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A 'CryptoPunk' NFT called 'Covid Alien' was bought for $11.8 million by DraftKings' largest shareholder in a Sotheby's auction

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 11 Jun 2021

<p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/60c279136d855e00181576f9-2400/GettyImages-1317721353.jpg" border="0" alt="People walk past a CryptoPunk digital art NFT displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square." style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" data-mce-source="Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)" data-mce-caption="People walk past a CryptoPunk digital art NFT displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>The non-fungible token of a character from the "CryptoPunk" series fetched <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/reviews/out'u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sothebys.com%2Fen%2Fbuy%2Fauction%2F2021%2Fnatively-digital-cryptopunk-7523%2Fcryptopunk-7523">$11.8 million Thursday</a>, setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk, luxury auction house Sotheby's said.</p><p>The NFT, dubbed "Covid Alien," was bought by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of online sports gambling firm DraftKings.</p><p>The sought-after token called "CryptoPunk #7523" is one of the nine alien CryptoPunks made by artists Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the founders of Larva Labs, in 2017. It is the only one with a mask.</p><p>Before the sale, a collector known as Sillytuna owned the token.</p><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en" data-cards="" data-conversation=""><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Moments ago in our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/London'src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#London</a> saleroom, an extremely rare Alien CryptoPunk #7523 from the collection of <a href="https://twitter.com/sillytuna'ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sillytuna</a> sold for $11.8M as part of our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NativelyDigital'src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NativelyDigital</a> NFT auctionsetting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk. <a href="https://t.co/PDVUSttI3o">pic.twitter.com/PDVUSttI3o</a></p> Sotheby's (@Sothebys) <a href="https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/1402996062474760193'ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 10, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><p>In total, there are 10,000 24 x 24-pixel CryptoPunks with no two that are exactly alike. Other characters in the collection are composed of 24 apes, 88 zombies, 3,840 females, and 6,039 males.</p><p>The NFTs were initially released for <a href="https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks">free</a> besides a small transaction fee but the record-breaking amount seen from Covid Alien indicates the massive interest investors have.</p><p>Following the sale, the auction house <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/reviews/out'u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sothebys.com%2Fen%2Fpress%2Fpunks-on-paper%3Flocale%3Den">announced</a> it will offer five "exceptionally rare" CryptoPunks later in June.</p><p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/60c2622f6d855e00181576a7-1416/download.png" border="0" alt="download" data-mce-source="Sotheby's" data-mce-caption="CryptoPunks launched on June 23, 2017 by studio Larva Labs" data-link="https://www.sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/natively-digital"></p><p>NFTs have <a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/nfts-majority-americans-surveyed-digital-art-more-than-a-fad-2021-4-1030272455'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener">soared in popularity</a><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/non-fungible-tokens-nfts-have-taken-over-heres-why-theyre-important-2021-4'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> this year</a>. The market thus far has seen immense growthand buyers now vastly exceed sellers, according to a report fromL'Atelier BNP Paribas.</p><p>These tokens are <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/non-fungible-tokens-nfts-have-taken-over-heres-why-theyre-important-2021-4'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener">digital representations of artwork, sports cards, or other collectibles </a>tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated nor edited.</p><p>When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/why-are-people-buying-nfts-investing-in-nft-crypto-art-2021-3'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener">unique token</a>on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing, especially to artists.</p><p>Many have speculated the space is<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/is-nft-market-bubble-crypto-art-sales-popular-prices-plunge-2021-4'utm_source=markets&amp;utm_medium=ingest" target="_blank" rel="noopener">in a bubble,</a> and apart from some massive sales, evidence shows the craze may be cooling for now. The number of <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/crypto-art-nft-millennial-entrepreneurs-ikonick-disrupting-market-2021-6">NFT sales for June is about half of what they were during March's peak</a>, the industry tracker <a href="https://nonfungible.com/market/history" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="100" data-uri="6c749865d9cab45b2758bb028d79c177">NonFungible.com</a>showed.</p><p><em><strong>Read more:</strong> <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/crypto-analysis-why-bitcoin-sell-off-over-ether-could-triple-2021-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The CIO at a digital asset hedge fund that returned 373% in 2020 breaks down why bitcoin's sell-off is in its final stagesand shares why he thinks ether could triple from current levels</a></em></p><p><a href="https://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/cryptopunk-nft-covid-alien-draftkings-sothebys-auction-fungible-token-2021-6-1030513788#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/sneaky-ways-costco-buy-more-tricks-2018-5">Sneaky ways Costco gets you to buy more</a></p>
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