What Are CryptoPunks?

By Notum DeFi App | Notum DeFi App | 8 Mar 2022

At first, there was almost no interest at all. ‘We were starting to think, ah no, this doesn’t really have it,’ Watkinson revoked. But after a while, Punks were selling for thousands of dollars.


When and how did it start? 

CryptoPunks is a creation of a software company Larva Labs, based in New York and founded by Matt Hall and John Watkinson. It was launched in 2017 as an experiment into the value of NFTs and art and, as a result, massively popularized crypto art ideas. 

The whole vibe was inspired by London punk scenes, the novel Neuromancer, the cyberpunk movement, Daft Punk, and the movie Blade Runner. The punks are close to the ERC-20 token, but actually, they are inspired by the ERC-721 standard as among other ERC standards, this one is suited for NFT.


What are CryptoPunks?

It’s a type of cryptocurrency but pretty different from a habitual Bitcoin (BTC). All 10,000 of the punks are one-of-a-kind NFTs built on the Ethereum blockchain. There are 3840 female and 6039 male NFTs. There are also a few apes, aliens, and zombies, too.

A mixed combination of different attributes makes sure each one of the 10,000 is completely unique.

There are 5 types of CryptoPunks NFT.  Here they go — male, female, ape, zombie, and alien. All of these punks have various attributes or accessories on them. Despite the accessories, these punks can have value based entirely on their type.

There are particular attributes of every CryptoPunk. These CryptoPunks attributes influence a CryptoPunk’s rarity and thus increase or decrease the value. For instance, only 44 punks have a beanie out of 10,000 punks. It's kind of obvious that punk with a beanie has a higher value compared to the rest.

On the other hand, the attributes of the CryptoPunks also form the value of a specific Punk. And the absence of attributes is also a special characteristic that makes the Punk way more expensive. 


Why are CryptoPunks famous?

One of the points here is that they were the first NFTs ever and they were really well promoted. Just look at all those celebrities who have them — a rapper Jay-Z, a tennis player Serena Williams, a musician Marshmello, a rapper Snoop Dog and many others. 

CryptoPunks were pioneers within the field and inspired many other projects to create their own NFTs, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, and alike.

There is a limit. It’s not an endless story, so only 10,000 CryptoPunks will ever exist. It creates a special spirit among collectors. 

They are different, and it matters. CryptoPunks' portraits could be more valuable than others based on their unique characteristics. Eight CryptoPunks have no determining attributes, and one (#8348) has seven attributes.

A CryptoPunk having rare characteristics can be super expensive and valuable. For example, CryptoPunk #7804, was sold for a dazzling $7.5 million, and that’s not even the highest price. 

Where and how can you buy CryptoPunks?

Before buying an NFT, you need to set up a crypto wallet such as SimpleHold. It is a unique address on the blockchain only you have access to.

Once you have a wallet, you need some Ethereum (ETH). You can buy the token using the service provided by the wallet, or send ETH you've already signed up on an exchange such as CoinbaseSimpleSwap, or Binance to your wallet address.

Having ETH, you're ready to buy a CryptoPunk NFT. You can find CryptoPunks for sale on Larva Lab's official website or on an NFT marketplace such as OpenSea. When you find a CryptoPunk you like the most, click on it, and then click the buy button on its page. The browser you use will ask you to connect your wallet and confirm the transaction.

Once you confirm the transaction, the ETH will go to a seller, and you'll see the NFT show up in your wallet. By the way, using a SimpleHold wallet, you could store all your NFTs within the wallet, which is really useful and handy. 

Larva Labs has a tracker that lets you see all available for purchasing Punks in order of price, from low to high


Closing thoughts

In August 2021, financial services company Visa bought CryptoPunk, calling the NFT a “historic commerce artifact.” They also declared that “NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce.” After the announcement, the market for CryptoPunks skyrocketed, with more than $101 million worth of the collection’s NFTs sold on that day alone—a single-day record, as of this writing.

Believe it or not, they are still popular today. Some famous and influential people own them. You can even find them at Christie’s and Sotheby’s as quite an expensive item. The highest-selling punk, for instance, was sold for 8,000 ETH ($23.7 million USD) on February 12, 2022. 

They have spread among collectors and NFT art fans, they are getting fewer and even more expensive, and nobody can tell if they hold such positions in the future or drop to the bottom of the digital world from where they have come.

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