Want to learn more about NFTs? Here’s a look at CryptoPunk.
To discover the new universe of NFTs, there’s no better way than to familiarize yourself with the major collections of the industry. The CryptoPunks collection is among the NFT collections that stand out the most. CryptoPunks are a must. As leaders in the field, CryptoPunk holds a reputation garnered by its early work within the NFT market. These NFTs haven’t aged a bit.
What Are CryptoPunks NFTs?
The CryptoPunks NFT collection is a digital database of NFT artwork that people collect.
Though certainly not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, CryptoPunks was among the first to identify as an NFT collection with an early launch in June of 2017. It’s an art collection, and CryptoPunks are pioneers in a field that represented almost nothing in 2017. Even the CryptoKitties collection, often argued as the origin of NFTs, was released months after CryptoPunks were.
Since then, the NFT market has exploded. In 2023, the market capitalization of all NFTs sat around 4.9-billion USD. The CryptoPunks collection, alone, has a market cap of $799 million from within the NFT world. Call it a cryptopunks floor price. Now 6-years-old, CryptoPunks is among the trendiest. Its timing led to crazy-high prices in the height of the NFT bubble.
The Merge NFT from Nifty Gateway, being the most expensive NFTs ever traded, claimed up to $91 million back in 2021. Despite what some claim to have been the depression of the NFT and crypto markets, CryptoPunks still trade for several-thousand dollars each. Over 20 of them sell for well over $10 million each.
There’s a total of 10,000 CryptoPunks NFTs, and this limit helps to boost the collection’s value. Each NFT is unique and can never be forged or faked. They’re created atop a blockchain, and each image has its own attributes and personal genre. CryptoPunks NFTs all have a distinct, pixelated format. They’re produced in resolutions as low as “24 pixels by 24” for style.
Behind the CryptoPunk network, we find two leading characters and founders. Matt Hall and John Watkinson began with the intent to revolutionize blockchain, and their algorithm became the CryptoPunks network. Initially, the duo wanted to develop their designs for smartphone games and apps. What happened instead brought blockchain and digital art to a new apex.
On June 23, 2017, John and Matt established their company, Larva Labs, in New York City. Larva Labs is in charge of the CryptoPunks NFT development and leads its growth. Ultimately, the idea of leveraging blockchain for their own artwork brought John and Matt great success. At first, they knew too little that having their CryptoPunks for sale would make them rich.
CryptoPunk Styles and Looks
The 10,000 CryptoPunks for sale in this NFT collection are generated from assigned genres and digital attributes. When these are mixed, the results are works of art that can’t be copied.
Among the genres of CryptoPunks, rare attributes create the most expensive CryptoPunks. Aliens are the rarest NFTs of CryptoPunks, for there are only 9 out of 10,000 of them. The genres can also be described as categories, which are—male, female, zombie, ape and alien.
Alongside their categories, CryptoPunks NFTs are also created based on attributes. This NFT network uses a rating between 0 and 7 to assign attributes respectively. By definition, an attribute is a personalized detail that each NFT takes on as they’re being created. There are a total of 90 attributes, and each follows a set theme like “welding goggles” or “buck teeth.”
The distribution of attributes play a role in creating rare characteristics that can raise prices.
The 2023 Collection
A slew of different-NFT collections have risen since CryptoPunks launched in 2017. Even with other NFT collections, CryptoPunks remains in high demand in the public markets.
You may be surprised to learn that the CryptoPunks collection maintains real popularity in the NFT market in 2023. Globally, the CryptoPunks collection is among the top five. It competed with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) before the makers of BAYC bought Larva Labs out.
CryptoPunks Highlights and Famous NFTs
CryptoPunks’s reputation is supported by its endless list of social buyers and sellers. Among famous celebrities, you’ll also find corporations showing their desire to grab these NFTs up.
Owners of CryptoPunk NFTs
As for big-name celebs who find CryptoPunks attractive, here’s a list of just a handful of CryptoPunks for sale and who bought them:
- Punk #6095—Owned by Jay-Z
- Punk #2950—Owned by Serena Williams
- Punk #6473—Owned by Steve Aoki
- Punk #2140—Owned by Gary Vee among 59 others
- Punk #2294—Owned by Logan Paul
Among these big socialites are big businesses also. Visa, specializing in card payments, bought its CryptoPunk NFT for roughly $150,000, which isn’t the most expensive CryptoPunk. Being a drop in the bucket, the deal was a marketing stunt that unveiled the popularity of NFTs.
The Most Expensive CryptoPunk In History
Some CryptoPunks NFTs garner more attention than others, and these NFTs sell at record prices too. The network boasts of having sold over a dozen NFTs with a $1-million or more price tag. A handful of them sold in 2022, making CryptoPunks a popular collection indeed. For 2023, the most expensive CryptoPunks NFT, #5822, is priced at roughly 23-million USD.
Supporting a War In Ukraine
In June 2022, the CryptoPunks collection made headlines in even more interesting ways. Most notably, CryptoPunk #5364 was used to raise money during a time of war in Ukraine.
That NFT was, ultimately, sold to support the Ukrainian war effort. This CryptoPunks for sale raised $100,000, which was roughly 90 ETH. The NFT’s fundraising advertisement even became viral online. News of its purchase publicly broke out through Alex Bornyakov—the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation responsible for crypto fundraising.
CryptoPunks vs. Bored Ape Yacht Club
When talking about NFTs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) usually comes to mind.
The collection has its own success story.
With great marketing, the ape collection created a new marketplace for NFTs that attracted even more celebrities. Top football players and, yes, Justin Bieber bought into Bored Ape Yacht Club. BAYC and CryptoPunks collections, however, have similarities that some find irrefutable. They, however, also have very clear differences in them.
As suggested in its name, the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection includes NFTs of ape portraits. Yes, the CryptoPunks collection, itself, also has 24-monkey NFTs. Like CryptoPunks, the BAYC first produced a total of 10,000 works of art, and many consider that total to be a ripoff.
Regardless of the speculation, in March 2022, the BAYC company bought the rights to the CryptoPunks collection. The acquisition included Meebits from Larva Labs’s holdings.
« When we decided to launch into the NFT space, we did so with an admiration for CryptoPunks and the visionary work of Matt and John. (…) We are honored to take the helm of these brands and the communities that support them, and we are very excited to grow alongside CryptoPunks and Meebits holders as we enter this new world. » Nicole Muniz, PDG de Yuga Labs
The Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks collections are still unique from one another, so don’t be discouraged.
The first difference, which is easy to see, is in image the resolution between the two collections. All of the BAYC NFTs have a much clearer resolution while CryptoPunks NFTs are pixelated, which is considered cool to many. The pixelation makes the overall price of the CryptoPunks less in terms of programming, making the creation of CryptoPunk NFTs an easier endeavor.
In either case, there 10,000 CryptoPunks NFTs to start collecting!