Yuga Labs’ buzzy and controversial auction of its debut Bitcoin NFT collection concluded Monday, with 288 successful bidders nabbing as many pieces in the limited series, spending a combined $16.49 million worth of BTC.
The collection, TwelveFold, garnered 3,246 total bids during the 24-hour auction, which began Sunday, according to a Yuga spokesperson. Of those, the highest bid was 7.1159 BTC, or roughly $159,500. The lowest successful bid was 2.2501 BTC, or just over $50,000.
The top 288 bidders will receive their inscriptions within the week, per Yuga. The last 12 pieces of the 300-count limited series will be held for contributors and distributed as part of Yuga’s philanthropic programs.
Yuga, the $4 billion company behind dominant NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club, has only ever previously released NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. All other collections besides TwelveFold created or owned by Yuga—including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Otherside virtual land plots, CryptoPunks, and Meebits—also featured at least 10,000 NFTs.
TwelveFold NFTs are a marked departure from that body of work. They are generative art pieces inscribed to the Bitcoin blockchain via Ordinals, a recently launched method of committing art to Bitcoin by permanently inscribing media on individual Satoshis, each of which represent 1/100,000,000 of a full Bitcoin (BTC).
The pieces are all 12×12 grids—an homage to how data is stored on the Bitcoin blockchain—and are generative art pieces that combine 3D graphics and hand-drawn features. Each of the 288 pieces won at auction today will be generated by the same code, and pieces won at a higher bidding price will not appear qualitatively different from pieces won at lower bidding prices, according to Yuga. Pieces from the collection, though, will be numbered and generated according to their rank in the bidding process.
Earlier Monday, Yuga stirred some controversy with the manner in which the company designed the TwelveFold bidding process. Would-be TwelveFold holders had to deposit the full amount of their bids directly with Yuga in order to be considered in the auction; Yuga promised it would return rejected bids within 24 hours of the auction’s conclusion.
Casey Rodarmor, the creator of Bitcoin Ordinals, lambasted Yuga for creating such a bidding process, arguing that it legitimized a process that could easily be manipulated by nefarious project creators to steal funds from bidders.
“If I, personally, Casey Rordamor, ever see you, Yuga Labs, the entity, fuck around with degenerate bullshit like this again, I will wash my hands of you forever and encourage others, including those close to me to do the same,” Rordamor wrote on Twitter Monday.
“Get fucked you highly regarded morons,” Rordamor signed the note.
Dear @yugalabs,@veryordinally is right. Actions like this prove that for some entities and people: “Once a shitcoiner always a shitcoiner.”
If I, personally, Casey Rodarmor, ever see you, Yuga labs, the entity, fuck around with degenerate bullshit like this again, I will wash… https://t.co/COARsn4X0o
— Casey Rodarmor (@rodarmor) March 6, 2023
The structure of TwelveFold’s bidding process reflects the current disconnect between the outsize popularity of Bitcoin Ordinal NFTs and the lack of digital infrastructure that caters to the nascent medium. Despite only debuting in late January, over 325,000 Ordinals have already been inscribed, according to data from Dune Analytics.
A report last week from Galaxy Research forecasted the Bitcoin NFT market will hit $4.5 billion by 2025. That same report anticipated that a full ecosystem of Bitcoin NFT-supporting products and services should emerge by this summer.