1. CryptoPunks were first airdropped to the Ethereum wallets for free as an experiment by its founders.
2. The collection ranks second among the highest-selling projects in the world with each NFT worth almost $100,000
3. CryptoPunks was inspired by the London Punk movement in the 70s and 80s
CryptoPunks is known as the pioneer of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. The collection has accumulated $1.7 billion in traded sales, just second to Axie Infinity, at the time of writing.
Its founders Matt Hall and John Watkinson were developers who wanted to test 8-bit style PFPs as NFTs. However, this small project boomed in 2020 with most collectibles selling for millions of dollars.
Today, it is one of the most expensive collectibles in the marketplace, and owning one makes you the elite of the NFT community. In this article, you will know what are CryptoPunks, why they’re so expensive, and why are people crazy about them.
If you think the 8-bit art style is an old story, think again because the non-fungible tokens are bringing back the trend. No one might have predicted that pixelated avatars would be sold for millions of dollars but CryptoPunks proved it.
In fact, CryptoPunk #5822 was sold for $23.7M, owned by the Chain CEO Deepak Thapliyal, making the most expensive NFT from the collection while the floor price or the lowest price is at 80 ETH in the marketplace.
Why is CryptoPunks NFT so high-priced and what makes it so valuable? This article is an answer to all your questions.
What is CryptoPunks NFT?
The CryptoPunks NFT collection features programmatically generated 10,000 24×24 pixelated avatars in an 8-bit art style, each having a distinctive blend of various traits. Larva Labs officially debuted this collection, now it is acquired by Yuga Labs.
The avatars are said to be inspired by the London Punk Movement in the 1970s and 1980s when the punk subculture emerged through music and fashion.
By capturing historical moments through art along with the futuristic cyberpunk genre and famous artist Daft Punk, this collection attracted many NFT enthusiasts.
Traits & Rarity
So far, only one collection of 10,000 PFPs is launched. Each NFT from the collection features a combination of traits. These characteristics are distributed using an algorithm to make each non-fungible token unique. The traits are divided by types:
- 6,039 Male
- 3,840 Female
- 88 Zombie
- 24 Ape
- 9 Alien
And also accessories for attribute distribution ranging from Earing, Cigarettes, Hot Lipstick, Bandana, Shades, Hair, Eyepatch, etc.
A CryptoPunk can have a combination of seven attributes at maximum but it can also have no trait at all. Commonly, each avatar has 2-4 attributes, as listed on OpenSea.
The rarity is defined by how rare and valuable the collectible is in the marketplace. For example, the Alien type CryptoPunk will most likely be expensive because there are only 9 of them.
NFTStudio24 Rarity Tool ranks CryptoPunks NFTs using advanced technology and algorithms. You can see the official ranking of this collection here.
What is the story behind CryptoPunks NFT?
If you want to know in-depth knowledge about CryptoPunks, you should know the background history of how this collection came into existence. As mentioned above Larva Labs was founded by two Canadian developers in 2005 when only a few people knew about non-fungible tokens.
When this collection was dropped in 2017, there was hype about crypto and Bitcoin because of the market rise and people getting rich, while digital collectibles weren’t fully adopted and the idea of generative art using algorithms didn’t hold much value.
When CryptoPunks was first launched, 9,000 were distributed for free to users with Ethereum wallets; the rest of the 1,000 avatars were kept for the team. The concept of non-fungible tokens emerged highlighting the importance of digital ownership in the blockchain. Many influencers who were only early adopters in 2017 saw an opportunity in this collection.
Although many collections had already been launched during that time, CryptoPunks became part of the CryptoArt movement aka the “alpha and omega” collection in the NFT world.
CryptoPunks wasn’t just a money-making business by Larva Labs, in fact, it was an experiment to highlight the importance of digital ownership which holds so much significance in today’s market.
CryptoPunks NFT goes for auction
In 2018, the team decided to print physical lithographs of 24 avatars signed by the co-founder and developer Watkinson in a sealed envelope with private keys called a “paper wallet” for the asset owner.
These items went out on auction at Christie’s and 5 of the ultra-rare collectibles sold between the price of $210,000-$315,000.
At first, this collection didn’t gain much attention but when it got featured on different websites that highlighted its significance. The concept of rarity ranking might’ve also begun from this project because any two CryptoPunk could not have a common blend of attributes at all.
By 2020, those who held CryptoPunks NFT saw a sudden surge in popularity and demand for the collection in the secondary market. Today, each NFT is worth thousands of dollars.
Yuga Labs acquires CryptoPunks
In 2022, Yuga Labs announced the acquisition of CryptoPunks along with another project called Meebits from Larva Labs.
All the IP rights of the collection now belong to the BAYC creator company that announced it would hand over all the copyrights to the owners completely. Yuga Labs also shared that they would integrate the PFP artworks into avatars for its upcoming Otherside metaverse.
CryptoPunks is now part of the BAYC and MAYC universe and has continued to rank top 10 despite being such an old collection.
What makes CryptoPunks NFT so expensive?
Considering its long history and legendary significance, the owners of these NFTs are the elite of the NFT community.
We all know our social identity is defined by whatever we wear, own, and portray ourselves as. In Web3, the identity becomes digital and you are widely judged based on what NFT you own.
If someone owns a CryptoPunk, they are most likely to become the talk of the town. After all, only 9,000 of them and only nine thousand people can own them among millions. It’s like owning limited-edition Nike shoes or a Dior dress.
Furthermore, since this collection is owned by early adopters, the community sees them as inspirations and trustworthy. In other words, they have a defined status in space even if their identity is unknown. Some owners have even built an entire brand or project with this individuality.
So, no matter if the market is bear or bull, people are ready to bet thousands and millions of dollars just to buy that one CryptoPunk NFT.
What is the most expensive CryptoPunks NFT?
CryptoPunks ranks among the most high-priced PFPs in the world. The most expensive and rarest NFT from the collection is CryptoPunk #5822. Chain CEO, Deepak Thapliyal bought this collectible for 8,000 ETH, which is around $23.7M. The NFT ranks 4th most expensive NFT in 2023.
Who owns CryptoPunks NFT?
Many crypto pioneers, celebrities, and influencers own CryptoPunks NFT. Some of the famous names are:
- Snoop Dogg
- Justin Bieber
- FaZe Banks,
- Serena Wiliams
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- Steve Aoki
- Logan Paul
- Heidi Klum
- Jason Derulo
- Mark Cuban
- Alexis Ohanian
Gary Vee owns 59 CryptoPunks, making him the biggest owner of the collection.
Can you buy CryptoPunks NFT?
Yes, you can buy this collection from the secondary marketplace only if someone is open to the price offered. Currently, all avatars are sold out. But every now and then, owners are willing to sell their NFTs to buyers who offer a good price for them.
Here’s how you can buy CryptoPunks NFT from the marketplace:
- Go to opensea.io and create an account
- Connect your wallet
- Go to the NFT you wish to buy and click on “Make an Offer” or click on any of the avatars listed for sale
- List down your offer and wait for the owner to either accept or reject it
- Once accepted, follow the steps to pay the gas fee and complete the transaction
You will receive the NFT on your Ethereum wallet.
Since this project is one of the oldest, it has some controversies that eventually died down after some time.
Wash trading CryptoPunk #9998
The CryptoPunk #9998 NFT is considered the most expensive PFP, but it’s really not. When you search for Highest Last Sale, this avatar pops up first but the team and the community have collectively dismissed this because of the wash trading scandal.
This white hair, green-eyed punk PFP was sold for $532 million (Source: Bloomberg). However, further investigation showed the owners wanted to create false hype by continuous buy and sell transfers with fake blunts. The avatar came under the radar for wash trading because it was never sold but transferred between accounts.
Larva Labs later disabled the trading for this NFT. Now, no one can buy or sell CryptoPunk #9998 at all. It just exists within the marketplace for display.
Larva Labs dumps V1 Punks
V1 Punks is another project created using CryptoPunks’ smart contract that was suddenly dumped by Larva Labs after its co-founder Watkinson let go of 40% of his V1 Punks stock. The team tried to delist and denounce V1 Punks, receiving a huge backlash from the community.
In fact, there were divided reactions to this attempt. Some defended the company saying it always intended to sell while others said the team was trying to sabotage it at the expense of CryptoPunks and find it suspicious that they insisted on blacklisting it AFTER Watkinson sold the project’s avatars.
Later, the creators apologized for selling the project by saying it was a “bad decision.”
How far will CryptoPunks go?
CryptoPunks is the pioneer of programmatically generated 8-bit art that gave birth to many preceding collections in the NFT market. Based on its utility and demand, this project is expected to grow in value even more in the coming years.
Even if the team hasn’t dropped any roadmap or future plans for this project, the demand will still remain; after all, it’s an OG collection that holds the history of non-fungible tokens.
The new owner is actively developing Bored Apes but it hasn’t released any updates related to CryptoPunks or Meebits. So far, the only time a punk appeared in Yuga Labs’ promotions was for the trailer of Otherside, which shows the company might be planning something in the long run.
Until then, owning a CryptoPunk is enough to climb the NFT market and build a Web3 identity on social media.
CryptoPunks NFT Future predictions 2023
CryptoPunks NFT still charts highest among the NFT collections. According to various sources, the project will grow as long as the cryptocurrency market picks up a bull run. In 2022, the overall NFT market was down, so the project didn’t see much price improvement.
The year 2023 might push the market prices up. Price analysis and predictions indicate CryptoPunks NFT will recover from its previous lows and also see a rise in trading volume.
Q1. Can you get CryptoPunks NFT for free?
A. Cryptopunks NFT was free initially but not anymore because it’s all claimed by people. You can only buy it from a secondary marketplace.
Q2. Who owns CryptoPunks now?
A. Yuga Labs acquired CryptoPunks last year, so it’s the official owner of the collection
Q3. Is CryptoPunks worthy of an investment?
A. Yes. Many collectors have earned profits by investing their money in CryptoPunks because it has never dropped in demand since 2020.
Q4. What is the future worth of CryptoPunks NFT?
A. CryptoPunks NFT is scarce and rare, so their future is going to grow as long as the market remains bullish. Experts predict each being worth almost 10,000 ETH.
Q5. What is CryptoPunks NFT price now?
A. The floor price of CryptoPunks is 66.19 ETH. The all-time trading volume is $1.7 billion.
Q6. Can anybody make a CryptoPunk?
A. No one can make CryptoPunk because these were uniquely generated using a computer algorithm. A smart contract is attached to each token, so no one can copy or plagiarize it.