NFT: One of the earliest examples of crypto asset collections, CryptoPunks is an Ethereum-based NFT project from 2017.
The crypto-asset collections market, launched as NFT, boomed in 2021. As the NFT market expanded, prices skyrocketed, with numerous sales exceeding $1 million each. With NFTs entering the mainstream, it reached $2.5 billion in trading volume in the first six months.
The boom also saw NFT enthusiasts rediscover some of the oldest unchangeable tokens, driving the value of these crypto-asset collections to their highest ever level.
One of the NFT projects, CryptoPunks, is a randomly generated set of pixel-based avatars. Some of the rarest, most desirable CryptoPunks have been sold for millions of dollars.
Here’s what you need to know about CryptoPunks, one of the most popular NFT collections:
What is CryptoPunk?
Created by development studio Larva Labs, CryptoPunks is a sequence of 10,000 images specified as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. An NFT is the de facto proof of ownership of a digital item, and owning a CryptoPunks NFT means you are the sole owner of a one-of-a-kind pixel avatar.
Each CryptoPunk is randomly generated from dozens of feature lists, which means there are a number of designs available: Humans, zombies, monkeys, and even aliens. Aliens and zombies are among the most popular avatars with the highest selling prices to date.
Where did CryptoPunk come from?
CryptoPunks was released for free in 2017. Ethereum’s ERC-721 was released as an immutable token as an experiment with the two-man team at Larva Labs.
NFT volume gradually rose over the next three years, but through late 2020 and especially early 2021, demand for these digital collectibles skyrocketed. The secondary market capitalization of CryptoPunks has skyrocketed. To multi-million dollar NFT sales, auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, there’s been a lot of CryptoPunks used as Twitter profile pictures.
CryptoPunks announced that it has more than $870 million in total trading volume as of August 24, 2021.
What makes CryptoPunk so special?
One of the biggest strengths of demand for CryptoPunks is that they are one of the oldest NFT projects and the first set of randomly generated profile pictures to truly engage with the crypto-asset community. Profile picture NFTs have become a rising wave. Pudgy Penguins for Fore Ape Yacht Club strengthened the impact and legacy of the project. CryptoPunks also has some high-profile owners like rapper Jay-Z and investor Gary Vaynerchuk.
On top of that, there are distinct features that make certain CryptoPunks more desirable and valuable to collectors. Alien avatars are the rarest of random images, and as such, alien CryptoPunks are among the most expensive NFTs ever sold. Monkey and zombie designs are also in demand.
How to buy CryptoPunks?
While it is possible to view all CryptoPunks on OpenSea, the secondary marketplace for NFTs, you can only purchase them from Larva Labs’ website.
You can log into the platform with an Ethereum crypto asset wallet. You can exchange CryptoPunks through MetaMask and its official site. Larva Labs is a handy platform that lets you see all listed Punks in order of price from low to high.
The most expensive CryptoPunk ever sold was sold for $11.8 million in ETH at a Sotheby’s auction to DraftKings largest shareholder Shalom Meckenzie in June 2021.
What awaits in the future?
CryptoPunks will continue to change hands in the secondary markets, providing huge returns for investors who buy before the surge.
The entry price for Punks continues to rise, although it’s impossible to say whether current demand will continue. The price floor reached $100,000 in early August 2021 and surpassed $150,000 a few days later.
Financial services giant Visa unexpectedly acquired a CryptoPunk in late August 2021. He described the NFT as a “historic work of commerce” and suggested that “NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, commerce.” Immediately after the announcement, the CryptoPunks market was on the rise with more than $101 million of collectibles NFT sold that day.
It seems highly unlikely that Larva Labs will release more CryptoPunks. The company has started to move on to other projects, such as a set of 20,000 3D voxel avatars created in the same spirit as Meebits CryptoPunks in 2021.
However, there may be more developments around CryptoPunks. For example, in August 2021 Larva Labs announced that it has put all the drawings for existing CryptoPunks on the Ethereum blockchain. This move to ensure the longevity of NFTs has shown to add to the “resilience” of CryptoPunks investments.
Finally, we can also see CryptoPunks on the white screen. Larva Labs has hired United Talent Agency to represent the firm as they consider bringing CryptoPunks to film, television, video games and more. Could CryptoPunks cartoons come? We’ll wait and see.