Home Ethereum “No Current Plans” For Scrapped CryptoPunks V1 NFTs, Says Yuga Labs

“No Current Plans” For Scrapped CryptoPunks V1 NFTs, Says Yuga Labs

“No Current Plans” For Scrapped CryptoPunks V1 NFTs, Says Yuga Labs

In short

  • Yuga Labs says it has “no current plans” for “V1” CryptoPunks based on Larva Labs’ original NFT smart contract.
  • Only holders of the official CryptoPunks (or “V2”) project received IP marketing rights this week.

The revival of scrap metal NFT CryptoPunks “V1” from the Larva Labs original 2017 deployment riddled with bugs has added a wrinkle to the debate over artists’ provenance, ownership and intent in the Web3 world. And it doesn’t look like V1 NFT owners are part of new owner Yuga Labs’ growing plans for the CryptoPunks Mark.

Monday, Yuga Labs, which bought the CryptoPunks IP from Larva in March—released the long overdue commercial rights license for the Ethereum NFT Project, allowing owners of the 10,000 unique profile pictures to turn them into all kinds of spin-off creations like art and products. It reflects Yuga’s own popular approach Bored Ape Yacht Club.

But the IP License Agreement clarifies that it only applies to CryptoPunks minted with the second smart contract (self-executing computer code that is stored on a blockchain) – in other words, “V2” or “official” CryptoPunks that have traded for millions of dollars each. Owners of V1 Punks have no legal permission from Yuga to turn their NFT avatars into commercial creations.

When asked about Yuga’s stance on V1 Punks and future plans regarding the project, a company spokesperson said. Decrypt this week, “There are no current plans for V1 Punks.”

An NFT is a blockchain token which can represent ownership of an item, including artwork, collectibles, and profile pictures like CryptoPunks. The project includes 10,000 pixel avatars in total, and collectively they have generated over $2.3 billion in trade volume to date while influencing countless other projects (like Yuga’s Bored Apes).

In an interview with Decrypt, Noah Davis, CryptoPunks Brand Manager– who previously oversaw NFT sales at Christie’s auction house – shared his take on the V1 Punks, referencing original Larva co-creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson. But Davis said he “wouldn’t take a definitive position” on NFTs.

“I personally think the V1 Punks are a very cool relic of Matt and John’s creative process,” Davis said. “It’s evidence of how Matt and John created the CryptoPunks.”

“Whether or not they are the CryptoPunks, I think this was very clearly addressed by Matt and John, who are the artists and whose opinions matter, and are probably the most important in this case,” he added. “It’s like a misprinted Jordan rookie card, but it’s not the Jordan rookie card.”

What are V1 Punks?

Larva Labs’ stated position on the V1 Punks was clear, but their actions clouded the message. V1 Punks really re-entered the CryptoPunks conversation late last year, when community members created a “wrapper” program that effectively rescued abandoned avatars from Larva’s buggy, the original smart contract, turning them into Functional Ethereum NFTs.

Soon collectors started buying and selling CryptoPunks V1 packaged, exchanging them for increasing sums while calling them the “original” CryptoPunks. The V1 versions are identical to the “official” NFT Punks, except for a new background color added via packaging. This clearly agitated Hall and Watkinson in the process.

The Founders of Larva claimed that the NFTs V1 were “not official CryptoPunks” and said they “didn’t like them” – but they confused the message by also packaging and selling some of the V1 Punks who were in their own wallets. Ultimately, Larva Labs apologized in February and donated the funds to charity, calling its actions “stupid” and a “bad decision”.

However, Larva Labs later filed a DMCA copyright claim to have V1 Punks removed from OpenSea. Although the V1 community was apparently attacked by the creators of CryptoPunks, some reveled in the ensuing chaos and celebrated Larva’s missteps.

“That was a big clusterfuck, right? We really put a lot of pressure on them,” said V1 Punks community member Hemba. Told Decrypt in May. “They were just tripping over themselves.”

In March, the situation changed dramatically when Larva Labs sold the CryptoPunks IP to Yuga Labs, Yuga chose not to pursue the DMCA claim, and Wrapped V1 CryptoPunks returned to OpenSea before the community launched its own Rarible-powered marketplace. The battle was over, no more Yuga apparently acquired over 1,000 wrappable V1 Punks in the Larva deal, as well as a Wrapped V1 NFT.

But what does this mean for V1 Punks? Yuga Labs may not be actively pushing the V1 community like Larva Labs did, but neither are holders invited to the “official” party and offering perks as the CryptoPunks brand progresses.

When the V1 Punks own Market powered by Rare launched in May, community members said Decrypt that they hoped to create an independent DAO – or a decentralized autonomous organization – to unite all Larva Punks: the V1 Punks and the official CryptoPunks (V2).

Some owners hoped that the Yuga Labs IP License Agreement would somehow recognize the V1 Punks or grant them rights. But that was not the case, and the subject remains sometimes contentious on social media, with collectors urging Davis to find answers and some punk owners (like hemba) tweet that they don’t accept Yuga License Terms.

V1 Punks owners keep asking questions, and Yuga’s initial answer might not be what they were looking for. At least for now, any other V1 movement, including efforts to unite communities in the midst of animosity from some Punk owners – will have to come from the community, as always.

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