DraftKings Billionaire: Why I Paid $11.8 Million for a CryptoPunk NFT


  • DraftKings’ largest shareholder grew to become the brand new proprietor of an especially uncommon CryptoPunk that Sotheby’s auctioned off.
  • The CrypoPunk’s earlier proprietor sillytuna, an nameless NFT collector, acquired his fingers on one other NFT in the identical sale yesterday: Kevin McCoy’s “Quantum,” the primary NFT ever created, which offered for $1.4 million.

Fantasy sports activities and betting firm DraftKings’ largest shareholder Shalom Meckenzie, who can also be a board member, purchased a CryptoPunk NFT for $11.8 million value of Ethereum (ETH) on Thursday in a Sotheby’s public sale.

“I actually needed this explicit CryptoPunk,” Meckenzie advised Decrypt. “It’s a part of the alien assortment, which is the rarest of the punks, and the one alien that has a masks. I assumed it was symbolic of Covid and the popularization of NFTs.”

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are blockchain-based crypto tokens that present proof of possession of a digital or bodily asset; NFT gross sales exploded in February however have since cooled. CryptoPunk #7523, or “Covid Alien” because the media has taken to calling it, is the one one within the 10,000-strong CryptoPunk assortment—a 2017 NFT mission of pixelated portraits named after British punk rock tradition of the 70s—with unintended Covid-19 symbolism, which despatched its worth by the roof. Final evening’s sale surpassed the earlier assortment report held by the pipe-smoking alien CryptoPunk #7804, which offered for $7.5 million value of ETH in 2018.

The mask-wearing CryptoPunk was last sold in July 2017 for under 8 ETH, which was $1,650 then. Sillytuna, the nameless NFT collector behind yesterday’s sale, acquired it in March at a worth he declined to speak in confidence to Decrypt—the acquisition was over-the-counter (OTC), not on-chain, so there’s no worth report on the general public ledger.

“I had the chance to accumulate it at a time I felt NFTs have been in an excellent place to do enjoyable issues, and I needed to do one thing fascinating,” sillytuna advised Decrypt. “Sotheby’s counted as fascinating.”

The identical Sotheby’s public sale additionally included the primary NFT ever created, artist Kevin McCoy’s 2014 animation “Quantum.” Sillytuna snapped it up for $1.4 million, including to his assortment of greater than 1,000 NFTs. “In a couple of years we’ll know the true state of NFTs,” he stated. “We want a full vary of pricing relatively than simply ‘costly.’”

He plans to donate 5% of the proceeds from his $11.8 sale to Covid-19 charities and 5% to Larva Labs, the creator of CryptoPunks. Final month, Larva Labs auctioned off its 9 CryptoPunk NFTs at Christie’s for $16.9 million in whole.

On the Nasdaq opening-bell ceremony on Friday, Meckenzie and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins sported t-shirts with a print of Meckenzie’s new CryptoPunk buy.

DraftKings warms as much as crypto

“I’m an enormous fan of NFTs,” Meckenzie stated. “I did a number of analysis on the worth and I’ve little question that NFTs will likely be a disruptor within the artwork trade.”

Covid Alien is Meckenzie’s first private NFT buy, however DraftKings is not any stranger to NFTs or CryptoPunks.

In April, the corporate bought a uncommon NFT, CryptoPunk #1871, for $70,400 value of ETH, and put it up because the first-place prize in certainly one of its day by day fantasy sports activities (DFS) golf contests. Final month, its rival FanDuel provided a free-to-play fantasy NBA contest with NBA Prime Shot NFTs as prizes.

DraftKings is edging nearer to crypto, however it’s not simply there but.

The corporate has but to simply accept crypto funds. Two days in the past, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins cited the strict rules in on-line betting as a significant barrier for the corporate.

Fortunately, there’s no regulation stopping it from buying CryptoPunks—or selling them  on their garments on the Nasdaq, for that matter.

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