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Yuga Labs discontinues CryptoPunks amid backlash over ‘woke’ collection


Yuga Labs faces backlash over its new Super Punk World collection.
The Super Punk World collection pays homage to the irreverent, early-internet roots of CryptoPunks.
Yuga Labs’ decision focuses on preservation and education rather than active development.

Yuga Labs, the NFT giant behind the iconic CryptoPunks, has announced it will cease any further development on the project following intense community backlash over its new Super Punk World collection.

The decision came after fervent criticism from the crypto community, accusing Yuga Labs of compromising the original essence of CryptoPunks with what some described as a “woke” initiative.

The Super Punk World collection

On May 20, the official CryptoPunks account launched the Super Punk World collection, featuring 500 pieces of hybridized 3D sculptures.

These pieces, created by New York-based painter Nina Abney, were designed to pay homage to the irreverent, early-internet roots of CryptoPunks while addressing themes of race and gender.

 The backlash against Super Punk World collection

However, despite the artistic intentions, the collection quickly faced a storm of criticism.

One community member bluntly declared, “Yuga killed Punks today,” echoing the sentiment that the project had strayed too far from its original ethos.

The backlash included threats from NFT holders to sell their CryptoPunk assets, and sarcastic comments questioning if the official account had been hacked. A prominent NFT trader even urged the community to boycott Yuga Labs and move forward without them.

Yuga Labs’ response

In response to the uproar, Yuga Labs CEO Greg Solano issued a statement on X clarifying that the team’s vision was to bridge Web3 with the traditional art world by collaborating with esteemed artists like Abney.

Solano noted that despite the backlash, the goal was to connect with those already supporting Abney’s work, possibly by airdropping the new collection to holders of her previous works, such as SuperCoolWorld.

Addressing the future of CryptoPunks, Solano announced that Yuga Labs would no longer be involved in the project’s development.

“What about punks? Yuga will no longer touch punks. They will just be decentralized and preserved on the blockchain,” he stated.

The CEO went further and emphasized that Yuga’s focus would shift to supporting museums and institutions in acquiring CryptoPunk NFTs and educating the public about their significance.

However, despite the controversy, the CryptoPunks collection has demonstrated resilience.

In March, two record-breaking sales highlighted the enduring value of these digital assets. On March 4, a rare alien CryptoPunk sold for 4,500 Ether (approximately $16 million), followed by another sale on March 20 for 4,850 Ether (around $16.4 million).

The post Yuga Labs discontinues CryptoPunks amid backlash over ‘woke’ collection appeared first on CoinJournal.




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