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Why Did a CryptoPunk Owner Refuse to Accept $9.5 Million in Ethereum for His NFT?

Is it possible to place a price on a rapidly expanding NFT brand? Maybe, but not for the Punk avatar’s owner.

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With a beginning price of approximately $400,000 worth of ETH on the secondary market and dozens of sales over $1 million to date, CryptoPunks is the most valuable NFT avatar collection. When a $9.5 million offer for his CryptoPunk came through, one owner could have cashed in big, but he swiftly declined.

Richerd Chen is the co-founder of Manifold, an NFT smart contract developer, but to his 59,000 Twitter followers, he’s the Punk with 3D glasses, black “frumpy hair,” and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. “My punk is not for sale,” Chen tweeted last week in a conversation. “I’m not interested in anything someone has to give.”

It’s a big statement, and someone decided to put it to the test. Chen was offered 2,500 ETH ($9.5 million) on Friday via the CryptoPunks secondary market, which developer Larva Labs administer. Chen could have accepted the offer and promptly swapped his ownership of CryptoPunk #6046 for the ETH stash because of how the site operates.

Patricio Worthalter, the author of the Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP), an increasingly popular mechanism to reward communities with NFT badges for attending events, submitted the bid. “Come on Richerd,” Worthalter tweeted from the POAP Twitter account, challenging Chen to make a move. Don’t you want to be remembered as the #1 CryptoPunk sale of all time?”

In terms of dollars, it would be the largest on-chain CryptoPunk sale to date, with the current record sitting at $7.58 million (4,200 ETH at the time). In June, a CryptoPunk sold for $11.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction; however, the transaction did not occur on the Ethereum blockchain via Larva’s platform and thus did not appear on the site’s leaderboard.

In any event, $9.5 million in ETH for a JPEG avatar is a lot of money. Chen, on the other hand, rejected.

Late Friday, he explained his reasoning on Twitter, explaining that he has “built up a significant brand around” his CryptoPunk, including the connection to Manifold, a studio behind some of the most inventive NFT projects around—including work by Mad Dog Jones and Pplpleasr—that recently raised funds from Andreessen Horowitz and Initialized Capital.

“My identity, as well as the identities of other great Punks and Apes, has worth outside of the NFT.” He tweeted, “We have our brands, just like any other brand, and they have worth. This was an easy refusal for me because I respect my brand and personality.”

That’s why NFT avatars exist: they represent people on social media and in communities, and CryptoPunks and other high-end collections (like the Bored Ape Yacht Club he mentioned) are also status symbols. On Twitter, even rapper Snoop Dogg uses a CryptoPunk, and his NFT-collecting persona Cozomo de’ Medici also uses a CryptoPunk that he owns.

Some NFT collectors and producers even go by the name of their Punk. Punk 6529, for example, is well-known for his lengthy Twitter threads describing his vision for the future of NFTs and the metaverse. Meanwhile, Punk 4156 is a co-creator of the innovative Nouns NFT initiative, in which purchasers contribute to the creation of intellectual property based on the characters. Finally, Artchick, a well-known NFT developer, has changed her identity to 2476 after her CryptoPunk alter ego.

An NFT functions as a deed of ownership for valuable digital property, such as an avatar, an image, a video game item, or something else entirely. CryptoPunks was created in 2017, long before the NFT market explosion this year, and even before Ethereum established an NFT standard. There are 10,000 CryptoPunks in all, with the majority of them being given away for free when the game first launched. Since then, they’ve generated roughly $1.5 billion in trading volume between them.

Even though $9.5 million in ETH is significantly more than the average recent CryptoPunk selling price, Chen sees more value in keeping his NFT and retaining his brand. In addition, many in the NFT community have lauded him for having “diamond hands,” a term used to describe someone who is steadfast in the face of intense pressure to sell.

“In the NFT space and Punks, I have a lot of faith. I think quite a long term when it comes to [the] NFTs space,” he tweeted. “In the long run, I believe my brand, identity, and what I’m doing in the NFT area will be far more important.”

ART & COLLECTABLES

The UAE is the First Country in the Middle East to Issue NFT Stamps

The United Arab Emirates has taken a positive stance on cryptocurrency. To honor National Day, the country’s postal service is now releasing NFTs.

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#nft #uae #post "stamps #dubai #abudhabi

To honor the federation’s 50th National Day, the United Arab Emirates’ postal service is releasing nonfungible token (NFT) stamps, adding to indications that digital collectibles are gaining public appeal worldwide.

The Emirates Post Group, or EPG, revealed this week that it is the first postal body in the Middle East and North Africa to issue digital-collectible stamps. The new stamps are blockchain-based digital twins that will be marketed as digital collectibles linked to their physical counterparts and will be unveiled on December 2nd, National Holiday.

A total of four stamps will be printed, each with a unique design based on a national subject. After scanning a QR code printed on the card, buyers will see the digital design connected to the actual stamp they purchased. Next, users must scan a QR code hidden beneath the card to unlock the digital item on the blockchain.

Embracing NFTs, according to EPG CEO Abdulla Mohammed Alashram, is in line with the company’s objective of becoming more digitally focused. EPG is “exploring how the introduction of blockchain technology might streamline and enhance our processes and provide other competitive benefits” in the wake of the COVI-19 outbreak.

When questioned if the NFT stamps are a one-time dive into blockchain or part of a larger strategy to embrace the new technology, Alashram indicated EPG intends to release more digital stamps in the future:

“The use of the most up-to-date digital technologies in our operations also caters to the technology-savvy age that seeks digitally accessible services. We’re working on new NFT stamps as part of our attempts to bridge the gap between traditional postage stamps and the digital world.”

The United Arab Emirates has taken a progressive stance on blockchain technology and digital assets, with local regulators pushing for a plethora of crypto-friendly policies. In September, local officials in Dubai’s economic free zone adopted a new legislative framework that supports cryptocurrency trading and related activities, potentially paving the way for broader acceptance and innovation in the emirate.

In late October, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, or DFSA, addressed the rules surrounding so-called investment tokens. The framework is designed to give investors and market participants legal certainty.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

An NFT Armageddon Could Arrive Next Month, According to a Bitcoin Expert

The main NFT projects have been treated with care by 2021. During an initial February spike, non-fungible tokens such as NBA Top Shot and CryptoPunks led the charge.

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#nft #armageddon #nfthours

Following various dips and dives and a strong comeback in many key NFT projects over the last eight months, the future seems bright.

Charles Edwards, the founder of Capriole Investments and a crypto executive, sees the end of the year as a probable NFT winter. So let’s take a look at what we’ve seen so far and what we might expect in the future.

An NFT Winter?

In a recent tweet, Edwards makes an excellent point, pointing out that the improvements in NFTs this year have been ludicrous. While many in the crypto community have “diamond hands,” it’s realistic to assume that many will look to protect taxable gains before the end of the year:

The conversation in Edwards’ responses, on the other hand, offers a fascinating discussion on the logic of purchasing and selling. There are primarily two points of feedback: some believe that much of the selling pressure has already occurred (to which Edwards responds, “You think it’s done?”), and others believe that much of the selling pressure has yet to happen. Others argue that individuals will sell losers rather than winners.

Are people selling their significant initiatives to make money? Or will the most vulnerable NFT projects be those in the middle to lower tiers? Many people believe that the world’s Bored Apes and CryptoPunks will be immune to such selling pressure. This is based on the fact that those have been extraordinary winners this year, with unrivaled returns (and also the formation of clearly lasting communities with high financial barriers to entry now). Why sell when the future is so bright when these attributes are present?

Overall, no one knows what the eventual result will be (and there’s reasoning in both camps), and it’ll most likely be a test of the long-term belief system that underpins NFTs.

What We’ve Noticed

DappRadar is a wonderful source of information about crypto and NFTs. When we look at 30-day marketplace data, we can see that most of the top names suffer volume drops. On the 30-day data, OpenSea, Solana’s Magic Eden, centralized Flow platform NBA Top Shot, SuperRare, and Rarible are all showing volume drops. Some of those who defy the odds? Decentraland has witnessed a recent uptick in popularity, Axie Infinity continues to lead the play-to-earn sector, and WAX platform and cross-market AtomicMarket have also fared successfully.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Bored Apes and CryptoPunks Accounted for Eight of the Top Ten NFTs Sales Last Month

Athletes, entertainers, and personalities from popular culture are flocking to the NFT.

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#nft #boredapes #crypto #topsalespunks #

According to NonFungible.com, four Bored Apes and four CryptoPunks accounted for eight of the ten largest NFT sales in the last 30 days. A plot of land in Decentraland and a digital art piece developed by XCOPYART named “A Coin for the Ferryman” for 1,330 ETH ($6 million, the highest-selling) were the other two NFTs sold.

On November 22, the top Bored Ape (#544) sold for 675.01 ETH ($2.81 million), and on November 11, the highest CryptoPunks sold for 500 ETH ($2.38 million).

According to OpenSea, the Bored Ape Yacht Club was the most popular NFT collection in terms of monthly volume traded on their platform, with a total amount of 44.8 thousand ETH (about $193 million), as seen below.

CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club are two of the most popular NFT collections

Larva Labs created the CryptoPunks NFT collection in 2017 as 10,000 randomly generated pixelated characters on the Ethereum Blockchain. Anyone with an Ethereum wallet was able to mine for free. CryptoPunks is credited with being one of the first NFT projects. Musicians like Jay Z and Snoop Dog have owned Punks, and Larva Labs just announced a partnership with one of Hollywood’s leading talent agencies.

“CryptoPunks have become some of the most sought-after NFTs on the market,”

Sotheby’s contemporary art specialist Michael Bouhanna remarked.

Four years later, the Bored Ape Yacht Club was formed, with each member being a distinct Bored Ape. The collection was launched in late April 2021 by anonymous developers and each ape cost between 190 and 200 dollars (0.08 Ether). According to CNET, the collection was sold out within 12 hours of its debut. Many celebrities will eventually join this club.

Is the Bored Aped Yacht Club on its way to becoming the new celebrity hangout?

The Bored Ape Yacht Club has recently caught the attention of several celebrities, including American rapper Future, who shared his Bored Ape on his Twitter profile photo on November 28 with the phrase “gm.”

Late-night TV star Jimmy Fallon joined the club in November, and shortly after, American rapper Post Malone unveiled one of his Apes in his new music video with The Weekend, “One Right Now.”

NBA player Stephen Curry, ex-NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, international DJs/producers such as Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, and Marshmello, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are among the other famous members, according to NFTnow.

There is no shortage of celebrities entering the realm of NFT ventures, and this could provide valuable support to the projects.

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