Crypto Twitter was briefly set ablaze Thursday night as a CryptoPunk non-fungible token (NFT) was purchased for a staggering half-billion dollars – a figure that would have made the sale one of the largest ever not just in NFT-land, but in all of art history.
However, on-chain analysts were quick to point out that the sale may have just been an elaborate publicity stunt.
A Twitter bot that tracks the sales of CryptoPunks first flagged the transaction shortly before 8 p.m. ET. If real, the 124,457.07 ETH sale worth over $530 million would have easily eclipsed the 4,200 ETH sale of an ultra-rare alien punk in March.
Punk 9998 bought for 124,457.07 ETH ($532,414,877.01 USD) by 0x9b5a5c from 0x8e3983. https://t.co/dmT6jDRC1W #cryptopunks #ethereum pic.twitter.com/UQlmm1oqkj
— CryptoPunks Bot (@cryptopunksbot) October 28, 2021
CryptoPunks have a floor price – a term referring to the lowest price at which a piece from a particular NFT collection can be bought – of 100 ETH, and the punk in question, #9998, lacks desirable features from a collector’s perspective, leading some to believe the purchase was a “fat finger,” a term referring to the immutable, irreversible errors endemic in blockchain.
A look at the chain, however, reveals that the purchase was just a clever bit of smart contract magic.
The purchase was made by a flash loan contract deployed by an address flagged by wallet profiler Nansen as a prolific DeFi user, NFT collector and smart contract deployer who also owns the blurr.eth Ethereum Name Service NFT.
you can see it here:
0x9b5a flash loans 124,457 ETH from many sources
0x9b5a pays 124,457 ETH to the punk contract
punk contract sends it to 0x8e39
0x8e39 sends back to 0x9b5a
0x9b5a repays loan
genius ?https://t.co/nlo24twyEx pic.twitter.com/suPOMHRV7O
— mariano.eth ✨ᕙ༼?༽ᕗ✨ | ?? (@nanexcool) October 29, 2021
Banterlytics, a contributor to on-chain analysis publication OurNetwork, told CoinDesk that the transaction was likely conducted solely “for the bantz.”
The transaction cost 0.19 ETH, or roughly $800, and the address included a message in the metadata of the transaction, saying “looks rare.”
A similar flash loan transaction was conducted in February to purchase a HashMask NFT for 139,000 ETH, currently the largest NFT sale on record – even if on a technicality.
Read more: What Is a Flash Loan?