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Crypto Punk NFT Sales Ignite Interest While Kevin Hart Suffers 75% Loss on Bored Ape

Last Updated March 25, 2024 1:47 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 25, 2024 1:47 PM

Key Takeaways

  • A CryptoPunks NFT was bought for over $16 million in ETH.
  • Kevin Hart’s Bored Ape sells for a steep loss.
  • MoonPay finds itself under scrutiny for celebrity NFT deals.
  • NFT market decline erodes its value.

Despite a downturn in the market last week, Ethereum saw a notable transaction: a CryptoPunks NFT, Punk #7804, was bought for over $16 million in ETH, marking a significant purchase in the cryptocurrency space.

This NFT, one of only nine Alien Punks in the popular Ethereum-based collection, was sold for 4,850 ETH , equivalent to $16.42 million at the time of sale, becoming the second-largest CryptoPunks sale in both ETH and USD terms.

Alien Punk Fetches $16 Million, Ranking 5th Highest NFT Sale Ever

This transaction follows closely on the heels of another Alien Punk (#3100) sale, which fetched 4,500 ETH or $16.03 million on March 3. The identity of the buyer for the recent sale remains undisclosed, and the Ethereum wallet used for the purchase was activated for the first time that Wednesday through Coinbase.

The seller of Punk #7804, who originally acquired it in 2021 for 4,200 ETH (equivalent to $7.57 million at the time), expressed regret  on Twitter for not having “elevated” the profile of the Punk during their ownership period.

The highest CryptoPunks sale to date occurred in February 2022, when a crypto startup CEO acquired Alien Punk (#5822)  for 8,000 ETH, translating to $23.7 million, setting a record within the CryptoPunks collection.

The recent purchase of Punk #7804 for more than $16 million now stands as the fifth highest-priced NFT sale ever. The top spot for the most expensive NFT sale is held by Mike “Beeple” Winkleman, whose digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for $69.3 million at a Christie’s auction in March 2021 . This landmark sale significantly contributed to the surge of interest in NFTs globally.

Kevin Hart’s Bored Ape NFT Takes a Dive, Selling for $46,200

Bored Ape Yacht Club #9258, previously owned by American comedian Kevin Hart, was traded  for approximately 13.26 Ether ($46,200) today on Blur, a non-fungible token exchange.

The NFT had been exchanged multiple times during the weekend and was sold at a significantly lower price than what Hart originally paid for it over two years ago, as indicated on the platform’s trading page .

Kevin Hart acquired the Bored Ape , distinguishable by its colorful propeller hat, in January 2022 for 79.5 Ether, valued at over $200,000 at the time, based on data from Blur.

Hart’s purchase was facilitated by the cryptocurrency startup MoonPay, which is known to have aided other celebrities in acquiring BAYC NFTs, often in return for promotional efforts on behalf of MoonPay.

This arrangement sometimes included acquiring the NFTs at no cost. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Madonna, and Jimmy Fallon have been reported to participate in such exchanges, though MoonPay has refuted claims of distributing Bored Ape NFTs for free.

MoonPay, Yuga Labs, and Celebs Accused of Shilling

In December 2022, MoonPay, Bored Ape creator Yuga Labs, Kevin Hart, and numerous other celebrities found themselves entangled in a class-action lawsuit filed by Scott + Scott, a law firm based in California.

The lawsuit accuses them of participating in a scheme involving undisclosed celebrity endorsements. Last summer, the lawsuit expanded to include the prestigious auction house Sotheby’s among the defendants.

Since its inception in 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has emerged as a prominent emblem of the non-fungible token (NFT) market. Despite this status, the collection has experienced a gradual decrease in its floor price — the cost of the least expensive NFT within the collection.

This value reached a high of over 150 ether in May 2022 but dropped  to approximately 14 ether by March 23, as per the data from CoinGecko.

From Prized Pixels to Price Plunge

The surge in popularity of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) gained momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic when digital culture became increasingly prominent. Central to the NFT craze was the concept that owning something digitally could be as prestigious and valuable as owning a physical item.

However, soon the NFT market’s downturn coincided with economic uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to higher inflation, interest rates, and tighter monetary policies. As the global economy began to stabilize, interest in high-risk investments like NFTs waned , exacerbated by a decline in the cryptocurrency market that is closely linked to NFTs. As major cryptocurrencies lost value, so did the purchasing power and enthusiasm of NFT investors.

The decline in the NFT market resulted from several factors, including the broader turmoil in the digital asset market, influenced by major events in the cryptocurrency sector and shifting global economic conditions. Notably, the collapse of Terra Luna and the bankruptcy of the FTX exchange were pivotal events that eroded investor confidence and highlighted the risks and volatility of digital assets. These events led to a significant devaluation in cryptocurrencies, reducing the capital available for NFT investments and contributing to a liquidity crisis in the NFT market.

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