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A panel at a Sotheby’s auction claims that cryptopunks “have revolutionized the history of art”

Despite the fact that a sale of 104 CryptoPunks was halted, auction attendees and live stream viewers listened to a panel of NFT professionals who conveyed their passion for Punks.

Fans of CryptoPunks and eager buyers gathered at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City on Wednesday night for what turned out to be a non-event when the consignor of 104 CryptoPunks opted to hodl.

However, following the announcement, a live panel discussion on the history of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and CryptoPunks was held. Sherone Rabinovitz, a techie and CryptoPunk expert, and Kenny Schachter, an art critic and curator, were on the panel. The event was moderated by Colborn Bell, the founder of the Museum of Crypto Art.

When asked about Larva Labs and CryptoPunks’ early history, Rabinovitz, who created a documentary about the team in 2018, began by praising CryptoPunks as the first initiative to “do everything right.” Larva Labs “sprinkled their magic” on an experiment to explore digital ownership, from the aesthetics to the markets. He went on to say that the code is “beautiful” enough to print, frame, and display on the wall, and that the beauty of CryptoPunks goes “beyond the pixels and the cultural payload.”

With its algorithm that generated pixelated punk characters at random, Larva Labs ushered in blockchain-based generative art on Ethereum in 2017. Punks have now garnered widespread awareness and have become one of the most valuable NFTs in the world. It is now the most traded collection on OpenSea in terms of volume.

NFTs and CryptoPunks, on the other hand, were discovered much later in 2020 by Schachter, who admitted he didn’t like them at first. “I think one of the most important things in life is to relate to other people and try to understand why they don’t like what they don’t like,” he added, adding that he finally learnt to adore CryptoPunks. He elaborated:

“They’ve evolved into a combination of Fine Art and Collectibles, and they’ve become a cultural paradigm shift. They have altered the course of art history without ever attempting to be an art piece.”

Colborn then said that, despite the fact that Schachter does not own a Punk, he represents the spirit of one. Punks, according to Colborn, are people who are courageous, speak their minds, express their values, and believe that change is possible.

One aspect of CryptoPunks that goes “underappreciated,” according to Rabinovitz, is that it belongs to the pop art movement, alongside Andy Warhol’s work:

“You’re losing the purpose if you’re focused too much on rarity. Remember what Punks are. They’re representatives of a new era and a new movement.”

Schachter, who just released CryptoMutts, a parody collection of NFTs, expressed his expectations for a future in which all digital works are projected into real space and NFT communities continue to inspire new artists.

Last year, Sotheby’s broke a global record by selling a single CryptoPunk for $11.8 million. The second-most-traded NFT collection, Bored Apes Yacht Club, inverted CryptoPunks’ floor price. At the time of publication, the cheapest Punk costs 59.95 ETH ($148,223), while the cheapest Bored Ape costs 80 ETH ($201,549).

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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