So much for decentralization.
The IP of the most valuable NTF collection in terms of trading volume, CryptoPunks, was just bought by the creators of the second most valuable NFT collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
It's a blockbuster sale that demonstrates that even an industry built on the concept of decentralization may not be able to resist the siren song of consolidation.
BAYC creator Yuga Labs made the acquisition of Larva Labs' CryptoPunks for an undisclosed amount, according to a press release. The company has bought copyright of over 400 CryptoPunk NFTs as well as 1,711 Meebits, Larva Labs' other popular collection.
The creators of CryptoPunks have struggled to protect their IP over the years, repeatedly lashing out at copycat projects and issuing DMCA takedown requests.
In short, Larva Labs is happy to call it quits.
"Our specialty has always been the creation of things early in the life of a technology," their blog post commenting on the acquisition reads. "Our personalities and skill sets aren’t well suited to community management, public relations, and the day-to-day management that these kinds of projects require and deserve."
It's a significant sale, considering the size of both collections, which combined are worth over $3 billion. CryptoPunks became practically synonymous with NFTs during the trend's early days almost five years ago.
BAYC is much younger and launched only last year, but has quickly accumulated plenty of value and hype, with several celebrities making widely publicized purchases.
"When we set out to create within the NFT space, we did so with a deep admiration for CryptoPunks and the visionary work of [creators] Matt and John," Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz said in a statement.
Maybe the real question is where all that value will be in another five years.
READ MORE: Why Larva Labs Sold the CryptoPunks NFT IP to the Bored Ape Creators [Decrypt]