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

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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 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 Thursday — 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 the sale.

According to Float Capital’s 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 that 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.