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).
— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) March 5, 2023
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.”
Want to watch the Yuga Labs TwelveFold Ordinals bids in real-time?
You're in luck, Yuga built a leaderboard where you can see the top 288 bids at any given time
It's gonna appear on the TwelveFold website any minute now
— trevor.btc (@TO) March 5, 2023
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.
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
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.
To give credit where credit is due – I really appreciate the fact Yuga took the effort to attempt and go a Bitcoin route when setting up this auction. Somewhat irrationally it pains me even more to see a bitcoin approach setting bad precedent, than an ETH based approach …
— ordinally (@veryordinally) March 6, 2023