Clever user makes $80K profit in CryptoPunk ‘smash and grab’

The buyer, most likely in an attempt to snatch up the valuable piece before everyone else, paid an Ethereum miner 22 ETH to prioritize their bid.

A crypto user was able to net roughly $80,000 in less than a day after purchasing a CryptoPunk for less than a penny.

According to blockchain records made available through Larva Labs, an unknown user purchased a CryptoPunk, number 3860, for 99 wei — worth next to nothing — earlier today after the artwork featuring a male character smoking a cigarette had sold for 30 Ether (ETH) on July 29 — roughly $69,369 at the time. The user was then able to resell the figure for 52 ETH, or $136,675 at the time of sale.

According to Float Capital co-founder Jonathan Clark, the previous owner of the CryptoPunk may have mistakenly listed the artwork at the absurdly low price “instead of creating a whitelist sale so only they could buy it.” The buyer, most likely in an attempt to snatch up the valuable CryptoPunk before everyone else, paid 22 ETH — roughly $57,000 — in “bribes” using Flashbots, a protocol which allows private communications between Ethereum users and miners. These funds seemingly encouraged a miner to prioritize the user’s bid.

After scooping up the CryptoPunk and reselling it within six hours, the user made a profit of roughly $80,000. However, it appears that they are not lacking funds — the same user has bought and resold 78 CryptoPunks, apparently resulting in a net loss of roughly $10,000 at the time of publication.

Related: This contest is giving you the chance to own a rare CryptoPunk

CryptoPunks, the predecessor of many nonfungible tokens, are small, pixelated depictions of people, apes, zombies and aliens. In June, Sotheby’s auction house set a world record for the sale of an alien CryptoPunk at $11.8 million.

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