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Simply Explained: CryptoPunks

Created by LarvaLabs in 2017, CryptoPunks is a collection of 10,000 unique collectible characters. Each CryptoPunk is uniquely generated and no two are the same. The collection was one of the first examples of an Ethereum NFT.

Originally, CryptoPunks could be claimed for free but they are now only available to purchase through the LarvaLabs marketplace and their prices have skyrocketed.

Keep reading to learn more about CryptoPunks.

Disclaimer: NOT FINANCIAL NOR INVESTMENT ADVICE. Only you are responsible for any capital-related decisions you make and only you are accountable for the results.

Overall Stats (as of January 11, 2022) 

Current Lowest Price Punk Available

60.69 ETH ($188,677.92 USD)

Number of Sales (Last 12 Months)


Total Value of All Sales (Lifetime)

644.55K ETH ($1.9B)

What is a CryptoPunk?

A CryptoPunk is a 24X24 nostalgic pixel image that is algorithmically generated. Rare CryptoPunk types include Apes, Zombies and Aliens. Each Punk has its own profile page showing its unique attributes. Different attributes-helmets, beanies, and hoodies vary in value. 

To their creators, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, CryptoPunks “needed to be a collection of misfits and non-conformists… the London punk movement of the 1970s felt like the right aesthetic.” 

Each CryptoPunk has proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that only one person can officially own each CryptoPunk. 

The status of each Punk is shown by its background colour. Those with a blue background are not for sale, those with red are available for sale, and purple Punks have an active bid on them. 

Why are CryptoPunks important?

As the first of its kind, the CryptoPunks collection is often regarded as the catalyst for the modern crypto art movement. It became an inspiration for the ERC-721 standard.

Why are CryptoPunks so expensive?

In December 2021, a rare ape CryptoPunk (#4156) sold for more than $10 million or 2,500ETH. There are only 24 ape CryptoPunks in existence, making #4156 one of the rarest items in the collection. In August 2021, even Visa bought a CryptoPunk for their permanent collection.

But what makes CryptoPunks so valuable?

Firstly, CryptoPunks is one of the first NFT projects to be created on Ethereum, making it valuable. Also, only 10,000 CryptoPunks will ever be available, creating scarcity among collectors and further increasing value.

Some CryptoPunks are more valuable than others depending on the rarity of their attributes or species. There are just 24 apes, 9 aliens, 128 rosy-cheeked Punks, 78 with buck teeth, and 44 wearing a beanie. A CryptoPunk that possesses multiple rare attributes can fetch an extremely high price. CryptoPunk #7804, for example, an alien wearing a hat and sunglasses, and smoking a pipe, was sold for over $7.5 million.

There are also 8 Punks with no distinctive features who are often referred to as the Genesis Punks.

CryptoPunk celebrity owners

CryptoPunk celebrity owners include the likes of Snoop Dogg, Gary Vee, Serena Williams, and Jay-Z. 

CryptoPunks on paper

In 2018, the creators of CryptoPunks decided to physically print 24 Punks as unique lithographs. Each physical Punk was accompanied by a sealed envelope that contained the private keys that provided ownership of the CryptoPunk asset. 

The appeal of CryptoPunks has transcended beyond the world of Crypto-enthusiasts, to ‘traditional’ art lovers too. Here, in this sale, we have a group of unique Punks, each defined by their own eccentric characteristics, made even more special by their accompanying prints. This is where the digital art world meets the traditional.”- Michael Bouhanna, Head of Sale at Sotheby’s.

Want to read more content like this? Click here to learn about the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Collection. 

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. Only you are responsible for any capital-related decisions you make and only you are accountable for the results.

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Nicola Rainsford

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