Yuga Labs Set to Donate CryptoPunk to ICA Miami as Part of a New Initiative
Yuga Labs, the company behind NFT collections Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks, publicly announced on Tuesday that the Punks Legacy Project would donate a CryptoPunk to the ICA Miami art museum as part of its new proposal.
Yuga Labs Launches the Punks Legacy to bond CryptoPunks
The holding organization for BAYC NFT collections (Yuga Labs) has devised a scheme to contribute CryptoPunks NFTs to contemporary art museums worldwide, beginning with Punk #305. The Ethereum NFT will be displayed at Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art, which has free entry, following a private unveiling event on December 2 during Art Basel.
Punk #305 was selected partly since it conforms to a handset area code in Miami: 305. Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano, both known for their corresponding Bored Ape Yacht Club alter egos, Gordon Goner and Garga, are both from Miami. This is the first contribution to the Punks Legacy Project, a more significant venture.
According to Noah Davis, Yuga’s brand lead for CryptoPunks, vast NFTs will be offered to other museums in the long term. Davis stated:
“It’s about something other than a certain number of punks, but rather about finding museums and legacy art organizations that want to enter into Web3 for the right reason. It’s all about quality over quantity.”
Although some may dismiss such works as nothing more than pixels on a digital canvas, CryptoPunks have been significant in the Web3 universe. The collection created the blueprint for tokenized profile picture (PFP) projects. In 2017, Larva Labs launched a project with 10,000-pixel faces, each with a unique combination of characteristics and functions.
Yuga Labs bought the IP from Larva Labs in March and quickly appointed Davis—formerly of Christie’s auction house—to monitor their future and help establish their legacy as NFT artwork. Aside from their historical significance, Davis considers the Punks to be true works of art in their own right:
“Cryptopunks is contemporary art. They belong in museums. Equal parts art, graphic design, technology, and radical communal experiment.”
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According to CryptoSlam, since its inception as a free mint in 2017, CryptoPunks has generated over $2.4 billion in supplementary trading volume. One Punk today costs at least 64.5 ETH, or $81,200, while the most expensive all-time Punk sale cost 8,000 ETH—a staggering $23.7 million when it sold in February.
Punks are a prime example of PFP avatar NFTs, with vast holders using them as their profile pictures on social media. Many owners regard their Punk as an essential component of their online brand recognition, and some have built significant social media followings based on their Punk’s face and numerical keypad.
A prime example is the pseudonymous Punk #6529, who founded a private equity firm, 6529 Capital, premised on their authenticity. Another example is the owner of Punk #4156, a Nouns NFT project co-creator who constructed an identity about his Punk before selling the NFT for more than $10 million in ETH in December 2021.
Numerous owners have a deep relationship with their CryptoPunks, but on a larger scale, Yuga Labs is eager to establish the Ethereum NFTs’ art world qualifications and historical narrative. The company has recently extended its reach in the NFT industry with the purchase of the WENEW marketplace and its flagship 10k collection.
The efforts by Yuga Labs to contribute to the growth of the art industry foreshadow the readiness of the industry to interlock with current systems and go mainstream. However, it’s best to learn how to DYOR as the transition may be risky and lead to losses on some NFT fronts.