Larva Labs Sells Out New NFT Batch, Triggers Worries of CyperPunks Value Drop
Larva Labs, the company behind digital collectibles known as CryptoPunks, are further expanding their foothold in the non-fungible token (NFT) market through their latest project, the Meebits, introducing a range of 3D avatars for virtual worlds, games, and virtual reality - and already selling out.
“If the Cryptopunks are an ideal 2D avatar for Discord, Twitter, and other social media, then we hope that the Meebits will be the 3D avatar for virtual worlds, games, and VR. We are bullish about the metaverse future, and we look forward to seeing how the Meebits are used in such environments,” the company said about its third NFT project.
The team wrote that they "love low-poly and voxel 3D graphics. The style has been made popular in the last decade or so by games such as Minecraft and Roblox. We think that, just like 8-bit pixel art, the minimalism and accessibility of voxel art will prove timeless and endearing for generations to come.”
Larva Labs announced the new project and the sale of 9,000 characters on May 3, opening the public sale about an hour later - and some five hours after that, boosted by the hype surrounding the company’s previous NFT offers, the company announced it had sold out the entire batch of the Meebits.
According to data from OpenSea, these NFTs have generated nearly ETH 5,592.9 in sales (currently USD 18.98m). .
Also the owners of Larva Labs' earilier NFTs can claim a free Meebit (except for gas fees) within a week. "The remaining Meebits that aren't locked up by the Community Grant are available for sale," they said.
Similarly to the CryptoPunks collection, Larva Labs stored a file hash in the smart contract, but claims that writing a generator of voxel characters was significantly more challenging than writing a generator for 2D characters such as CryptoPunks.
Once all 20,000 Meebits have been minted, the file matching that hash on InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is released, and this contains all the attribute and voxel data for each Meebit, "so they can live on in perpetuity," the team said.
Meanwhile, some NFT market observers have voiced their disappointment over the sale mechanism Larva Labs adopted for their latest line of digital collectibles, contrasting it with the one employed for CryptoPunks.
“20,000 meebits & they want 2.5 eth (USD 8000) each for the 9000 they’re selling. Targeting [USD] 72M net on the public sale,” tweeted a user who goes by the name davis. “High price with no scarcity, no historic value like punks. Comes off like a straight cash grab. Hard pass from me.”
Some commenters defended Larva Labs by pointing out that the sale was a Dutch auction, a type of auction with a descending price in which the auctioneer begins with the highest asking price, and then lowers it until it reaches a level where the received bids will cover the entire quantity of the offered goods.
Another crypto investor said that “even with a Dutch auction, it’s a high starting price only because they are Larva Labs. The fact they airdropped over half means the floor price will likely dump hard too.”
At the same time, some commentators worried that the latest sale might trigger a drop in the value of CryptoPunks which maintain significantly higher market prices than many of the sold Meebits.