Unifred Unifred 22.05.2024

CryptoPunks Face Community Backlash Following New NFT Collection Debut

CryptoPunks, one of the leading Ethereum-based NFT collections, has announced a new NFT art series called The Punk in Residence program. Poised to blend Web3 technology and traditional art, the program will feature collaborations with prominent artists to create art collections with CryptoPunks’ traits. The first of its kind, developed with contemporary artist and painter Nina Chanel Abney, portrays a 500-piece NFT collection dubbed the Super Punk World.

The Super Punk World portrays hybridized 3D sculptures that cut across themes like race and gender. Abney brings attributes from her first NFT project, Super Cool World, into the latest CryptoPunks-tied art collection’s creation process. CryptoPunks’ website explained, “Abney’s full-bodied characters juxtapose the 8-bit analog aesthetic of the [CryptoPunks] PFPs with the abstract forms and strong proportions of her studio practice.”

The art collection is set to be auctioned on May 29th, 2024. CryptoPunks will adopt a Least Price Dutch Auction, entailing that bidding prices are gradually reduced from higher to lower prices until a bidder accepts one of the prices. Once received, holders will be entitled to an NFT, a downloadable version of the art, and a 3D representation of the character.

CryptoPunks’ latest initiative did not sit well with many community members. Many argued that the NFT series did not portray the aesthetics common to the CryptoPunks collection. Some outrightly called the art trash. A user even declared plans to dump their Punk NFT for other NFTs.

Meanwhile, Yuga Labs’ co-founder Greg Solano shared an announcement concerning CryptoPunks hours after the project unveiled its Super Punk World collection. After acquiring CryptoPunks two years ago, Solano revealed that Yuga Labs would no longer manage the pixelated NFT collection.

“Yuga will no longer touch punks. They will just be decentralized and preserved on the blockchain. The only thing we intend to do is support a few museums and institutions in their quest to acquire a punk and help educate their audience about them,” he wrote.

Both announcements have triggered mixed feelings within the CryptoPunks ecosystem. It remains unclear how the project will overcome its hurdles and win back its community’s interest. With future art series, the project’s team may introduce artworks that will capture everyone’s interest.