CryptoPunk #7523, titled ‘COVID Alien’, was sold at Sotheby’s Auction House for a record $11.8 million. The medical mask-wearing figure is currently the highest-selling CryptoPunk, beating the $7.57 million sale of Alien CryptoPunk #7804. The NFT, from the collection of digital art advocate and collector Sillytuna, was purchased by billionaire Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of DraftKings.

CryptoPunks 101: CryptoPunks are an assortment of 24x24 pixelated avatars which are randomly generated through an algorithm created in June 2017. There are a total of 10,000 of the pixelated characters in existence, and no two are exactly alike. So-called due to their blue-green alien complexion, Alien CryptoPunks are especially rare, with only nine available. They are minted on the Ethereum blockchain and are known as one of the earliest NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Initially, each CryptoPunk was offered for free, but many have sold recently for millions of dollars. It’s considered one of the earliest inspirations for the modern CryptoArt movement.

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