$23m ‘Alien’ CryptoPunks purchase beats previous record by almost double

On Saturday, all records were broken in the NFT space as CryptoPunk #5822 sold for an incredible 8,000 ETH, or $23.7 million, at the time of purchase.

The buyer was Deepak Thapliyal – the CEO of blockchain infrastructure firm Chain – who used leverage via DeFi protocol Compound Finance to fund the record-breaking purchase of the ‘Alien’ Punk.

Thapliyal took to Twitter following the purchase to thank Compound founder Robert Leshner – who also recently acquired an ‘Ape’ punk for $7.7m – for Compound’s role in the purchase, saying “Thanks to @CompoundFinance I am able to still HODL #ETH while buying this. Basically Long’d ETH to punk-in”.

The $23.7m purchase almost doubled the previous top sale for a CryptoPunk, which saw DraftKings’ majority shareholder Shalom Meckenzie purchase another extremely rare ‘Alien’ punk at a June 2021 Sotheby’s auction.

Whilst there have been larger NFT sales made at ‘off-chain’ auctions – including the $69.3m and $29m sales of Beeple works – Thapliyal’s purchase now marks the largest ever ‘on-chain’ purchase of an NFT.

It beats the previous record of $10.2m held by one of the most recognisable and sought-after Punks on the market – PUNK #4156 – and also takes the top spot from two other ‘Alien’ sales that took place in March 2021.

The top five ‘on-chain’ NFT sales of all time now all feature extremely rare CryptoPunks. Source.

The series of ‘Alien’ Punks fetch such a high price due to their extreme scarcity and desirable nature, with just nine CryptoPunks out of the entire 10,000-strong collection being aliens. Now, only two are available for sale at the current time, with listings of $44m and $100m available for potential buyers.

CryptoPunks have seen a resurgence in the past week thanks to the announcement of a Sotheby’s auction featuring a single lot of 104 Punks, which is expected to reach upwards of $20 million when it ends on February 23.