Don’t sulk about not having an enjoyable, adventurous day. Your day is certainly looking more promising than Germany’s most notable art and media museum, the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. To err is human and a simple copy/paste mistake cost the museum two CryptoPunks that now seem irretrievable. Cryptography expert Daniel Heiss purchased the digital works or NFTs in 2017, created by LarvaLabs.
Heiss bought a total of four punks for $100 each, which is valued to be worth ETH 60 ($187,000) each. All was well till Heiss tried sending two punks to another online address. Instead of sending them, he accidentally “burned” the works and sent the NFTs to an inaccessible wallet. Heiss shared with The Art Newspaper. “I was browsing etherscan and had copied and pasted the smart contract address of the cryptopunks contract, which is also a valid wallet address, just one that nobody has keys for.”
He continued, “The transfer of the punks was a stupid copy/paste failure. But seen another way, it’s somehow a statement about what blockchain and cryptography is. The museum’s purpose was never to sell the works anyway. So seen another way, the two punks are ours forever, verifiably inaccessible, because the address of the CryptoPunks smart contract can be seen as a so-called ‘nothing-up-my-sleeves number.”