What are CryptoPunks and Why are They So Popular? | NFT Plazas

NFTs are unique crypto assets that can’t be exchanged for their equivalent. They’re tokenized units of data stored on the blockchain to maintain an immutable record of ownership for all NFTs, including their transaction history as they are traded. 

NFTs’ genesis begins with Kevin McCoy, who minted “Quantum,” the first NFT, in 2014. By 2017, NFTs started prevailing, with the Ethereum blockchain being the hub for minting NFTs. One of the first NFTs minted on the Ethereum network is the CryptoPunk NFTs.

What are CryptoPunks NFTs?

CryptoPunks can be regarded as the premier of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. The collection was created by Larva Labs, a software company co-founded by two former Google employees, John Watkinson and Matt Hall, in 2017.

Initially, the duo wanted to create mobile apps or video games, but they resolved to develop software that could generate thousands of different characters that would sum up to a collection and revolutionize digital arts. The characters generated later become a model for other NFT projects.

How Many CryptoPunks are There? 

The CryptoPunks collection comprises of 10,000 unique avatars with different and blended traits, or attributes, that defines their respective rarity. 

CryptoPunks NFTs were released on June 23, 2017. These collectibles developed the idea of profile pictures –PFPs– as a collectible digital item later adopted by succeeding NFT projects. Each NFT in this collection is an avatar or PFP that can be used as a profile picture on social media like Twitter, Discord, Telegram, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc., or in the Metaverse.

How Did People Originally Get CryptoPunks? 

At the project launch in June 2017, 9,000 Punks were given out for free to any enthusiast or investor ready to offset the gas fee. The remaining 1,000 punks were kept for Larva Labs’ team. The Punk NFTs portray human –male and female– Apes, Zombies, and Aliens.

The Ape, Zombie, and Alien characters are considered more valuable than the human character. Only 24 CryptoPunks are Apes, 88 are Zombies, 9 are Aliens, 6,039 are male, and 3,840 are female punks.

Each piece is a 24×24 pixel image that can exhibit a blend of 87 unique traits like earrings, hats, necklaces, pilot helmets, pigtails, hair, and so on. The highest number of attributes a single Punk can have is seven, and only Punk8348 has this. It has a big beard, buck teeth, earrings, classic shades, a top hat, a mole, and a cigarette. Most Punks have two or three traits, while some have no attribute.

According to CoinGecko, as of August 25, CryptoPunks has a market cap of 674,432.55 ETH –$1,158,215,565.49– with a floor price of 67.45 ETH (approx. $115,833.14 at the time of writing) – and a total asset of 9,999 with 3,585 unique holders.

How Do You Get CryptoPunks?

Since all Punks have been claimed since 2017, they are only available on marketplaces like Rarible, OpenSea, etc. To buy NFTs on marketplaces, you need to have a non-custodial crypto wallet, like MetaMask, Coinbase, or Trust Wallet, and buy or send ETH to the wallet.

Then you can connect your wallet and buy from the Larva Labs website or use your wallet to sign up on marketplaces to buy. Note that Punks bought on marketplaces are wrapped, i.e., ERC-721 standard token, not the custom punks. However, ERC-721 can be reversed back to its original custom contract.

Before buying CryptoPunks, it is essential to pay attention to Punks’ background color because each color bears the market status of the punks on them.

CryptoPunks Traits

Punks with a red background show they are available for sale.


Punks with a blue background are not for sale and have no active bids.

Punks with purple backgrounds have active bids on them through auction.

Punks with a green background are wrapped Punks listed for sale on ERC-721 marketplaces.

Before buying any Punk, make sure to check its attributes because that’ll reveal its rarity and hint at a possible investment opportunity. The most expensive Punk is #5822, which was sold at $23.7 million on February 12, 2022, and as of August 25, 2022, the highest bid –$234,877– was placed on #5526.

CryptoPunks have made overall sales of $1.51 billion, and there’s no royalty fee for Larva Labs on any secondary sales made by investors.

Celebrities Who Own CryptoPunks: 

Odell Beckham Jnr
Jay Z
Gary Vee
Marshmello
Logan Paul
Steve Aoki
Jason Durelo
Serena Williams
Alexi Ohanian
Marc Cuban
Heidi Klum and so on.

Fun Fact

Unknown to many NFT enthusiasts, CryptoPunks are custom contract NFTs; they didn’t adopt the ERC-721 or ERC-1155 standard token because neither of them was in place back then. But you can wrap Punks into ERC-721 tokens if you want to sell them on NFT marketplaces. Though ERC-721 was introduced in 2017, CryptoPunks inspired Dapper Labs, which introduced ERC-721, while ERC-1155 was introduced in 2019.

CryptoPunks are the Real OG Collectibles

CryptoPunks are the OG of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. However, in March 2022, Yuga Labs –the owner of BAYC– acquired Larva Labs. Immediately after the acquisition, CryptoPunks skyrocketed from 55 ETH to 70 ETH.

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*All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFT Plazas are from the personal research and experience of our site moderators and are intended as educational material only. Individuals are required to fully research any product prior to making any kind of investment.

The post What are CryptoPunks and Why are They So Popular? | NFT Plazas appeared first on NFT Plazas.

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