CryptoPunks Seller Attempts to “Rug” Sotheby’s Minutes Before Auction

An anonymous CryptoPunks collector who was supposed to auction off his collection on Sotheby’s withdrew minutes before the auction was set to go live.
Image source: Waivly

Quick take:

  • The auction was for 104 CryptoPunks worth around $30 million.
  • It was on track to be one of the largest NFT auctions in history. 
  • The anonymous collector went on to poke fun Sotheby’s.

The auction of a collection of 104 CryptoPunks was cancelled last minute after the seller decided to withdraw from the sale minutes before the auction was set to go live.

The collection of CryptoPunks was estimated to be worth around $30 million and was on track to be one of the largest NFT auctions in history hosted by Sotheby’s.

The anonymous owner of the collection who goes by “0x650d” on Twitter didn’t provide reasons for cancelling the sale, simply tweeting “nvm, decided to hodl” to his 12,700 followers.

He went on to post a meme implying that he “rugged” Sotheby’s, although it wasn’t an actual rug pull—a term that’s used to define a situation in which crypto or NFT developers abandon the project and run away with investors’ money. However, the collector’s antics left Sotheby’s and potential bidders confused. 

“People showed up in person for this “historic auction” to see just who might be dumb enough to pay an auction house premium to buy 104 basic floor punks – on the brink of WWIII no less and the seller responds with “hold my beer,” quantitative researcher for Dallas Mavericks, Haralobos Voulgaris, tweeted.

Many people in the NFT community are embarrassed, saying that “0x650d” “made the NFT community look like a joke” that can’t be taken seriously. 

As for the consequences of pulling out of the deal with Sotheby’s, Twitter user “straybits.eth” explained that “0x650d” would “owe the hammer fee for the average of the estimated value (so ~%18 of 25M).” 

“Idk if they can compel him, but he would have signed documents and also doxxed himself to Sotheby’s to get to the point where the punks were being auctioned,” he added.

Some speculate that the decision to pull out of the auction was due to the highest recorded online bid not meeting the $20 million reserve price. Some are wondering if “0x650d” had a guaranteed minimum buy-in, but he has not answered any questions so far.

CryptoPunks have generated over $2 billion in sales since it was launched in 2017. While this auction would’ve been Sotheby’s fully NFT-focused event, the auction house has sold over $100 million worth of NFTs last year, with $24 million coming from the Bored Ape auction.

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