Bloomberg has a new piece all about the metaverse market place for proprietary digital art avatars. Because it's not enough that we live in a world where people are investing actual, legitimate money into a glorified version of The Sims; of course there's a whole industry just for non-fungible token avatars where people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) just to lay claim to a cartoon digital identity.
What's even more dystopian — though not at all surprising — is that the price of these CryptoPunk digital avatars varies wildly depending on the race and gender of the digital cartoon.
CryptoPunks are also divided by sex: there are 6,039 males and 3,840 females, and there are fewer female punks in circulation. Since August, a total of 2124 male CryptoPunks have sold, with a median minimum sale price of 99 ETH (~$431,000), according to data from DeGenData. Over the same period, 1165 female avatars have sold for a median minimum sale price of 95 ETH (~$414,000).
Since August, when NFTs exploded into the mainstream, the average weekly minimum sale price of mid- and dark-skinned CryptoPunks has been below that of lighter-skinned peers, according to DeGenData, a company that tracks date of CryptoPunks sales. So has the price of female Punks, compared to male Punks.
(The Bloomberg article has some price-tracking graphs, too)
And wouldn't you know it, people are shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that real-world biases would somehow port over to the digital realm. As crypto-billionaire investor Mike Novogratz tweeted:
John Watkinson, the co-founded of Larva Labs, which created these CryptoPunk NFT avatars, told Bloomberg that, "We are dismayed with the pricing discrepancies along racial and gender lines in the CryptoPunks. Unfortunately, as the market is purely decentralized, we have no levers at our disposal to directly affect it." Which is really just the most depressingly perfect response I could imagine.
Even in the Metaverse, Not All Identities Are Created Equal [Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Akayla Gardner / Bloomberg]
Image via YouTube