Yuga Labs’ TwelveFold NFT auction sells for $16.49m despite criticism

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The auction for TwelveFold has begun and will conclude on the block immediately prior to 3pm PT tomorrow, March 6th, 2023. Good luck.

https://t.co/gvl8IHpekC https://t.co/xGWU9jdCoO, tags: yuga nft - @yugalabs (twitter)
The auction for TwelveFold has begun and will conclude on the block immediately prior to 3pm PT tomorrow, March 6th, 2023. Good luck.

https://t.co/gvl8IHpekC https://t.co/xGWU9jdCoO – @yugalabs (twitter)

Yuga Labs concluded its first controversial yet highly anticipated Bitcoin NFT auction on Monday. The auction resulted in 288 successful bidders collectively spending $16.49 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) to obtain TwelveFold NFTs.

Yuga Labs has been dominating the NFT market on Ethereum with its popular collections — the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks. However, this auction marked its first venture into Bitcoin NFTs.

During the 24-hour auction, which began Sunday, TwelveFold received 3,246 bids. The highest bid was 7.1159 BTC ($159,500), and the lowest successful bid was 2.2501 BTC ($50,400).

According to a Yuga Labs spokesperson, the top 288 bidders will get their inscriptions within a week. Meanwhile, the remaining 12 pieces of the 300-count limited series will be reserved for contributors and given away as part of Yuga’s philanthropic initiatives.

Previously, Yuga Labs only offered NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Its other collections, like the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Otherside virtual land plots and Meebits, had at least 10,000 NFTs.

“The TwelveFold auction has ended. Congratulations to the top 288 bidders – you will receive your inscription within one week,” Yuga Labs said on social media.

“Valid bids that did not rank in the top 288 will have their bid amount returned to their receiving address within 24 hours.”

TwelveFold NFTs differ significantly from Yuga Labs’ other collections as they are generative art pieces that utilize the Ordinals method to inscribe them onto the BTC blockchain.

The Ordinals method is a new technique that permanently inscribes media on individual Satoshis. Each Satoshis represents a fraction of a whole BTC, specifically 1/100,000,000.

The recent upgrades to the BTC blockchain have made it more affordable to store data in single transactions, helping boost the popularity of Ordinals.

Controversy surrounding bidding process

Despite the positive outcome of the auction, its bidding process received some criticism.

Some market observers found the format of the auction puzzling. To participate, bidders had to deposit the total amount of their bids directly with the company. In response, Yuga pledged to return any unsuccessful bids within 24 hours after the end of the auction.

Creator of Bitcoin Ordinals Casey Rodarmor criticized Yuga for introducing a bidding process that malicious project creators could easily exploit to steal funds from bidders. Rodarmor viewed Yuga’s actions as an endorsement of such a process.

Meanwhile, other industry insiders viewed this auction as a “dangerous precedent” set by a large company in the NFT space.

Regardless, Yuga said the company is thrilled that Ordinals was able to develop a permissionless method for on-chain NFTs on BTC.

“This space is incredibly nascent and TwelveFold was always meant to be an experiment,” Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano said.

“Many things we take for granted on Ethereum — like smart contracts, and trustless transactions — don’t exist yet on ordinals, where inscriptions trade over-the-counter on discord with bids tracked on Google spreadsheets and the existing marketplaces appear to be governed by multi-sig escrows.”

Greg Solano, Yuga Labs co-founder

Solano expressed the company’s enthusiasm for developing new tools for trustless auctions and marketplaces, hoping that TwelveFold’s success will inspire more developers to contribute to these tools.


Bitcoin is a protocol which implements a highly available, public, and decentralized ledger. In order to update the ledger, a user must prove they control an entry in the ledger. (wikipedia)

Non-fungible token

A non-fungible token is a unique digital identifier that cannot be copied, substituted, or subdivided, that is recorded in a blockchain, and that is used to certify authenticity and ownership. (wikipedia)


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