In February 2022, a 24x24 pixel image NFT was sold for 8,000 ETHs (around $23.7M at that time) to the CEO of a blockchain infrastructure firm Chain, Deepak Thapliyal. The NFT belongs to the CryptoPunks collection which has fueled the NFT craze with several other record-breaking sales.
What are CryptoPunks?
CryptoPunks is an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) collection issued on the Ethereum blockchain. It was first introduced by the Larva Labs studio in 2017. Later, the collection was acquired by Yuga Labs in 2022, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club. Larva Labs was one of the pioneers to use the ERC-721 standard to issue NFTs.
There is a total of 10,000 unique characters of CryptoPunks that are 24x24 pixel images. In the collection, no two images are generated with the same appearance. They were issued and stored on the Ethereum network. First, the collection was free to claim then the CryptoPunks were traded on blockchain-based marketplaces.
Each CryptoPunk has different attributes, originally generated by an algorithm designed by the Larva Labs team. Therefore, having one CryptoPunk in the blockchain wallet can grant its owner the unique feeling of a collector.
Some notable stats of CryptoPunks, updated Jun 29th, 2022:
- Lowest price Punk: 66.45 ETH (~$76k)
- Sales in last 12 months: 7,771
- Total sales volume: 649k ETH (~$1.95B)
As the numbers show, CryptoPunks are actively traded back and forth between collectors. One of the biggest drawbacks of NFTs is low liquidity, meaning nobody is willing to put bids for NFTs. This might not the case with CryptoPunks, the total value of sales on the weekly basis is around 6.3k ETHs (approx. $7.37M).
CryptoPunks as PFP
CryptoPunks were initially launched as an experiment by the two-person team, Larva Labs. Then the PFP (Profile Picture) sentiment clicked the NFT market as NFT collections such as BAYC started attracting eyeballs. In addition, the NFT market got its maturity in 2021 while it was barely known back in 2017 - 2018.
Other than being PFPs, CryptoPunks can reach beyond the crypto space as it got presented in physical arts in galleries. However, the community has raised a concern about NFTs presented as physical arts since the visual presentation of NFTs is not either exclusive or unique.
Types and attributes of CryptoPunk NFT
In the collection of 10,000 CryptoPunks, there are only 5 Punk types such as Alien, Ape, Zombie, Female, and Male. Undoubtedly, the rarer the Punk type, the more valuable it is. Alien and Ape Punks are expensive to own since they are available in a small quantity and can be worth thousands of ETH.
Each CryptoPunk has specific attributes. The rarest attributes are Beanie (44), Choker (48), and Pilot Helmet (54). At the time of writing, the cheapest bid for CryptoPunks with Beanie is around 420 ETHs, which is more expensive than those with common attributes.
There are many other attributes that a CryptoPunk might have, such as Cigarette, Mole, Black Lipstick, Bandana, etc. In the next section, we will explore how many attributes each CryptoPunk can have and some insights from it.
As mentioned, 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs were uniquely minted and no CryptoPunks are utterly the same in terms of attributes. Let’s see how many attributes can a CryptoPunk possibly has to glean some insights.
Notably, there are only 8 no-attribute CryptoPunks and one 7-attributes CryptoPunk. They are not always available for sale at any time. The biggest bid for the CryptoPunks with all 7 attributes was 696.69 ETH, which was later withdrawn in March 2021.
Take a closer look at the distribution of attribute counts, CryptoPunks with 3 attributes take up most NFTs of the collection, 4501 out of 10,000 (~45%). Thus, those Punks are currently the cheapest for sale.
Without a doubt, if we had CryptoPunks with or without every attribute, our collection would be worth a fortune. On the other hand, the entry price to own a CryptoPunk is now not reasonable for every investor.
Top CryptoPunk NFT Sales
The collection has some record-breaking NFT sales that draw lots of attention in the community. Top sales occur throughout 2021 and at the beginning of 2022. Here are the top 4 CryptoPunk sales:
- CryptoPunk #5822 - 8,000 ETHs ($23.7M) in February 2022
- CryptoPunk #3100 - 4,200 ETHs ($7.58M) in March 2021
- CryptoPunk #7804 - 4,200 ETHs ($7.57M) in March 2021
- CryptoPunk #5577 - 2,500 ETHs ($7.7M) in February 2022
As we can see, 3 CryptoPunks in the top 4 Punks are the Alien type. Furthermore, in the top 8, there are no Male or Female types of CryptoPunks, only Alien, Zombie, and Ape types. In the future, new sales might break previous sales and increase the floor price of the collection.
What is behind the success of CryptoPunk NFT?
Larva Labs founded by Matt and John minted CryptoPunks in the ERC721 standard for their experiment. 9 out of 10 of the CryptoPunk collection was free to claim at that time while the two founders kept the rest.
Besides CryptoPunks, the founder team wants to fuel the NFT hype by releasing MeeBits and Autoglyphs. Meebits launched in May 2021 is the next hit of Larva Labs since it was incubated to be an alternative to CryptoPunks. But overcoming the CryptoPunk behemoth is not for every NFT project.
Larva Labs was acquired by Yuga Labs, the company behind BAYC and the APE token. We think Yuga Labs also has plans for CryptoPunks such as a token release or mainstream takeoff, etc.
NFTs could not have had such an over-the-moon success without the aligned sentiment of the macro outlook. Billions of dollars have been pouring into the crypto market in the Covid-19 era. People stayed at home and some chose flipping cryptos and NFTs as a way to make money.
According to Google Trends, NFT was searched for the most in 2021 and the steam was going off in 2022. Although in 2022 there were massive NFT sales worth millions of dollars, investors are more cautious and hesitant to go on any more buying sprees.
CryptoPunks - Avatars from pixels
CryptoPunks are issued as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum. The collection has a limited supply of 10,000 NFTs. It is impossible to mint any additional NFTs. Even if the Larva Labs team wants to do so, they will receive tons of negative narratives. In addition, each CryptoPunk is unique which means it has its own unique attached index.
For example, CryptoPunk 8348 is the only CryptoPunk that has 7 attributes.
How do you get CryptoPunk NFT?
CryptoPunks are Ethereum-based NFTs, hence they are transferable among Ethereum crypto wallets. In the beginning, users could claim CryptoPunks for free when Larva Labs released the collection, but now each CryptoPunk can cost tens of ETHs to thousands of ETHs.
First, we need to have money to buy a CryptoPunk. Next, we will go to platforms that support the CryptoPunk exchanges.
At the moment, OpenSea is an NFT marketplace that supports users to buy, sell, and mint NFTs. It is one of the NFT marketplaces that have the most trading volume.
Learn more: How to buy NFT on OpenSea
Alternatively, we can go to the website of Larva Labs where CryptoPunks are listed for sale by their owners.
Go to Larva Labs: https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks
As investors, we have to be aware of phishing scams or fake websites to avoid losing money to hackers. In addition, we should do research and be responsible for our investments.
Shoud we buy CryptoPunks NFT?
CryptoPunks are now one of the most valuable NFT collections in the crypto space. In terms of total sales, CryptoPunks ranks 3rd, only behind Axie Infinity (GameFi) and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Therefore, the room for CryptoPunks is still abundant and the collection can be used in various ways. But when it comes to whether to own a CryptoPunk, we should take into account considerations, as follows:
- 10,000 CryptoPunks: This makes the collection rarer and it is much harder to own one. If each owner holds only one CryptoPunks, the maximum number of holders will be capped at 10,000 holders. Therefore, CryptoPunks need to find a way that opens more opportunities for CryptoPunk new supporters.
- Limited use cases: At the moment, investors can use CryptoPunks as profile pictures or as collateral to borrow crypto assets. However, NFTs are volatile assets since the price is agreed upon by the buyer and the seller. The collateral can be inevitably liquidated because the NFT price can fluctuate quickly.
- NFT sentiment: As the Bitcoin price is plunging, many NFT flippers are still able to make money. During market selloffs, investors are more likely to look for opportunities with stable growth. Buying a CryptoPunk at a price is to sell it at a higher price range in the hope of making profits.
FAQs about CryptoPunk NFT
Is a Cryptopunk an NFT?
CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 NFTs issued on the Ethereum blockchain in ERC721 standard. It has a token contract so that investors can do research and verify its validity.
Every CryptoPunk holder is able to put bids for the NFTs on NFT marketplaces. If there is someone who is willing to pay the price, the NFTs will be transferred to them in exchange for other cryptos.
Who owns the most CryptoPunks?
Although CryptoPunks have high prices, many crypto accounts are able to own hundreds of CryptoPunk NFTs. At the writing time, there are 8 crypto wallets that hold more than one hundred CryptoPunks. To remind that the Larva Labs team kept 10% (1,000) of 10,000 CryptoPunks while the rest was free to claim by the community in 2017.
How to track CryptoPunk purchases
To track the latest purchases of CryptoPunks here is a useful Twitter bot for everyone.
CryptoPunks is undoubtedly one of the most reputable NFT collections in crypto. 5 years after the NFT genesis, CryptoPunks have been making strong impacts on the NFT market. The floor price to buy the cheapest Punk has been unreasonably increasing. On the other hand, CryptoPunks might not stop here on the crypto journey. It can extend to many use cases to get traction from the community as well as external sources).