In a Bloomberg article by Nick Baker called An NFT Just Sold for $532 Million, But Didn’t Really Sell at All, we see that transactions on blockchains were there, but no one understood what the hell was going on… to the tune of more than half a billion dollars!

The process started Thursday at 6:13 p.m. New York time, when someone using an Ethereum address beginning with 0xef76 transferred the CryptoPunk to an address starting with 0x8e39.

About an hour and a half later, 0x8e39 sold the NFT to an address starting with 0x9b5a for 124,457 Ether -- equal to $532 million -- all of it borrowed from three sources, primarily Compound.

To pay for the trade, the buyer shipped the Ether tokens to the CryptoPunk’s smart contract, which transferred them to the seller -- normal stuff, a buyer settling up with a seller. But the seller then sent the 124,457 Ether back to the buyer, who repaid the loans.

And then the last step: the avatar was given back to the original address, 0xef76, and offered up for sale again for 250,000 Ether, or more than $1 billion.

It is discussed in more detail in DSHR's Blog: How Bubbles Are Blown.

This is a great example of how one of the central ideas of openness and transparency on the blockchain is, in fact, complete bullshit.

If anyone tells you that the blockchain is “open” and therefore anyone can see what’s going on, ask them to show you how. Practically. In simple steps. Not just a parroting of the crypto-bro indoctrination mutterings.

If they can’t, then show them this article about how those manipulations play out in plain sight precisely because it is indecipherable to most.


5 April 2023 — French West Indies