CryptoPunks: The First Blockchain Art That Inspired NFTs

CryptoPunks: The First Blockchain Art That Inspired NFTs

CryptoPunks are collectible crypto art pieces represented on the Ethereum blockchain using NFTs. Their original intention was to provide a unique identity to Ethereum users. There are 10,000 little 8-bit punks, each with their own personality. They are 24×24 pixel unique digital works of art created by an algorithm. CryptoPunks have a limited supply. 

In 2021, the project gained traction as certain CryptoPunks were sold for millions of dollars, making them some of the most valuable NFTs ever.

Each of these punks has its own page with information on its features, owner, availability status, and previous transactions.

Who created CryptoPunks and how it was created?

The project was led by two Canadian software developers, Matt Hall and John Watkinson.

The project began as a test to see if lines of code could be translated into a sense of ownership. They wanted their punks to have an appearance that reflected the rowdy, anti-establishment attitude that defined the cryptocurrency movement in its early days.

Larva Labs released CryptoPunks to the public on the Ethereum Blockchain on June 23, 2017.  The project launched all the 10,000 characters for free.

CruptoPunks inspired the ERC-721 standard. ERC-721 now powers most digital art, collectibles, virtual worlds, and blockchain gaming goods.

Characteristics of CryptoPunks:

Punks are classified depending on a variety of factors. Within each classification, one will also discover the following information about punks:

  • Number of punks in total
  • Number of punks available
  • The average selling price
  • Lowest Cost

What are various attributes of CryptoPunks?

Every CryptoPunk has distinct characteristics. These CryptoPunk characteristics are also responsible for making a CryptoPunk uncommon and, as a result, increasing its value. Only 44 punks out of 10,000 have a beanie.

For example; as compared to other traits, a punk with a beanie will undoubtedly have a higher value.

Also, the value of the CryptoPunks NFT is determined by some of the rarest qualities.

For example; The CryptoPunk 2964, is a male punk, which is not an uncommon gender. Since it only featured a beanie, however, it was sold for $660,121.

Some of the rarest CryptoPunks attributes are beanie, orange side, pilot helmet, welding goggles, pink with hat, choker, pigtails, tiara, buck teeth.

Attribute count:

The amount of CryptoPunks’ qualities also determines the worth of a given Punk. Because every punk is unique, each variety of punk has a unique set of characteristics. In fact, a punk can have no more than seven qualities. More importantly, a punk can have no traits at all, and this character will increase its value.

There is only one punk with seven traits, for example, and that is punk number 8348. As a result, it’s one of the CryptoPunks’ rarest punks.

In addition, there are only 8 punks who have no attribute. Punk number 6487, for example, is a female punk with no qualities. Furthermore, it was sold for $1.05 million! As you can see, the quantity of qualities has an equal role in deciding the CryptoPunks’ value. 

Take a look at the list of attribute counts below –

CryptoPunks: The First Blockchain Art That Inspired NFTs

How to buy a CryptoPunks?

Purchasing CryptoPunks is a simple process. If you understand how blockchain works, it only takes a few steps. One will need enough Ethereum and a Metamask wallet before they can buy CryptoPunks or any other NFTs. To learn how it works, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Setting up a Metamask wallet:

  1. Type “Metamask” into the search bar in the Google Chrome Web Store.
  2. Select the Metamask extension from the drop-down menu.
  3. To add an extension to Chrome, go to “Add to Chrome” and then “Add extension.”
  4. On Chrome, the Metamask icon should display next to the address bar. Click on it.
  5. “Get Started” is the first option, followed by “Create a Wallet.”
  6. Click “I agree” after reading the “Help Us Improve Metamask” page.
  7. Make a password (one that is difficult to guess).
  8. After then, you’ll be given a secret recovery phrase, which you should keep somewhere safe. You won’t be able to retrieve your Metamask account if you lose this secret recovery phrase, and there will be no customer assistance to assist you. Also, never tell anyone your 12-word phrase.
  9. By clicking the words in the correct order, you can confirm your secret backup phrase.
  10. Click “All done,” and your Metamask wallet will be ready to use.

Using Metamask wallet to Buy CryptoPunks:

  1. Select “Buy” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Debit card can be used to purchase ETH, however the maximum purchase amount is $1,000. After purchasing it on a less restrictive exchange like Coinbase, one will need to send money to Metamask wallet.
  3. Next to “Directly Deposit Ether,” click “View Account.” Make a note of wallet’s address.
  4. To send or receive money, go to Coinbase account and click “Send/Receive.”
  5. Make sure “Ethereum” is listed in the “Pay With” column.
  6. In the “To” area, paste the Metamask address you copied before.
  7. Now enter the amount you want to send to your Metamask wallet.
  8. When “Continue” is clicked, ETH should be sent to Metamask wallet.

Using your ETH to purchase a CryptoPunk NFT:

  1. After you’ve logged into Metamask, go to Larva Lab’s website.
  2. “Allow access to Metamask” is then selected. 
  3. Click “Next” and “Connected” in the pop-up box. You’ll notice a tab that says “Linked to Ethereum” if you’re connected to the Larva Lab’s site.
  4. To see all of the CryptoPunks for sale, go here. CryptoPunk #9366 was chosen for this instruction. The blue eyeshadow and the tobacco pipe are both quite appealing to me.
  5. After that, click “Buy,” which will bring up a Metamask window with information on how much CryptoPunks will cost and how much the Ethereum gas fee will be.
  6. I don’t have $190,000 to spare to show you the final step of purchasing a CryptoPunk, but once Metamask confirms you have adequate cash, click “Confirm” and follow the prompts to finish the transaction.
  7. Boom! You’ve got your CryptoPunk now!

Facts about CryptoPunks:

  •  London’s punk scene had a huge influence in the creation of CryptoPunks :

The early days of the blockchain movement, according to Hall and Watkinson, had a loud, anti-establishment tone. It was a vibe they sought to convey through their Punks’ appearance.

  • Everyone can see all the CryptoPunks:

On Larva Labs’ website, there’s a composite image of all 10,000 CryptoPunks. Anyone with a memory stick or hard drive can save a copy of the image file.

Each Punk gets its own website with information on its unique qualities and transaction history.

  • A CryptoPunk can only be owned by one person:

Official ownership of each piece is stated in a contract on the publicly visible Ethereum blockchain. 

  • Some CryptoPunks are harder to track down than others:

Larva Labs explains, “The core of the notion was that every character should be distinct.”

  • A community of collectors and connoisseurs was born as a result of CryptoPunks:

Initially, there was a lack of interest. “We were starting to think, ah yeah, this doesn’t really have it,” Watkinson said.

Punks, on the other hand, were selling for thousands of dollars in a matter of days.

  • Hall and Watkinson are auctioning off a set of CryptoPunks that they created themselves.

Why CryptoPunks are so expensive?

CryptoPunks is arguably one of the most significant developments in the realm of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). They’ve essentially set the bar for NFTs and digital art.

Let’s look at the topmost valuable CryptoPunks now available.

CryptoPunks: The First Blockchain Art That Inspired NFTs

Only the top five most valuable CryptoPunks have sold for more than $1 million, with Crypto Punk #3100 fetching a whopping $7.58 million.

Mr703 claimed 703 punks when the site first launched, and his collection is now worth tens of millions of dollars.

How did CryptoPunks come into popularity? 

Back in 2017, CryptoPunks’ pixelated portraits were one of the earliest NFTs. CryptoKitties, the charming cartoon NFT kittens whose popularity clogged the Ethereum network in 2018, were also inspired by them. 

Influencers like Logan Paul said on Twitter on August 4th that he has received a bid of more than $600,000 for one of the CryptoPunk but he apparently turned down the offer. 

CryptoPunks And NFTs Sale on Christy:

After Beeple’s $69 million sales in March, a sale at Christie’s for $16.9 million is the second-largest NFT transaction, done on May 11, 2021.

CryptoPunks have increased in popularity with the introduction of NFTs in February. Two extraterrestrial punks sold for more than $7.5 million each in March. In the last several months, seven more have sold for over $1 million.

Celebrities and influencers who own CryptoPunks:   

CryptoPunks have virtually taken over the art, sports, and entertainment worlds. Celebrities like Jay-Z, Steve Aoki, and Odell Beckham Jr. are bringing NFTs to the mainstream.  

Also, influencers like Logan Paul, Faze, 3LAU (Justin David Blau), Gary Vaynerchuk, and a few more are not behind in the race.  

Recent news on CryptoPunks:

Visa, a worldwide payments technology corporation, is the latest big name to jump on the non-fungible token (NFT) bandwagon.

It has announced that it paid over $165,000 (about Rs. 1.22 crores) for a CryptoPunk, one of the thousands of NFT-based digital avatars, by paying a little less than ETH 50.

“Over the last 60 years, Visa has built a collection of historic commerce artifacts – from early paper credit cards to the zip-zap machine,” Visa said on Twitter. The company has now entered “a new age of NFT-commerce,” according to the statement.

DANNY @seedphrase tweeted on August 23rd saying that “Visa is not the last company that bought the most expensive CryptoPunk and this is just the beginning of the digital shift.” He further denied the offer of selling #8348 for $200M and added that “he owns the Mona Lisa of CryptoPunks.”  


CryptoPunks is a ground-breaking addition to the NFT universe. Even the initiative’s creators were unsure of how the project would end out. However, as it is, people are making an industry out of this new sort of blockchain-based collectibles.

Despite all the perks of being decentralized and running on blockchain technology, CryptoPunks have their own drawbacks. It’s also the first and most successful NFT.

Drawbacks like being the most expensive NFT and could be generated only by computers hold it back. Moreover, they can’t be bought by traditional methods like using credit cards.

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