The largest shareholder of DraftKings dropped nearly $12 million on a non-fungible token (NFT), a piece of digital artwork called a “CryptoPunk” on Thursday, according to auction house Sotheby’s.
Shalom Meckenzie, an Israeli entrepreneur and the largest shareholder of digital sports betting company DraftKings won the bidding war for “CryptoPunk #7523” and purchased the crypto artwork for the hefty sum of $11,754,000, Reuters reported.
“CryptoPunks” are 10,000 pixel-art characters that were created by Larva Labs in 2017. The artwork was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT), which is a unique digital file stored on a blockchain, meaning it is nearly impossible to forge a fake because changes in ownership are recorded permanently in the file.
NFTs have become extremely sought-after assets over the last four months, but they technically still have no real-world value. Purchasing an NFT has been compared to purchasing a piece of artwork that must remain in a museum, which may or may not lose or damage it. Visitors to the metaphorical museum are allowed to obtain a copy of the artwork that is for most intents and purposes not at all different from the original, Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain writes for The Atlantic.
This particular “CryptoPunk” was minted on June 23, 2017, and is one of nine “alien punks,” and it is the only one wearing a medical face mask. “CryptoPunk #7523” is a light blue character with a brown knitted hat and an earring.
“Little did the West think of the mask before 2020 and yet it now carries the heavy symbolism of unfortunate icon of the early 21st century,” artist Robert Alice said in the catalogue note for the NFT on Sotheby’s website. “This Alien, the only Alien with a mask, stands as the ultimate symbol of NFTs journey to the mainstream.”
The “punk” NFTs “embody an aesthetic mirroring the nostalgic punk spirit, reflecting the Crypto Anarchist philosophy that brought together many of the weird and wonderful misfits that came to build the early crypto infrastructure,” Alice added.
Sotheby’s sold the NFT during a sale dubbed “Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale,” which made $17.1 million selling artwork by 27 digital artists. In March, an NFT digital artwork piece sold for $69.3 million.
NFTs have not always cost millions, however.
In July, legendary actor William Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise, became an early adopter when he created a series of NFT trading cards with images from his personal life and career. Shatner’s digital trading cards featured images such as his acting headshots, early characters he played, a photo of him hugging actor Leonard Nimoy, his Star Trek co-star playing Mr. Spock, a telegram from a producer, and, oddly, an X-Ray of Shatner’s teeth.
“I’m astonished at how quickly it all happened,” Shatner told Cointelegraph after his NFT collectibles sold out in minutes.
“The cards themselves represent a beautiful past,” he said. “The verification of being on the blockchains represents a great future. So we have the past and the future mixing together.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.