British Christie’s, one of the largest auction houses in the world, sold a collection of nine “rare” CryptoPunks last night for $ 16.96 million or EUR 13.99 million.

CryptoPunks are so-called non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are unique tokens on the blockchain, usually from Ethereum (ETH), that can serve as a kind of proof of ownership of, for example, an artwork. Read more about what NFTs are here.

These CryptoPunks are tiny pixel portraits that became one of the very first NFTs on the market in 2017. Developer Larva Labs created 10,000 different portraits at the time using a random algorithm.

This year, the NFT market has exploded and CryptoPunks are currently one of the most expensive NFTs. A number of rare CryptoPunks sold for several million earlier this year, two of which for even more than $ 7.5 million each. In April, 100 CryptoPunks were on display for a month in the American city of Miami.

The most expensive NFT is still the artwork of the digital artist Beeple. His artwork “The First 5000 Days” sold for a staggering $ 69.3 million through Christie’s in March. Later today, an auction will take place at the other major auction house, Sotheby’s. It is not an NFT, but a physical work of art by Banksy, on which one can bid with bitcoin and / or ether for the first time.

More and more celebrities are venturing into this new market: artists like Snoop Dogg and Eminem have already sold a range of NFT’s recently. Model Emily Ratajkowski will sell an NFT through Christie’s in a few days:

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