RAREPEPE NFT sells for $500k as Sotheby’s tease potential auction

A card from the vintage RAREPEPE collection has sold for $500k (147 ETH) on the collection’s fifth birthday, renewing interest in the 2016 NFT series.

The card – a Series 1 dubbed The Nakamoto Card – is part of a 300 strong collection issued in September 2016 that features a ‘Pepe’ of pseudonymous Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto.

The NFT notes that the card is “one of the most rare Pepes in existence” and has attracted big buyers seeking the rarest and most original NFTs that were available.

Prompted by the surge of interest in NFTs, collectors have been using NFT ‘vault’ platform Emblem Vault to wrap the original NFTs in ERC-21 form, meaning they can be sold on NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.

An Emblem vault is an NFT container that stores one or more tokens or NFTs. Using a vault, a collector can share their pieces with others and deposit NFTs for viewing.

The recent success of the project reflects the overwhelming desire from collectors to obtain NFT projects from the early days of Ethereum such as CryptoPunks and EtherRocks, which have also recently reached record sales upwards of $1m.

Based on their historical prestige and appeal to recent meme culture enthusiasts who regularly use Pepe memes across crypto communities, it’s speculated that the Rare Pepe collection could grant even higher value due to their age, standing and collectability as a series.

Sotheby’s auction on the cards?

Max Moore, Head of Contemporary Art Auction and Co-Head of NFTs at Sotheby’s, posted a cryptic tweet that floated the idea of a RAREPEPE card or collection being placed for sale at the famous auction house.

Whether the tweet was light-hearted is unknown, with many collectors now anticipating a RAREPEPE collection to be auctioned at Sotheby’s alongside future sales featuring many highly collectable NFTs.

Sotheby’s has been receptive of NFTs and digital art in the modern age, going as far as describing them as “one of the groundbreaking artistic breakthroughs of the century”.

It featured an auction of the “Source Code for the WWW” from Sir Tim Berners-Lee in NFT form, which sold for $5.43m.

Other collections include the “Natively Digital” curated art sale, which included a CryptoPunk alongside varying pieces of digital art and “The Fungible Collection” – a series of cube-based NFTs from Pak.

Most recently, Sotheby’s held its Bored Ape Yacht Club auction, which eventually sold for a staggering $24.39m, smashing initial estimates placed on the collection.