10,000 Faces Launching NFT Revolution


Within 24 hours, all the Punks were gone; someone who saw the post collected 758 of them.

Within days, collectors began buying and selling — but immediately, they got into trouble. When someone tried to buy a Punk, a terrible bug in the intelligent contract caused the payment to travel not from the buyer to the seller — but back to the buyer. The lucky buyer got two Punk and the money offered, and the seller got nothing. Nearly a dozen people were burned, and Hall felt horrible. “It was an absolute disaster,” Watkinson said. “It’s like, well, our market for toast.” They post urgent updates on their website and Twitter telling people to stop trading. Afterwards they wrote a new smart contract in which they deleted all trades, and, a few days later, they rolled it out.

Now that the market is working, Larva Labs has created the Discord channel where collectors like Calderon enjoy the details of Punks, dream up personalities for their purchases, and brainstorm other projects involving the digital collectible. Watkinson and Hall’s love project started in a noisy community, and they were thrilled. They think their work is basically done.

For the first time that Anne Bracegirdle heard Watkinson talk about CryptoPunks, at a blockchain art meetup in downtown Manhattan in early 2018, she became determined to meet the pair. Bracegirdle was a Christie’s photography specialist at the time. In his nearly 10 years at auction, he has seen how difficult it is to verify the origin of a job. And ensuring potential buyers rarely take a photo is a challenge if, for example, a living photographer on a whim decides to issue multiple copies. Punks and the blockchain present an exciting solution to both problems.

Immediately, Bracegirdle saw a parallel in Hall and Watkinson’s work: “It immediately became clear to me that they were like Andy Warhol,” he said. Hall and Watkinson “criticize and explore the way we use it today,” he said, as Warhol did in his Campbell’s Soup Cans. Bracegirdle invited the two to a blockchain -themed event he plans to hold at Christie’s in London. As such, they are transported into the unique world of fine art.

In July, Watkinson and Hall flew to London. At the auction house, they stopped to take pictures of themselves under Christie’s sign. About 350 people in pressed shirts and jackets gathered in the building. Contemporary work from the upcoming auction is installed throughout. On a wall Yellow Lambo, a 10-foot-long yellow neon sign consisting of 42 digits, is the smart contract address for the cryptocurrency of the same name. The work of Kevin Abosch, an artist who previously sold potato photography for $ 1 million.

Three hours later, Hall, wearing a black blazer over his usual T-shirt, took to the stage for a crypto art panel. The moderator, a generative art buff named Jason Bailey, turned to him with a tricky simple question: What do people own when they buy a CryptoPunk?

Bailey points to the issue of whether the image itself is on the blockchain. Hall replied that his response had a way of making people angry. “You have something in the blockchain — you own a record that you own it,” he said. “You have the right to sell it in the future.” He doesn’t explicitly say, though, that Larva Labs retains the copyright, so it’s unclear if the owners will be able to recreate their Punk. Their project was so new and complex that the details quickly became thorny.



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