What is the record for the most costly NFT ever sold? It is debatable. Beeple’s Everydays, a collage of digital art that sold for $69 million at Christie’s, is the official winner. Then there’s the case of a $532 million NFT that was sold in October. It’s tricky, as is typically the case with NFTs and Bitcoin.
A $532 million NFT was sold in October
The NFT in question is a CryptoPunk, which is part of a collection of 10,000 NFTs that are among the first-ever made. These are expensive since they are from the original NFT collection. They normally sell for $350,000 to $500,000, while some sell for millions of dollars.
However, whoever is behind this transaction purchased the Cryptopunk from themselves. NFTs are stored in digital wallets, just like Bitcoin. One user can create an unlimited number of wallets. The NFT was moved from Wallet A to Wallet B by this person. Then, for $532 million, Wallet C bought the NFT from Wallet B and instantly transferred it back to Wallet A.
Why utilize three wallets when you could just sell it from one to the other? It’s because the buyer didn’t pay for the deal with his own money, but instead received a “flash loan” from others. Flash loans are a sophisticated decentralized finance tool, but the gist is that they allow you to borrow large amounts of cryptocurrency if smart contract criteria are met. Consider buying a $1 million house with a loan, but only if you already had a buyer lined up who was willing to pay enough for you to earn a profit and repay the lenders’ interest. This gentleman performed the same thing, except he was the buyer as well as the seller.
The sale was rapidly found and speculated on Twitter and Discord, the sites where most NFT discussion takes place. The general view is that it was a publicity stunt designed to raise the price of the owner’s CryptoPunk.
Art NFTs are divided into two categories. One type is a one-of-a-kind, in which an artist makes a work of digital art and then sells it, similar to how real-world art sales work.
NFT collections, such as Cryptopunks, are another option. This is when artists and developers build a large number of NFTs (typically 10,000) with the same template but distinct attributes. For example, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has 10,000 apes dressed in various outfits, with various backgrounds and face expressions. The NFT becomes more expensive as the qualities get rarer — think of Pokemon cards. The “floor” price for Bored Apes is $190,000, although rare ones can sell for millions of dollars. (A recent auction of 101 sold for $24 million.)
CryptoPunks is regarded as the first NFT collection, having debuted in 2017 at a time when much of the globe was just getting started with Bitcoin. A CryptoPunk’s highest genuine sale is $11.7 million.
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