It has been reported that CryptoPunks, which predate the bulk of the nonfungible token (NFT) craze in 2021, are often small, pixelated depictions of people, apes, zombies, and aliens. Sotheby’s announced the sale of the COVID Alien in late May as a “special, standalone” auction.
However, the artwork features an alien wearing a face mask. On-chain data shows that someone purchased the CryptoPunk for 8 Ether (ETH) in a public sale in 2017, a fraction of the sale price today.
Last month, New York-based auction house Christie’s sold nine CryptoPunks for almost $17 million by implying that there is still strong interest from many buyers for these pieces.
"Punks were designed as pseudonymous portraits, masks for those crypto pioneers that value the idea of privacy in the modern age. Avatars, portraits or masks, they stand as semiotic reference points to a specific internet crypto native identity that now spreads itself across social networks — particularly Twitter. More is said by a Punk as a profile picture than a portrait of the individual behind the account."
Likewise, the NFT collector “Sillytuna,” who owned the COVID Alien prior to the sale, previously told Cointelegraph that he acquired the digital collectible in an over-the-counter deal.
Thus, he took to Twitter immediately after the sale to announce that “NFTs are DEAD” and hinted he may have already used some of the funds to make another artwork purchase.