$129K CryptoPunk Mistakenly Destroyed by NFT Trader

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An NFT trader was distraught after discovering that the CryptoPunk he bought for 77 ETH (around $129k) vanished after unintentionally sending the costly artwork to a burn address.

Quick Takes: 

  • NFT trader, Brandon Riley, accidentally sent his CryptoPunk #685 worth $129k to a burn address, rendering it permanently inaccessible and untradeable.
  • CryptoPunks were created before the ERC-721 token standard, making them incompatible with the decentralized finance platform NFTfi.com, where Riley sought to secure a loan.
  • This incident highlights the irreversible nature of digital asset transactions and the challenges of managing self-custody assets.

The Tale Behind the Punk’s Destruction 

Brandon Riley — who purchased CryptoPunk #685 two weeks prior in the hope of securing a loan and financial gain — made a mistake while attempting to wrap his NFT on NFTfi.com.

Unfortunately, Yuga Labs created CryptoPunks before the ERC-721 token standard for NFTs came to light, making the assets incompatible with the decentralized platform.

Using an online guide, Riley attempted to wrap his Punk as an ERC-721 token. However, he accidentally sent the blue-chip asset to a burn address without a private key. Rendering it from circulation as a result.

Riley turned to Twitter to express his misfortune and ask Yuga Labs for help:

Many Punks sell for six figures or more. However, CryptoPunk #685 is worth around $129,000 in ETH (at this time of writing). Although this Punk is one of the cheaper ones, it’s still a large sum of money for anyone to lose.

This event highlights issues with the irreversible nature of NFTs and other transactions for digital assets. Although, in rare instances, NFT enthusiasts have burned such assets for symbolic reasons. For example, Jason Williams burned BAYC #1626, valued at $169,000, to transition the asset’s underlying network from Ethereum to Bitcoin through an Ordinals Inscription.

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