It’s an odd day in the NFT space, as the popular influencer and investor known as Punk4156 has sold his trademark bandana ape CryptoPunk. After purchasing the CryptoPunk #4156 for 650 ETH ($1.25M) on Feb. 18, the beloved anon has given up the iconic visual part of his branding for 2,500 ETH ($10.26M) — making this one of the highest CryptoPunk sales to date.
nft now reached out to Punk4156 for comment but had not heard back at time of publication.
As for the reason behind this now landmark sale, it seems the move was far less about the potential gains and much more about the underlying issues that 4156 takes with Larva Labs’ copyright policies. As a prominent builder in the space, 4156 has been an outspoken proponent of licensing NFTs under creative commons (CC0) for all to enjoy — while the CryptoPunks collection lies under a restrictive NFT License created by Dapper Labs.
Under the NFT license, Larva Labs gives no intellectual property, copyright, or trademark to Punk owners, but Punk owners are able to use the art for their own personal, non-commercial use. Furthermore, Punk owners can also commercialize merch of their Punk and profit up to $100,000 per year, but are not allowed to modify the original 24 x 24 Punk art or sell third-party products with it.
While this is all well and good for the traditional CryptoPunk collectors flying under the radar, those like Punk4156, Punk6529, Punk2476 and many others who are currently building their entire personal brands around their Punk, are significantly limited in their options for commercialization, or to expand into any sort official business.
While the issues surrounding copyright protections in the NFT space arent new, they continue to fuel debate throughout the community. Many believe NFT owners should expect no right to reproduce or benefit financially from its use, while others think NFT art should be placed as completely as possible in the public domain.
To date, notable projects such as CrypToadz, Blitmap and even Punk4156’s Nouns have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights so that the community may enjoy and use the art freely. Even the wildly popular Bored Ape Yacht Club offers a limited set of rights to Ape owners that allows them to profit from derivatives.
As the long speculated event of Apes flipping (becoming more valuable than) Punks is becoming more possible than ever, it’s hard to say what the future of these top-tier PFP projects will look like. But with this latest sale, one thing’s for certain: Punk4156 is going to need to change his name.
To learn more about CryptoPunks, check out our ultimate guide to the project here.