Meanwhile, The First-Ever NFT Was Also Auctioned, Fetching Close To $1,5 Million

The NFT craze, which unleashed a new market for both artists and collectors, seems to be continuing, despite the evident cooldown. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are digital objects such as drawings, animations, pieces of music, photo, or video with a blockchain-based certification of authenticity, which cannot be forged or otherwise manipulated.

The first-ever NFT – “Quantum”, sold at Sotheby’s for $1,47 million. The octagon-shaped animation, drawn by New York artist Kevin McCoy, managed to hold its crown of being the first digital work to have an NFT-type certificate of ownership in May 2014, nearly three years before the NFT term even existed.

And while NFTs can be easily bought, sold, and held via NFT exchanges, the traditional auction world also joins the race as both Sotheby’s and Christie’s regularly announce new NFTs for sale.

For example, Punk 7523, one of nine Aliens in the canonical Larva Labs series, managed to generate enough interest to overcome the 8-digit barrier and sold for $11.8 million at Sotheby’s. This is the biggest single CryptoPunks purchase so far, surpassing the $7.57 million record set by another Alien earlier this year.

“First released in 2017 by artists Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the founders of Larva Labs, CryptoPunks were one of the earliest NFT projects and a catalyst for the entire Crypto-Art movement. While the duo released 10,000 Punks for free – besides a small transaction fee – they have since been the subject of a tsunami of interest,” the auction house announced.

Out of the 10,000+ CryptoPunks, only 24 exist in a physical form, except their digital representation. The 24 rare art pieces set is less than a quarter of a percent of the total number of digital CryptoPunks in existence.

The auction house plans to place five more NFTs for bidding. Again, they will be auctioned as standalone pieces of art, rather than a part of a set. The “Natively Digital” collection, put for auction, also includes artwork from crypto artists like Pak, XCOPY, and FVCKRENDER.

The “Alien CryptoPunks” NFT changed its ownership right after the owner - from crypto enthusiast Sillytuna to Shalom Meckenzie, a shareholder at DraftKings.

However, the NFT sector gave to the pressure from Bitcoin’s 50% market wipeout from mid-May 2021. Weekly sales across some of Ethereum’s favorite NFT projects spiked at about $176 million in early May, but then quickly fell down the rest of the month.

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