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What are Cryptopunks: All about the mainstream NFT collection

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What are Cryptopunks: All about the mainstream NFT collection

Over the past few years, the market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has gone through quite a journey – from initial global frenzy to a more stable yet somewhat subdued phase.

In 2021, NFTs first grabbed the world’s attention, creating waves in news headlines and cryptocurrency markets alike. Despite a cooling-off period in 2023, NFTs continue to drive significant trading activity, with sales consistently hitting the million-dollar mark. As of July 4, 2024, CoinMarketCap reported that the NFT market capitalization had surged past $3.697 billion. Some NFTs have fetched astonishing prices, making them some of the priciest digital assets ever sold. This includes well-known characters from the Cryptopunks collection, which have set benchmarks in the industry.

What are Cryptopunks?

Cryptopunks is the inaugural and widely embraced collection of NFT avatars. Launched in 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain, it comprises 10,000 distinct NFTs. The project was created by Canadians Matt Hall and John Watkinson from the Larva Labs, a company based in the USA. Cryptopunks include a variety of characters in a pixel-art style, such as humans, zombies, apes, and aliens. The buzz around the Cryptopunks art project was instrumental in propelling the NFT sector into the spotlight. 

Cryptopunks price history

The Cryptopunks price growth is notable. Originating as a free project where enthusiasts only needed to cover Ethereum gas fees for transactions, Cryptopunks NFTs have grown in both value and desirability. As of March 2024, the entire Cryptopunks value reached an incredible $1.5 billion.

Most expensive Cryptopunks 

Here are the top 3 Cryptopunks, standing out as the most expensive in history.

CryptoPunk #5822, considered the most valuable cryptopunk ever, fetched a staggering $23.7 million (8,000 ETH) on February 13, 2022. This specific NFT relates to rare Cryptopunks, as it is one of only nine ‘alien’ punks among 10,000 characters, which contributes to its high value.

On March 20th, CryptoPunk #7804, another of the nine “aliens,” was sold for 4850 ETH, which equated to $16.42 million at the time of the sale. 

This transaction ranks as the second most valuable in the collection’s history, both in terms of dollars and cryptocurrency. It occurred approximately two weeks after another Alien Punk, #3100, was purchased for 4500 ETH ($16.03 million).

Cryptopunks set the benchmark for tokenized avatars – a benchmark later built upon by projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and many others that followed. Even the cheapest Cryptopunks NFT currently on the market is priced at around 51 ETH or $177,000.

Where to buy Cryptopunks NFT

There are multiple online marketplaces available for buying and selling CryptoPunks. Larva Labs’ website serves as a primary hub, listing available CryptoPunks for sale. Alternatively, OpenSea stands out as the largest NFT market globally, offering extensive opportunities for CryptoPunk trading.

What are Cryptopunks: All about the mainstream NFT collection - 1
Source: OpenSea

To get started, you’ll need to create an account and link an Ethereum wallet such as MetaMask to the platform. With your wallet connected, you can trade on desired CryptoPunks. Winning bids require you to finalize the transaction using ETH from your wallet, thereby securing ownership of the CryptoPunk NFT. Storing the NFT directly in your wallet ensures its security.

For tracking CryptoPunks market trends and prices, resources like the Larva Labs website and CryptoSlam are invaluable.

Conclusion

NFTs have secured a prominent place in the art and collectibles market. Despite being only on the cusp of widespread adoption, impressive sales figures and substantial interest in renowned collections such as CryptoPunks underscore their burgeoning popularity and potential.

FAQs

How many Cryptopunks are there?

The Cryptopunks NFT collection comprises a total of 10,000 distinct NFTs.

Who created Cryptopunks?

The Cryptopunks NFT collection was designed by Matt Hall and John Watkinson, who are software developers from the Larva Labs studio.

When did cryptopunks come out?

Cryptopunks came out in 2017. It was one of the first NFT collections in the world.

How to buy Cryptopunks?

You can buy Cryptopunks on the main Cryptopunks marketplace, Larva Labs, or through the OpenSea platform. You need to create an account there, link an Ethereum wallet like MetaMask, place bids on desired Cryptopunks, and finalize transactions using ETH from your wallet upon winning a bid.

How much are Cryptopunks worth?

Cryptopunks have seen significant appreciation in value. As of March 2024, the entire Cryptopunks collection was valued at $1.5 billion. Some Cryptopunks have fetched millions of dollars each, with the highest sale reaching a staggering $23.7 million.

Why are Cryptopunks so expensive?

Cryptopunks are considered valuable due to their rarity, historical significance as one of the first NFT projects, and unique attributes. Certain types, such as the ‘alien’ punks, are extremely rare within the collection, driving up their market value.