The buyer paid an Ethereum miner 22 ETH to prioritize their bid, most likely in an attempt to get the valuable piece before everyone else.
After purchasing a CryptoPunk for less than a penny, a crypto user was able to earn nearly $80,000 in less than a day.
An unknown user purchased CryptoPunk number 3860 for 99 wei — worth next to nothing — earlier today, according to blockchain records made available by Larva Labs, after the artwork featuring a male character smoking a cigarette sold for 30 Ether (ETH) on Thursday — roughly $69,369 at the time. The user was then able to resell the figure for 52 ETH, which was equivalent to $136,675 at the time of sale.
According to Jonathan Clark, co-founder of Float Capital, the previous owner of the CryptoPunk may have mistakenly listed the artwork at such a low price “instead of creating a whitelist sale so only they could buy it.” The buyer used Flashbots, a protocol that allows private communications between Ethereum users and miners, to pay 22 ETH — roughly $57,000 — in “bribes” in an attempt to snag the valuable CryptoPunk before everyone else. These funds appear to have influenced a miner to prioritize the user’s bid.
The user profited approximately $80,000 after purchasing the CryptoPunk and reselling it within six hours. However, it appears that they do not lack funds — at the time of publication, the same user had purchased and resold 78 CryptoPunks, resulting in a net loss of approximately $10,000.
CryptoPunks are small pixelated depictions of people, apes, zombies, and aliens that were the forerunner to many nonfungible tokens. Sotheby’s auction house set a world record for the sale of an alien CryptoPunk in June, selling it for $11.8 million.