The CryptoPunks feature characters and each one is uniquely designed in a 24X24 pixel image. Various punks include images of boys, girls, aliens, apes, and even zombies. The NFT collection predates the ERC-721 standard but the transactions are carried out on the Ethereum network and secondary purchases can be made through OpenSea.
The CryptoPunks NFTs have been released by a company called Larva Labs. The CryptoPunks NFT collection has generated a cult following and many celebrities including Serena Williams, Jay Z, Marshmallow, Gary Vee, Snoop Dogg, and Steve Aoki have purchased the CryptoPunks NFTs.
History of CryptoPunks
CryptoPunks NFTs are an exclusive limited collection of 10,000 NFTs featuring a 24X24 frame size pixel image of punk characters. There are various kinds of images but most are men and women. The various NFTs are different from each other based on accessories primarily but some other attributes also include eye color, hairstyle, shadow beard, rosy cheeks etc. Out of the total 10k NFTs, 6,039 male and 3,840 are female characters. Apart from these, there are 88 zombies, 24 apes, and 9 aliens.
CryptoPunks is one of the oldest NFT collections and are credited with pioneering the ERC-721 standard that led to the NFT mania and created many other similar cult communities. They were initially given away for free but all have been claimed and need to be purchased through secondary markets only. The original NFTs were minted in 2017. 1000 NFTs were kept by the developer team while the rest were given away. Many have generated sales running into millions. One particular CryptoPunks NFT #8348 features seven attributes and is the most valued art NFT currently in the world. About 8 CryptoPunks do not have any distinguishing features and are known as Genesis Punks.
The idea took root from cryberpunk characters, the punk music industry, and the London punk scene. The lifestyle has been aptly captured but each image has been generated through computer code giving it a uniqueness that is not possible through human intervention. The collection has generated a lot of interest among investors and the NFTs have made handsome returns on the secondary market for their early investors. The initial NFTs were free but are currently sold out and can be bought only on secondary NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
You can find out the status of each CryptoPunks NFT by its background color. A blue background means it is currently not available for sale while a red background includes all CryptoPunks that are available for sale. A purple background denotes an active bid interest.
Tokenomics of CryptoPunks
The CryptoPunks NFTs predate the Ethereum ERC-721 standard but have since adopted the Ethereum blockchain for transaction purposes. A total of 10,000 CryptoPunks NFTs were minted in 2017.
Purchasing a CryptoPunks NFT is an investment in itself as the entire movement of NFTs began with this collection. Total sales have exceeded 2 billion dollars and many celebrities have also joined the bandwagon.
Larva Labs has also come up with other NFT collections such as the Meebits, 20,000 unique NFTs traded on a no fee platform, generative art in the form of Autoglyphs, and a game called Road Trip.
CryptoPunks have been used as Twitter profile pics since they look unique and really cool. They have become a style statement of sorts and are flaunted by many investors. As a long-term holder, these NFTs can also be looked upon as an investment. Early holders got them for free and have resulted in huge gains for them already.
The CryptoPunks collection has sufficient rarity built-in that also helps in pushing the value of these NFTs. Rarity in NFT defines the uniqueness of features and how frequently they exist in a collection. For example, buck teeth feature in exactly 78 of the CryptoPunks NFTs making it an important rare feature. The CryptoPunks NFTs possessing this trait thus become extremely valuable. The rarity can be checked on online freely available NFT rarity tools such as Rarity Sniper. You can also check the rarity of a particular CryptoPunks NFT by clicking on the properties tab. Anything less than 1% is considered very rare and will command a huge premium on its price.
Source: Rarity Sniper
For example, #8348 features a CryptoPunk character with buck teeth, a rare trait and if we check the rarity on Rarity sniper as shown in the image above, it will list buch teeth attribute as 0.78%.
Let us discuss the top five most famous and expensive CryptoPunks collection NFTs sold till date.
CryptoPunks #2950: This particular NFT is owned by the fanous tennis star, Serena Williams. It was gifted to her by her husband. It features a female CryptoPunks character with a headband and curly hair. As per estimates, it was sold for $282,300.
CryptoPunks #6095: This NFT is owned by the American rapper and record producer Jay Z. He bought it for a record $120,000. This particular NFT features a make CryptoPunks character with wild hair and a gold chain. Both are rare attributes making it a valuable NFT. The singer has changed his Twitter profile picture to display his purchased CryptoPunk NFT.
CryptoPunks #2140: This NFT features a CryptoPunks character in the form of an ape wearing a knitted cap and cool shades. It was purchased by Gary Vee, an American entrepreneur who also owns a total of 59 CryptoPunks NFTs.
CryptoPunks #1570: Owned by Steve Aoki, this CryptoPunks character features a male wearing a headband with hornrimmed glasses. He also owns another CryptoPunks NFT #2424 that features a zombie wearing a bandana and earrings. The #2424 CryptoPunks NFT has a frowning expression. Steve Aoki is an American record producer and artist who has also invested in other NFT projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club collection.
CryptoPunks #8274: This NFT was purchased by Marshmellow who confirmed the buy order on his own Twitter handle via a tweet. It features a male CryptoPunks character with a cap, chinstrap, and eye mask. He paid 130ETH for this cool NFT.
The CryptoPunks NFTs have become a cult item and have generated a lot of interest from investors. Some of the NFTs have sold for record prices such as the #5822 that was sold for $23.7 million. Much of the value is because of the community behind this project and also because it has the early mover advantage of being one of the first NFT collections. Also, each NFT is generated through a code making them unique and no two can be alike.
The endorsement from various celebrities and brands has also helped in hyping the CryptoPunks NFTs.
The accessories in the form of beanie caps, earrings, buck teeth, pilot helmet, medical mask, silver or gold chains, eye mask etc. give each NFT a separate identity and diversity. The basic value of every NFT is in its rarity of which the CryptoPunks collection has in plenty.
- One of the earliest NFT collections. Has collectible value.
- Very expensive and have a cult following.
- High celebrity ownership.
- Generated through computer code. No artistic value.
- No other ecosystem/club memberships are available currently.
Is CryptoPunks scam?
The CryptoPunks NFT collection does not seem to be a scam. However, it is important to Do Your Own Research (DYOR) as NFTs are a risky investment and their value derives from multiple attributes such as community backing, celebrity involvement, and future roadmaps. You should also factor in the rarity aspect before purchasing an NFT.
However, the company behind the CryptoPunks NFT collection is Larva Labs, a reputed firm that gave away 9000 NFTs for free so it cannot be a scam since the original buyers only had to pay for gas fees. The founders are not anonymous and this provides some credibility to the collection. You can look at the CryptoPunks NFTs as an investment asset since they are sold for high prices and it goes to show that it is not an obvious rug pull but there are no guarantees in the NFT universe, so you should research carefully before deciding to invest in a collection.
Where to buy CryptoPunks?
The CryptoPunks NFTs can be bought on OpenSea. For a comprehensive AltCoin Reviews guide that explains all you need to know on how to go about purchasing NFTs on the platform, please click here.
Who Owns CryptoPunks?
Some famous people who own CryptoPunks collection NFTs include Steve Aoki, Snoop Dogg, Marshmellow, and Gary Vee.
Author’s Bio: Puskar Pande has worked for over a decade as a writer and editorial consultant for various cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. He has written many educational pieces on cryptocurrency topics.