What are Cryptopunks and what makes their randomly generated 8-bit appearance so valuable?
In this video we take an in-depth look into why these digital misfits are being auctioned for millions of dollars and you will discover why Cryptopunks kick started the NFT CryptoArt movement.
What are Cryptopunks
CryptoPunks are collectible pieces of digital art that have been algorithmically generated, each with their own traits and distinctive attributes.
There are a total of 10.000 Cryptopunks and each punk is completely unique because of the combination of certain accessories and traits.
Some attributes are shared only with a few other Cryptopunks which makes certain punks more valuable than others.
The concept of Cryptopunks started as an experiment into the value of Non-Fungible Tokens and digital art. And more importantly: Could a few lines of computer algorithm code translate to a feeling of meaningful ownership?
Cryptopunks launched in 2017 at a time when the NFT hype was non-existent and were initially given away for free. Over the years, the set of eccentrics gradually became more popular and reached its famed status after auction sales reached 7,5 million dollars in 2021.
Cryptopunks is the brainchild of New York-based Larva Labs, founded by Matt Hall and John Watkinson, who were inspired by the rebellious punk rock scene, which at the time resembled the upcoming blockchain revolution.
As one of the first famous NFT projects, Larva Labs inspired digital artists to offer their works as NFTs, putting Cryptopunks at the forefront of the CryptoArt movement.
Why are Cryptopunks selling for millions
At first glance, these 8-bit style pixels might not look very special.
Anyone can view, download or copy any of the Cryptopunks for their own use.
So, why then are Cryptopunks being auctioned for millions of dollars?
Because all Cryptopunks are attached to a unique ownership ID in the form of a Non-Fungible Token, or NFT.
Attaching an NFT to a digital item such as a Cryptopunk is a process called minting.
When a Cryptopunk is minted, a unique key is generated and at the same time the ownership data is stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
This means that only one person can be the true owner of a specific Cryptopunk, which is the person that owns the digital key that unlocks the ownership data on the blockchain.
Copies do not have the unique ID attached to it, making the NFT version of a Cryptopunk much more valuable.
When you buy an NFT, you buy the only verifiable version of the digital item.
All Cryptopunks are generated by an algorithm, ensuring no two Cryptopunks are the same.
Some traits and features are more rare than others and most are punky-looking guys and girls, with a few rarer types mixed in such as the Apes, Zombies and Aliens.
There are a total of 10.000 Cryptopunks of which 6,039 male Punks and 3,840 female Punks. A total of 406 wear a headband and 961 punks are seen smoking a cigarette.
Every punk has their own profile page that shows their unique attributes as well as their ownership status.
The total value of punks sold last year is 489 million dollars and average sale price is 53 thousand dollars per Cryptopunk.
Top 3 Cryptopunk auctions
All punks are unique, but some of them have a combination of attributes that is shared with just a few others, creating a rare combination of features.
These types of punks have become highly wanted investments for crypto investors.
- Cryptopunk 3100 was sold for 7,58 million dollars and is one of the Alien Cryptopunks, of which only 8 others exist, making this Cryptopunk very special.
- Cryptopunk 7804 was sold for 7,5 million dollars and is also one of the blue skinned Alien Cryptopunks. Furthermore he has a pipe and a Cap Forward, which is only shared with 254 other Cryptopunks.
- Cryptopunk 6965 was sold for 1,5 million dollars and is one of the Ape Cryptopunks wearing a stylish fedora, making him an exceptional punk.
How to buy cryptopunks
Cryptopunks can be bought via various marketplaces and the process of buying a Punk is straight-foward: simply register an account, connect your personal crypto wallet, transfer sufficient funds to the wallet and place a bid.
Remember, what you actually purchase is the digital key that unlocks the ownership data on the related blockchain, making you the only verifiable owner of the punk.
Where to buy Cryptopunks
Along with designing the CryptoPunks themselves, Larva Labs has created their own marketplace where parties can bid, buy and sell punks.
CryptoPunks have also made their way to NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, a leading NFT marketplace based on the Ethereum blockchain.
These punks are slightly different however: they are wrapped in ERC-721 tokens so that they are tradable on other NFT marketplaces.
An ERC-721 CryptoPunk can be easily converted back into its original ERC-20 form by using the Wrapped Punks service.
Are you ready to purchase unique digital art such as Cryptopunks?
Let us know in the comments!
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