Yuga's Twelvefold Auction Highlights

Yuga Lab’s Twelvefold auction concluded this afternoon. All 288 of their first-ever ordinal collection sold out over 24 hours of bidding at an average price of 2.55 BTC per Ordinal. As the first significant brand inscribed Ordinals on Bitcoin, I spent most of Monday following the auction to see how they did it, what tools they used, and the auction results. Here are some of the highlights as I see them:

First off, the auction required a high level of trust. Yuga had users post an address to receive the Ordinal and then deposit a BTC bid. If a user wins the auction, Yuga will inscribe the Ordinal – which could take up to a week, send the Ordinal to the address, and keep the BTC. If a user’s bid were too small to win, Yuga would manually refund the BTC. This auction mechanic is a far cry from non-custodial NFT auctions and is a testament to the lack of tools for Ordinals. I was disappointed because I was hoping Yuga would create a more trustless mechanic. However, I expect future inscription events to use more trustless tools like PBSTs.

Second, although the auction required high trust, it sold out within the auction time. People didn’t mind trusting a brand as well known as Yuga. However, I wonder if smaller launches will command the same level of user trust. I expect trust-minimized auctions soon, especially as there will inevitably be scams using Yuga’s auction mechanics. 

Third, there was a large spread between the 1st and 288th Ordinal. The first Ordinal sold for 7.1159 BTC, while the 288th sold for 2.25 BTC. A premium for Yuga’s 1/300th Ordinal is not surprising, but commanding a 3x multiple for that first spot seems high. I want to see how these will trade on secondary markets and if the first few Ordinals will maintain their premium.

All in all, for the first even auction from Yuga labs on Bitcoin, they have to count this as a success. Yuga labs made 735.7 BTC on this auction, worth around $16.5M at current BTC prices. Given their success, with only 288 pieces of art, I expect more brands to follow suit with more inscription events.

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