An auction of CryptoPunks was called off at the last minute earlier this year. The "audible gasps at Sothebys"-tier event was brushed off by the seller as "nvm, decided to hodl" but that only poses more questions. Why "hodl" when you're about to become so wealthy? At The Verge, Katie Rothstein explores the mystery: Why a $30 million CryptoPunks auction fell apart at the last minute
It's not uncommon for lots to be pulled ahead of sales, although it's typically the result of legal concerns or fear of a flop, as The New York Times noted after the failed auction. But for anyone dealing with auction houses or NFTs, it was hard not to speculate on the mysterious no-show. Kenny Schachter, art world provocateur and NFT collector who attended the sale, believes the seller pulled the lot after being informed by the auction house that it was unlikely to sell for the low estimate. Schachter even heard rumors of "a legitimate and significant offer" that the seller declined in advance of the failed auction — one that cleared $10 million but still fell short of the lower end of the estimate. It should have been a high point for CryptoPunks as a collection. Just a few months earlier, BAYC had sold a bundle of 101 tokens for $24 million, and CryptoPunks fans were primed for a similar victory. Instead, punk-holders left the auction feeling burned – and for good reason. "They were pretty devastated," Tan says. "They were showing me their Punks and they were like, 'this is the end, probably.'"
Last quote there says it all.
8 of the last 10 Cryptopunks that have been sold have been sold at a loss, led by this one — Cryptopunk #273.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 8, 2022
It was bought six months ago for $1,026,499, it sold early this morning for $139,530. pic.twitter.com/vSAonBerbl