On October 28th, a CryptoPunk NFT, cryptopunk #9988, was sold for $530 million. Technically, this could’ve been the largest sale in art history.
In reality, though, it might be just a clever publicity stunt, as the current owner actually bought the NFT from themselves. Here’s how it happened:
CryptoPunk #9988 sold for $530M… or not?
It was Thursday night, around 00:00 UTC. One of the Twitter bots reporting CryptoPunks sales in real-time spotted something. It was a 124,457.07 ETH transaction for the CryptoPunk #9998 NFT. The message accompanying the sale simply said “looks rare.”
However, the NFT was far from being rare. In fact, the alien punk sold for 4,200 ETH back in March featured much rarer traits! As a result, crypto experts quickly analyzed the shocking transaction to uncover the mystery.
The truth behind the CryptoPunk sale
Surprisingly, the $530M CryptoPunk sale was nothing more than a strategic smart contract move.
According to the Etherscan transaction details, the mysterious buyer actually purchased Cryptopunk #9988 from themselves. In essence, the collector used a wallet to create a flash loan. A flash loan is a decentralized finance tool used to loan notable amounts of crypto based on smart contracts.
Then, the buyer used a different wallet to buy his own NFT, which was transferred to the initial wallet after the purchase. At last, the buyer repaid the flash loan, which was obtained from multiple sources.
Angel investor Mariano Conti shared all of the details (simplified) in a Tweet:
How could the transaction happen? Well, that’s mainly because the same person can own multiple digital wallets. As a result, the CryptoPunk buyer was able to transfer the CryptoPunk from one wallet to another – although both wallets belonged to him.
Now, to answer the key question of this news: why would somebody do that?
Most on-chain analysts and collectors believe that the move was simply a well-organized publicity stunt. Meanwhile, others claim that the transaction was simply made for the love of the game, without any specific purpose.
The situation is even stranger, considering that the buyer did pay 0.19 ETH (about $800) for the transaction.
However, this isn’t the first incident of its kind. Back in February, a similar event happened with a HashMask NFT, which was allegedly “sold” for 139,000 ETH. Much like the punk, this NFT was also bought by the same owner using the same strategy as above.
CryptoPunks continue to make headlines
The #9998 CryptoPunks NFT sold to the same owner is just one of the notable things going on with the collection. Last month, the iconic collectibles’ floor price shortly dipped below 80 ETH on secondary marketplaces like OpenSea.
Nevertheless, the punks remain one of the most-wanted NFTs on the market. In fact, their popularity might even increase now that anybody can invest in their favorite punk for as low as $10.
To conclude, no, this punk’s story wasn’t so simple. However, here’s a list of the most expensive cryptopunks with genuine sales!