the live evening auction on Feb. 23.
Some of those watching the industry believe this estimate is incredibly conservative that a single punk went under the hammer for a whopping $11.8 million in June.