In brief

  • An open edition NFT release from artist XCOPY generated nearly $23 million worth of sales.
  • The Max Pain Ethereum NFT was only available for 10 minutes on Nifty Gateway.

NFTs from the pseudonymous crypto artist XCOPY have become grail pieces amongst serious collectors, with some of his single-edition NFTs selling for several million dollars each in recent months. And when he released a more affordable open edition NFT yesterday, it yielded nearly $23 million worth of sales in mere minutes.

On Thursday, Nifty Gateway launched an open edition sale for XCOPY’s Max Pain NFT, an animated, skull-like image with the artist’s trademark glitchy, throbby aesthetic. It was only available for 10 minutes at a price of $3,108, or the approximate value of 1 ETH at the time.

Ultimately, 7,394 pieces of the Ethereum NFT were sold within that 10-minute window, generating just shy of $23 million in the process. “Well that was quite intense,” the artist tweeted soon after.

XCOPY typically specializes in single-edition, 1-of-1 pieces in a similar style, some of which have titles that comment on NFT culture and/or others’ criticism of it—such as Right Click and Save As Guy and All-Time High in the City. Those pieces and others have increasingly risen in value as the wider NFT market has swelled.


Those two pieces—both minted on the SuperRare platform—appear on Decrypt’s list of the 15 most expensive NFTs ever sold, with “Right Click and Save As Guy” selling for nearly $7.1 million worth of ETH in December 2021. 

An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a unique digital item, and can represent things like digital illustrations, profile pictures, and collectibles. XCOPY is one of the most successful artists in the NFT market, which generated $25 billion worth of total trading volume in 2021.

XCOPY doesn’t often launch open edition releases, which let an unlimited number of buyers purchase an identical edition within a limited timeframe.


In fact, the last one for Traitors took place exactly one year prior on Nifty Gateway, and that sale’s base piece Afterburn sold through 870 pieces in March 2021 for $999 apiece. Afterburn NFTs now start at about $29,400 on Nifty’s secondary market.

Alongside Thursday’s open edition launch of Max Pain, Nifty Gateway also released a limited number of variants through ranked auctions, which collectively generated nearly $1.5 million in addition to the open edition sales. The platform also offered a way for holders of previous Traitors NFTs to “burn” (or destroy) them in exchange for other limited-edition XCOPY pieces.

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.