Delving into the blockchain records shows that not everything is as it seems.
There was feverish excitement on Crypto Twitter when an alert suggested that a CryptoPunk had sold for a whopping $532 million.
But delving into the blockchain records shows that not everything is as it seems.
As Larva Labs, the creator of the NFT collection, explained on Twitter:
"Someone bought this punk from themself with borrowed money and repaid the loan in the same transaction."
In other words, this was a flash loan — rather than a sign of a new buying frenzy targeting CryptoPunks.
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Examining the history of CryptoPunks helps explain why this $532 million price tag doesn't make sense.
Before this, the record for the priciest CryptoPunk NFT ever sold stood at $11.8 million.
And the most expensive non-fungible token of all time by Beeple went under the hammer for $69 million — but in ETH terms, the sum paid would be worth closer to $170 million at current exchange rates.
Overall, this seems like a rather sophisticated publicity stunt for CryptoPunks.
The collection features 10,000 avatars, and some feature rare and desirable attributes — but #9998, the one that sold for a nine-figure sum, lacks many of these coveted qualities.