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CryptoPunks resurrection failed: community accuses Yuga Labs of killing popular NFT collection

cryptopunks-resurrection-failed-community-accuses-yuga-labs-of-killing-popular-nft-collection
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Follow-up
CryptoPunks resurrection failed: community accuses Yuga Labs of killing popular NFT collection

CryptoPunks, backed by the Yuga Labs team, relaunched with a new NFT collection that turned out to be a complete failure.

Yuga Labs has created a new collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called Super Punk World, with 500 NFTs as three-dimensional figures that “blur the lines of race and gender.” The idea is to erase the boundaries between race and gender and rethink the essence of virtual and real identity. 

This is the first collection created by Yuga Labs under the CryptoPunks brand. The author of the NFT collection is artist Nina Abney. The digital characters combine her art style and pay homage to early web3 projects, particularly CryptoPunks. In addition, they also raise pressing social issues, namely racism and sexism. 

Project co-founder Greg Solano said the team plans to collaborate with world-class artists to merge web3 with the traditional art world.

An auction was planned to sell tokens from the Super Punk World collection. The highest price would be announced first, and at certain time intervals, the value of the NFT would decrease until the asset was purchased or its price reached a set minimum. However, after criticism from the community, Yuga Labs chose a different path.

The “stupidest idea” and the killers of CryptoPunks

Despite the global goals, the collection was criticized by crypto community members. Some users condemned the art style and concept of an attempt to rethink the cult project CryptoPunks. Others accused Abney of inciting hatred in the community through her work focusing on race and gender. 

One of the users noted that Yuga Labs literally “killed” the idea of CryptoPunks.

The developer of Ordinals protocol, Leonidas, noted that with the release of the new CryptoPunks collection, Yuga Labs is simply looking to replenish their wallets and follow basic game theory and incentives. In this case, the owners of the original CryptoPunks collection are to blame for everything. 

“Yuga owns nothing. Punks holders are the owners of CryptoPunks. So start acting like it and stop pretending like this random collection has any significance or relationship to CryptoPunks at all.”

Leonidas, Ordinals protocol developer

A collector under the nickname quary.sats noted that “blurring the line between genders” is “the stupidest” idea that came to the minds of representatives of the CryptoPunks brand. He advised the team to leave Yuga Labs and move on.

Yuga Labs will abandon the CryptoPunks brand

After a barrage of criticism over the new collection, Solano announced that the company would cease any activity around CryptoPunks, leaving the collection as a completely decentralized blockchain project. He also noted that the last step in promoting the project would be popularizing the NTF collection among the audience of several museums.

https://twitter.com/CryptoGarga/status/1792694910904136028

The Yuga Labs team decided to distribute the Super Punk World NFTs through an airdrop to those who support Abney’s work. At the same time, Solano emphasized that Yuga Labs “will no longer touch” CryptoPunks.

“What about punks? 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.”

Greg Solano, Yuga Labs co-founder

Abney confirmed Yuga’s plans and thanked the project for its support. She also condemned attacks from the crypto community.

“I am absolutely disgusted with some of the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic comments the controversy around this project has unearthed. What’s really at the underbelly of this space?”

Nina Abney, NFT artist

CryptoPunks before Yuga Labs and purchasing copyrights

The CryptoPunks project became one of the first NFT collections to achieve popularity. Its success has inspired many digital artists in their creativity.

The creator of CryptoPunks was the New York company Larva Labs, founded by developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson. They started working on the project in 2017. CryptoPunks is based on combining art with the power of non-fungible tokens.

Digital art from the CryptoPunks collection was one of the most expensive. The jump from giving away free items to selling NFTs for big money comes amid the growing popularity of non-fungible tokens.

In 2022, Yuga Labs announced the acquisition of intellectual property rights to popular NFT collections released by Larva Labs. As with its Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection, Yuga Labs has assigned intellectual property and commercial and exclusive licensing rights to NFT owners. 

As part of acquiring the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections, Yuga Labs received ownership rights to 423 CryptoPunks and 1,711 Meebits.