What are CryptoPunks and how to buy them?

What are CryptoPunks and how to buy them?
Some of the oldest NFTs in history are now among the most desired and expensive collector’s cryptocurrencies. Here’s what they are – and how you can buy your own NFT.

In brief

CryptoPunks is an NFT project based on Ethereum from 2017, making it one of the earliest examples of collectible cryptocurrencies.

Prices soared as the NFT market expanded in 2021, leading to numerous sales exceeding $ 1 million for 1 NFT.

The market for collector’s cryptocurrencies issued as non-exchangeable tokens (NFT) exploded in 2021, with a transaction volume of $ 2.5 billion in the first six months as the NFT entered the mainstream.

The boom has also caused NFT enthusiasts to rediscover some of the earliest non-exchangeable tokens, elevating the value of these collectible cryptocurrencies to heretofore unknown levels.

One of these early NFT designs is CryptoPunks: a set of randomly generated pixel-based avatars. Some of the rarest, most in-demand CryptoPunks have sold for millions of dollars. Seriously!

Here’s what you need to know about one of the most popular NFT collections.

What are CryptoPunks?

Created by Larva Labs development studio, CryptoPunks is a series of 10,000 images tokenized as NFT in the Ethereum blockchain. The NFT is actually a deed of ownership of a digital item, and in this case, having a CryptoPunks NFT means you are the sole owner of a one-of-a-kind pixel avatar.

Each CryptoPunk is randomly generated from a list of dozens of attributes, meaning there are several patterns: humans, zombies, monkeys, and even aliens. Aliens and zombies are among the most popular avatars and have earned some of the highest selling prices to date.

Where did CryptoPunk come from?

Believe it or not, CryptoPunks was released for free in 2017. The non-exchangable Ethereum ERC-721 token wasn’t even something back then, and the two-person team at Larva Labs released it as an experiment. Ethereum wallet owners grabbed 9,000 CryptoPunks that were released to the public, while Larva Labs kept the rest.

The volume of NFTs grew steadily over the next three years, but it wasn’t until late 2020, and especially early 2021, that the demand for these proven rare digital collections surged. The secondary market value of CryptoPunks has smashed the roof, leading to multi-million dollar NFT sales, auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and the wealth of CryptoPunks being used as Twitter profile pictures.

What’s so special about them?

One of the biggest drivers of the demand for CryptoPunks is that they are one of the oldest NFT projects and the first set of randomly generated profile photos to really click into the crypto community. These have inspired a growing wave of NFT profile photo sets, from the Bored Ape Yacht Club to Pudgy Penguins and many more, each of which only amplifies the source project’s impact and legacy. CryptoPunks also have several famous owners such as rapper Jay-Z and influential and investor Gary Vaynerchuk.

In addition, there are clear differentiators that make certain CryptoPunks more desirable and valuable to collectors. Alien avatars are the rarest of the random images and as such, CryptoPunks Aliens are among the most expensive NFTs sold to date. Designs of monkeys and zombies are also in demand. Most CryptoPunks just look like people with different features and accessories, and the simple looking ones are close to the market in terms of asking price in the NFT markets.

How to buy CryptoPunks?

While you can view all of the CryptoPunks on OpenSea, the leading aftermarket for NFT, you can only buy them through the Larva Labs website.

You need to login with an Ethereum crypto wallet such as MetaMask, then you can buy, bid and sell CryptoPunks via the official website. It is helpful that Larva Labs has a handy tracker that allows you to see all the Punks listed in order of price, from low to high.

The most expensive CryptoPunk sold to date cost $ 11.8 million in ETH in June 2021 at Sotheby’s auction for Shalom Meckenzie, DraftKings’ largest shareholder.


What’s next for CryptoPunks? Well, they will likely continue to change hands in the secondary markets, potentially generating huge returns for investors who bought before their surge.

There is no way to tell if the current level of demand will hold true, but the base price of punks continues to rise. The reserve price reached $ 100,000 in early August 2021 and surpassed $ 150,000 just a few days later. At the time of writing this, that is well over $ 200,000.

The financial services giant Visa became the unlikely owner of CryptoPunk in late August 2021, calling the NFT a “historic trading artifact” and suggesting that “NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment and trading.” Almost immediately after the announcement, the CryptoPunks market surged with NFT values ​​from the collection worth over $ 101 million only sold on that day.

It seems unlikely that Larva Labs will release more CryptoPunks, given that much of their appeal is that they have a limited supply and are among the oldest NFTs. Instead, the company began moving to other projects, such as Meebits in 2021. – a set of 20,000 3D voxel avatars created in the same spirit as CryptoPunks.

That said, there could still be further development around CryptoPunks. For example, in August 2021, Larva Labs announced that it had uploaded all artwork for an existing CryptoPunks on-chain on the Ethereum blockchain. This is a move that the collector is asking to ensure the longevity of the NFT so that one day it does not disappear from the net. While chaining everything was costly, the move could increase the “durability” of your CryptoPunks investment.

We could even see CryptoPunks on the silver screen. Larva Labs has signed a contract with United Talent Agency to represent a company that explores the use of its properties in film, television, video games and more. Will we be able to watch the CryptoPunks cartoon soon? We’ll wait and see.

20-09-2021, Mr Advice TEAM

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