CryptoPunks NFT Collection

CryptoPunks NFT Collection

Launched by Larva Labs in June 2017, CryptoPunks are the first non-fungible token (NFT) project on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Currently, the cheapest Punk is trading at 15 ETH (around $41,000), while the most expensive Punks are worth millions. There are 10,000 CryptoPunks in total, and the project has raised around 184K ETH, or around $508 million, in total.

What is CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks is a 24×24 8-bit-style pixel art set that showcases 10,000 digital characters with various unique features. The inspiration for CryptoPunks comes from the 1970s London punk movement and the cyberpunk genre. CryptoPunks is not used for management tokens or staking, it is considered a collectible crypto art only.

The basic idea was that every Punk should be unique. Each has a different level of rarity according to its type and characteristics, algorithmically created through computer code. There are 6,039 males, 3,840 females, 88 green-skinned zombies, 24 gorillas, and 9 light-blue-skinned aliens. This makes alien Punks really rare.

Also, each punk has his own profile page that shows his accessories like beard, hairstyle, shadow, hoodie and so on. Some accessories, such as punk genres, are also rarer than others. For example, only 44 punks wear berets, and some features are gender specific. While the beret is exclusively for male Punks, orange hair is only available for female Punks.

The number of accessories in a Punk also affects its value. The maximum number of accessories a Punk can have is 7, and only one Punk has 7 accessories. This makes it one of the rarest Punks in the collection. On the other hand, there are 8 punks without any accessories. 

How does CryptoPunks work?

Unlike fungible tokens like BTC and ETH, CryptoPunks are non-fungible. That is, they are unique and unchangeable. As a token set, CryptoPunks does not have its own blockchain network and was instead created on the Ethereum blockchain. That is, since the transaction history and token metadata can be publicly verified, it allows users to prove that they own NFTs such as CryptoPunks.

Since the composite image of all punks was too large to store on the blockchain, Larva Labs took a hash of the image and stored it in the contract. The CryptoPunk verification process involves calculating the SHA256 hash in individual CryptoPunks images and comparing the result with the hash embedded in the contract.

Who Is Behind CryptoPunks?

Larva Labs, an American studio comprised of Canadian software developers Mat Hall and John Watkinson, created CryptoPunks. The project started as an experiment and managed to catch the wave of NFT popularity that came their way.

At the time of its release, the ERC-721 token standard used in most modern NFTs did not exist. Developers had to use the existing ERC-20 token standard instead. Watkinson noted that he and Hall changed the standard to represent each Punk as a unique and unique token, rather than a swappable token. 

The CryptoPunks crypto art collection is likely to have inspired the ERC-721 token standard, a free, open standard that describes how to create an NFT.

How Can I Get a CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks tokens were initially released for free and anyone with an Ethereum wallet could get their own Punk. Out of 10,000 Punks, the developers only kept 1,000, now called “Giant Punks”. 

The other 9,000 Punks have since been owned and to own a Punk, the buyer must purchase from another Punk owner through the Larva Labs marketplace. As mentioned, this collection was created before the ERC-721 standard for NFTs and the modern crypto art movement. As a result, most CryptoPunks have only been sold on the Larva Labs marketplace.

CryptoPunks buying and selling guide

In the marketplace, buyers can find information about each Punk’s current market status and transaction history. Here users can make offers, buy and sell CryptoPunks. The background color of each Punk indicates its status. Blue means Punk is not for sale, red means Punk is for sale and purple means Punk is active offer. 

To get one of the CryptoPunks from Larva Labs, download and install the MetaMask browser extension, with which you can authorize websites to access your Ethereum wallet. With the extension, the Larva Labs website will recognize you and add buttons that allow you to directly bid on Punks and buy and sell Punks.

To date, 277 CryptoPunks have landed on OpenSea, the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and NFTs. Instead of the original modified ERC-20 token standard, these CryptoPunks were wrapped as ERC-721 tokens, making them tradable on other NFT marketplaces. The wrapping process is carried out on the Wrapped Punks website. Punks can be opened and returned to their original form on the same website.

CryptoPunks Price History

CryptoPunks Price History
CryptoPunks Price History

When CryptoPunks launched in 2017, each Punk sold for $1 to $34. With the growing interest in NFTs, punks have become rare collectibles and are now worth up to millions of dollars. Their value has increased generously in February 2021 due to the rapidly growing interest in NFTs.

By mid-May, there were 3,596 completed sales, with a total value of approximately $257 million. On March 11, two light-blue-skinned alien Punk #7804 and #3100 were sold for approximately 4,200 ETH each, for a total of $15 million. These two Punks hold the record for being the highest selling CryptoPunks in the collection.

On May 11, Larva Labs placed a set of CryptoPunks up for traditional auction through Christie’s. The set consisted of nine Punks selected from among 1,000 Giant Punks and was estimated at an approximate value of $7-9 million before selling for a total of almost $17 million.

As the NFT collectibles set, CryptoPunks ranks 2nd in terms of total sales volume. Currently, the base price of CryptoPunks is 15.3 ETH, which is around $38,000.

What is the Future of CryptoPunks?

The value of CryptoPunks is closely tied to the general perception of NFT, and the NFT hype has largely calmed down since February 2021. According to a market research site, the weekly trading volume and the number of NFT transactions have dropped by about 75% in the last month. Analysts believe that this could be a market correction, while others think that a 75% correction for cryptocurrencies is nothing unusual. Of course, there are also analysts who believe that the NFT bubble will burst.

Even if the bubble bursts, the underlying technology will still have value. NFTs are very popular as creative work and collectible items. This is because they offer solutions to the problems faced by the art world. In the blockchain, the owner’s identity and token metadata can be added to the NFT. Manipulating data and stealing property is nearly impossible. Any person can view token information and verify ownership status. Moreover, NFTs can be traded end-to-end, allowing creators to sell their work directly, thus avoiding expenses and making more profits.

CryptoPunks’ history as one of the first NFT projects on the Ethereum blockchain makes it one of the rarest crypto art collectibles. As adoption of NFT technology increases and more NFT projects become operational, the value of CryptoPunks may increase even more.

Are There Other Projects Like CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks isn’t the only project to fill this new space. To take another example, Hashmasks is a digital art collection of 16,384 unique digital portraits created by 70 artists worldwide. Like CryptoPunks, Hashmasks are NFT and are on the Ethereum blockchain.

The main difference between the operations of the two projects is the way in which the rarity of each NFT is decided. While its characteristics and type determine the rarity of a CryptoPunks, the rarity of Hashmasks is not predetermined. Instead, their rarity changes and adapts over the years.

This is done through Name Change Tokens (NCTs). Each day, Hashmasks holders earn 10 NCT and once they collect 1,830 NCT they can burn the tokens and rename their Hashmasks. Due to the smart contract, each Hashmasks must have a unique name. This provides an additional layer of rarity.


CryptoPunks are among the first natives and revolutionaries of the NFT world. With the fixed supply and scarcity of collectibles, CryptoPunks occupy a prominent place in the history of NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. 

When CryptoPunks was first released, its creators used it as a collective experiment to increase people’s interest in NFTs and were unsure how this pixel art collection would be received. Currently CryptoPunks is one of the most popular crypto art collections on Ethereum and continues to inspire many other NFT-based projects.

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