In March of 2022, BAYC creator Yuga Labs acquired the famous ‘CryptoPunks’ NFT collection. Following this news, Punks experienced an uptick in volume. Well, the good fortune for Punks enthusiasts resumed this week, as Yuga announced that CryptoPunks has a new brand lead: Noah Davis.
For those that aren’t aware, Davis is best known for his role in the $69M (nice) NFT sale of Beeple’s art piece titled ‘The First 5000 Days’ which was sold at Christie’s auction house last spring. Of course, the new addition to the CryptoPunks team has sparked yet another surge in volume for the collection.
Most people reading this are probably thinking what I did when I saw the news: “That’s cool, I guess.” Well, there’s a little more to this story…
Some very convenient Punk purchases were made in the days leading up to the press release, which has now sparked controversy regarding potential insider trading. In fact, the volume for Punk trading on 6/18, the day BEFORE the announcement, was nearly equivalent to the volume on 6/19, the actual day of the announcement.
A Twitter thread, posted by Yuga founder @CryptoGarga, covered the addition of Davis to the team & what it meant for the future of CryptoPunks. But the highlight of this thread was the bombardment of angry & sarcastic replies.
One user jabbed Yuga for seemingly having a history of leaking info to insiders prior to breaking news to the public:
Another user referenced the company’s struggles with security while criticizing the potential leak:
Many others claimed that they foresaw an announcement based on the random surge in Punk trading:
It has also been pointed out that well-known entrepreneur & NFT influencer Gary Vee was among those who got their hands on a discounted Punk just a few days before the big news broke. A few skeptics were quick to argue that this acquisition aligned with a large market dump, and that Vee has invested heavily across the NFT space while rarely (if ever) selling anything from his collection. Vee even clarified in a reply (the night before the news dropped) that there was no “insight” involved. Hmmmm…
This suspicious timing still has many wondering if there was some leaked info distributed to those close with Yuga Labs. In a crypto & NFT space riddled with insider trading, the reliance on people to self-regulate has continued to fall flat. We can only hope that the next big announcement by Yuga Labs isn’t preceded by a similar type of suspicious activity – or at least we can hope that they can hide it better.