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Yuga Labs Steps Back from CryptoPunks After ‘Super Punk World’ Backlash 


Yuga Labs, the creator of the renowned Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, has announced it is stepping back from CryptoPunks after negative community feedback about its new Super Punk World project.

The announcement comes less than a day after Yuga Labs unveiled the latest edition of CryptoPunks, Super Punk World, on May 20. This new series was created by the acclaimed artist Nina Chanel Abney, known for her popular works displayed at MoMA and the Whitney.

In a detailed post on X, Garga.eth (Greg Solano), co-founder of Yuga Labs, revealed that the company plans to end its direct involvement and fully decentralize the collection to preserve it on the blockchain, saying that “Yuga will no longer touch punks”.

Launch of Super Punk World

The launch marks the conclusion of Abney’s tenure in the Punk in Residence program, a series of on-chain collaborations to encourage creative experimentation and leverage next-generation technology.

Super Punk World is a 500-piece collection that started with 10,000 randomly generated avatars, which Abney then hand-curated. 

The collection draws inspiration from iconic CryptoPunks traits, merging them with attributes from Abney’s Super Cool World NFT collection. This approach invites collectors to engage with her art in an interactive manner for the first time.

The Super Punk World mint will begin on May 29th with a Least Price Dutch Auction.

Source Punk in Residence

Artistic Vision and Criticism

Abney’s work is known for its bold style and perspective. It incorporates hybridized figures that blend racial components and aim to challenge traditional gender norms. 

According to the Punk in Residence website, “Abney has created hybridized figures that fuse racial components and blur the lines between masculine and feminine. Through these amalgamations of external signifiers, Abney challenges the notion of an inherent societal “value” and pushes the viewer to engage with their own implicit biases.”

Despite the artistic vision, many have criticized the new artworks, labelling them as “woke” and expressing concerns about diluting the original CryptoPunks collection. They argue that expanding the project compromises its status as a valuable “blue chip” Ethereum NFT set.

In response, Yuga Labs plans to distribute the Super Punk World NFTs to holders of the Super Cool World collection through airdrops, potentially selecting users randomly for this distribution.

CryptoPunks is one of the earliest and most iconic NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain. Launched in June 2017 by Larva Labs, it consists of 10,000 unique 24×24-pixel art images, each with distinct attributes. 

CryptoPunks pioneered the concept of digital art ownership and inspired the ERC-721 standard for NFTs. Their rarity and historical significance have led to high valuations, with some pieces fetching millions in auctions and sales.

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