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The $532m CryptoPunk Sale that Wasn't

Obviously, the big news this week is Facebook’s plan to re-brand itself as Meta, making it very clear what its intents are, which is pretty much to own the Metaverse. Of course Crypto Twitter was all up in arms with a floodgate of memes inundating the platform. Some, very funny.

 







Anyway, in my opinion it’s an inevitable decision for Facebook. I picture Facebook’s war room a couple of years back, with 2 slides on the screen. One of Facebook’s customer base demographic trends and the other with Web 3.0 trends. A slam dunk. The problem for Facebook is its public perception especially from the crypto community. There’s is definitely plenty of justified skepticism towards FB and Marc Zuckerburg and in a way it is a clashing of cultures that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. On one side, Facebook, with a cult of personality, centralized decision power and a legacy relic of Web 2.0. On the other, Crypto/Web 3.0, with its trustless and permissionless decentralized networks shifting agency and empowering the little guy. The conflict I believe is of the generational kind, legacy vs Metaverse.

How it plays out remains to be seen as Facebook is ready to throw the kitchen sink at it with a planned $10b investment to make it happen. I’m sure NFTs played a huge part in FB’s decision from the revenue potential opportunity. Coming on the heels of Coinbase’s announcement of the launch of a proprietary NFT marketplace, the sentiment is bullish and the momentum carrying forward is such that it’s hard to dismiss it as a fad while the reality is that digital art is approaching mainstream adaptation and a degree of legitimacy that positions it as a credible and viable art dimension.


Last night, a most peculiar of events caught the NFT community by surprise when word quickly got out that Punk 9998 had just sold for 124,5K ETH ($532m) an absolute, smashing record.


Larva Labs, the creators of the CryptoPunks franchise quickly came out with a statement trying to quell the confusion saying that basically it wasn’t a sale after all but an operation that involed a flashloan whereby the someone bought the punk from themselves with borrowed ETH from the flashloan and then repaying the loan in the same exact transaction. What’s interesting about this is that while the bid can never be accepted, the transaction itself is valid even if for a brief moment therefore, for a brief moment on the blockchain, a punk was sold for $532m. And maybe that’s what exactly what the punk owner was after. A very clever way to establish a crazy ceiling on the franchise and more importantly to make his/her punk the most famous of the franchise. All one has to do is look at crypto twitter where Punk 9998 is the most popular avatar and profile picture. Mission accomplished. For those interested in learning about flashloans, this video does a great job of explaining the inner workings.



Tonight’s drop on Nifty Gateway by Skygolpe and LushSux curated by 33NFT was lit. Skygolpe is one of my favorite crypto artists and unfortunately out of reach. Typically the Nifty Gateway drops are a way for new collectors to get a taste for some of the biggest artists on crypto. There are usually a number of numbered editions that are much more affordable than the 1/1 and therefore provide the opportunity to own some of these amazing artists. This drop looked like this: 2 open access limited editions of 6/6 as ranked auctions, a drawing of 9 winners for gold and VIP pass-holders for 2 limited editions at $3,333, a drawing of 33 winners for gold and VIP pass-holders for 2 limited editions at $33, a drawing of 66 winners for 2 limited editions split into 33 for the 33NFT family and 33 for open access. As usual with Skygolpe, the scene is lit and most of the work is already sold out with work already showing up on the secondary market.




 


Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to share this newsletter with your friends.


Alla Prossima,


Michele

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