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The most expensive NFT ever sold has a surprising secret

The $500M nft
(Image credit: LarvaLabs/KindPNG/Pngimg/Future)

NFTs have been taking the internet by storm as of late, with their extortionate asking prices and quirky designs. But one supposedly just sold for $532M and we can't quite wrap our head around it. 

The 8-bit art style called CryptoPunk has been incredibly popular in the world of NFTs, and number 9998 in the collection has technically just broken records with its hefty price tag. However, after a little bit of digging, not all is as it seems, and our world record breaker might not be worthy of its crown. This extortionate sale may have actually been, erm, one very expensive prank. Confused about NFTs? Check out our nifty NFT guide. 

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A CryptoPunk bot over on Twitter announced the sale of the NFT at a staggering $532,414,877.01 (it makes Beeple's NFT that sold for $69.3M look cheap). However, according to Artnet, the buyer and the seller were "one in the same" and the record-breaking price tag was a result of the NFT owner, buying their own NFT to boost the price of it – a fairly illegal move in the world of trading, that makes an item seem far more valuable than it actually is. Apparently, it's called a 'wash trade', and NFT fans are calling the sneaky sale a prank.

There were also a few large scale loans and trading going on behind the scenes that made the NFT that expensive. The sale was made using the cryptocurrency Ether, and the particular Ether address used to buy this NFT was worth that whopping $532M, hence that mind-bogglingly large price tag. 

Over on the NFT side of Twitter, users were in complete shock by the record sale and people responded to the news in their thousands. One user asked, "Is this even real life?" and another tweeted, "How did we get here?". Even though the sale was supposedly a stunt to boost its own value, we still can't believe the amount of money that can be spent one digital 8-bit portrait of someone with white hair. 

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If you're hoping to get into the world of NFTs, then we have a number of guides to help you get started, from our NFT infographic to our guide on how to make and sell NFTs. If you're struggling to wrap your head around this digital era (we know it's pretty daunting), then check out our guide to the metaverse and we can even teach you how to design a Bitcoin UX

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Amelia Bamsey

Amelia Bamsey is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After accomplishing a first class honours degree in Popular Music and a Master’s in Song Writing, Amelia began designing posters, logos, album covers and websites for musicians. She now enjoys covering many design topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, gaming and illustration. In her free time, she relishes in the likes of art (especially the Pre-Raphaelites), photography and literature. Amelia prides herself on her unorthodox creative methods, her Animal Crossing island and her extensive music library.