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What Are CryptoPunks? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

CryptoPunks are one of the earliest examples of a “Non-Fungible Token” on Ethereum, inspiring the modern CryptoArt movement.

Comprising 10,000 unique collectible characters with proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain, each CryptoPunk is unique and has its own distinct characteristics. They are generated using an algorithm and are bought, sold, and exchanged on the Ethereum blockchain.

Source: larvalabs

In 2021, CryptoPunks achieved fame as some of the most expensive NFTs when they were sold for millions of dollars. The project began as one of the first crypto art projects represented by the Ethereum blockchain’s NFTs.

Each of the 10,000 8-bit-style punks is unique, and their success inspired the development of the ERC-721 token standard for digital collectibles.

So what exactly are CryptoPunks?

At first, these little, pixel-like features in the small squares don’t seem like much. Some of them are puffing away on pipes. Others are wearing hats. A few are even aliens.

But, you can’t judge a book by its cover when it comes to NFTs.

You could own any amount of property from a tiny flat to a humongous estate with just one of these cartoonish punks.

A maximum of 10,000 of these 8-bit CryptoPunks exist worldwide and are extremely sought-after. The punks themselves don’t do anything other than look cute and CryptoPunks is one of the first NFT projects.

Who is the creator of CryptoPunks?

In 2017, two New Yorkers – Matt Hall and John Watkinson – established Larva Labs, which gave rise to CryptoPunks. This project was intended to explore the significance of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and art, and, in the end, it contributed to the current widespread appreciation of crypto art.

These are a form of cryptocurrency, unlike Bitcoin or BNB. All 10,000 punks are singular NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. There are 3840 female punks, 6039 males, and a few apes, extraterrestrials, and zombies thrown into the bunch.

Each individual one of the 10,000 is distinct due to the combination of various characteristics.

At first, the punks were obtainable without charge. To acquire one, all that was needed was to pay the Ethereum transaction fee that was associated.

Since then, these artworks have enjoyed a surge in popularity, as have Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in general. Such is the demand for them that Christie’s auction house is now offering collections that could bring in millions.

The highest-priced sale of a CryptoPunk is a pale-looking alien punk with a headband, which sold for 4200 ETH (roughly $7.58 million) in March 2021.

Source: CryptoPunks

Close behind is CryptoPunk #7804, which was sold for the same amount of ETH (approximately $7.57 million), with the discrepancy in price attributed to the rise in value of ETH.

At present, the two most expensive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ever sold are EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS from Beeple, which holds the record with its $69,346,250 sale price.

How do CryptoPunks work?

When the initiative was launched, the ERC-721 token protocol, which is currently the standard for NFTs, had not been created.

Thus, Larva Labs had to make do with what was available at the time, the ERC-20.

In a rebellious way, the team altered the ERC-20 code to create non-fungible items, which served as a spark for the subsequent ERC-721 development.

By examining the token on Etherscan, the Max Total Supply is visible as 10,000. Although they display as ERC-20, the tokens are not the same.

To check if a CryptoPunk is genuine, its corresponding reference image can be hashed, and then the image hash can be cross-referenced to the token’s contract.

Due to the size of the images, Larva Labs formulated a composite picture that encompasses all 10,000 of the CryptoPunks. The token contract for CryptoPunks contains a hash of this amalgamated image, which can be viewed here.

In order to identify which CryptoPunk you have, there is metadata contained within its token that points to its place in the collective image. As an example, CryptoPunk #7804 can be found in the 7804th position in the full image.

What is the best way to acquire CryptoPunks?

The CryptoPunks website developed by Larva Labs includes their own marketplace that allows users to put in offers, purchase and trade CryptoPunks. You can access the marketplace through installing and linking your MetaMask.

OpenSea, a top-ranked Ethereum-based NFT marketplace, has listed CryptoPunks as well. These pixel punks have been transformed into ERC-721 tokens, allowing them to be traded on NFT marketplaces.

It is straightforward to switch a CryptoPunk ERC-721 into its original ERC-20 form. Wrapped PUNKS provides the platform for wrapping and unwrapping, which can be done with a MetaMask wallet that holds the CryptoPunk.

Source: Binance

Final Words

At one point, CryptoPunks were at the forefront of blockchain-based art that held only artistic value. Unlike CryptoKitties, which are gamified, each punk is just a picture. It inspired many number of projects since then.

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