NFT titan CryptoPunks celebrates sixth anniversary

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Cryptopunks general, tags: nft celebrates - CC BY-SA
Cryptopunks general – CC BY-SA

CryptoPunks, a pioneer non-fungible token collection on the Ethereum blockchain, celebrates its sixth anniversary. The collection has an estimated market cap of over 806,801 ETH (equal to over $1.53 billion).

This achievement solidifies CryptoPunks as the largest NFT collection in terms of market capitalization, according to CryptoPotato.

Developed by Larva Labs’ Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the collection has played a significant role in shaping the modern CryptoArt movement. It has fostered a strong community with 10,000 digital collectibles.

In a series of tweets, blockchain analytics firm Nansen shed light on the modest beginnings of CryptoPunks.

During the initial release in June 2017, only 287 wallets claimed these digital collectibles for free. The two-person team at Larva Labs studio, consisting of Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson, spearheaded the collection’s launch.

By the end of the launch date, the first claimants began selling some of their assets. A total of 291 unique wallets possessed CryptoPunks. One week later, the NFTs had an average price of 0.5 ETH, with a trading volume of 124 ETH. At the time, Ether was valued at $300.

In April 2018, less than 500 unique wallets held CryptoPunks. By November 2020, that number had grown to 1,000. This growth can be attributed, in part, to the emergence of wrapped punks in September 2020.

Wrapped punks are ERC-721 NFTs backed by original ERC-20 punks. Holders can trade them on marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible. Currently, 770 punks remain wrapped, with the contract holding the largest number. Yuga Labs, an NFT company, comes next with 422 punks.

Record-breaking sales of CryptoPunk

In 2021, the value of CryptoPunks experienced a rapid surge, accompanied by an influx of new collectors. The number of wallets holding at least one punk reached 3,693. The prices, especially collectibles with rare attributes like aliens and apes, increased.

By February 18, 2021, CryptoPunks achieved a weekly trading volume of 24,969 ETH ($48 million). Punk #4156 was also sold for 650 ETH ($1.25 million) on the same day. It marked the first time a collectible was sold for over a million dollars.

The most extraordinary CryptoPunk transaction occurred a year later when punk #5822 was sold for 8,000 ETH ($23.7 million). This set a new record for the most expensive punk to date, according to CryptoPotato.

CryptoPunk 7523 joins the ranks with an estimated value of $11.7 million. The recent sale took place at the renowned auction house Sotheby’s. On October 29, 2021, an anonymous bidder placed a staggering bid of 20.4K Ethereum, equal to $87.64 million.

However, the bid was later withdrawn, setting a new record for the highest potential cost ever associated with a CryptoPunk. CNN reported this collaboration between Sotheby’s and CryptoPunk as “another groundbreaking technological feat.”

Publishing a book

Yuga Labs has joined forces with Zak Group to produce a unique book that will serve as the official documentation of the renowned NFT collection. This catalog will provide a detailed exploration of the collection. It will unveil the untold stories behind each pixelated punk.

The book will also feature contributions from influential figures in the web3, digital art, design and tech communities. They include SnowFro, Beeple, 6529, Deafbeef and the founders of Larva Labs. It aims to offer a comprehensive insight into the world of CryptoPunks, preserving its legacy for future generations.

The book will not only focus on the artworks but also highlight the vibrant community that has played a significant role in shaping CryptoPunks. Content from the Punks community Discord and Twitter will be featured as well.

The team at Yuga Labs believes that CryptoPunks has transcended the boundaries of the crypto world and become a cultural phenomenon.

“This book is a catalog of that rich history, in the highest quality rendering, that we hope will serve as a source of inspiration for the Punks community and beyond,” said Greg Solano, co-founder of Yuga Labs.

Zak Kyes, the Creative Director of Zak Group, described CryptoPunks as “a collision between art, design and the internet in the 21st century.” He sees the book as an opportunity to capture and shape real-time culture, bringing together artists, technologists, curators and the Punks themselves.

“What makes CryptoPunks important is that a community grew around them organically,” said NFT collector Gmoney in an interview with NFT Now.

“There is a provenance around them because they are one of the first NFT projects on Ethereum — and they were free to claim at the start.”

The publication of this book will provide insights into the creative process. Pre-sales for the book will start in the fall of 2023. The finished product is set to be released this winter.

Bandits Community: CryptoPunks deserve better than ETH

In a recent development, CryptoPunk #8611 was permanently removed from circulation and connected to an Ordinals inscription on the Bitcoin network. A group of Bitcoin enthusiasts celebrates the costly endeavor of burning CryptoPunk #8611. It was sold for approximately 55 Ethereum or $95,000.

Nathan Stein, a developer affiliated with Wolf Capital, was the one who facilitated the initiative. They also received support from the Bitcoin Bandits holders associated with Western-themed Ordinals inscriptions. Approximately 150 individuals contributed to this effort.

While the NFT industry is still in its early stages, Ordinals inscriptions are even more recent. Ordinals enables the creation of NFT-like assets on the Bitcoin network by engraving data onto individual satoshis, which are the smallest units of Bitcoin.

This practice, called teleburning, enables the transfer of high-value Ethereum-based NFTs to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

In this situation, the burning process involved sending CryptoPunk #8611 to a well-known burn address that already held Ethereum worth $21 million. A Twitter account Minh documented this event and described it as “chaotic, yet beautiful.”

According to Stein, the primary objective is to establish a collection of Ordinals inscriptions that symbolize partial ownership in the original CryptoPunk #8611. However, the actual asset can’t be owned on the Ethereum chain anymore.

As part of the process, the current Ordinals inscription linked to CryptoPunk #8611 will be transferred in a ceremonial manner to a digital wallet connected to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. This transfer will be a one-way journey.

Members from the Bitcoin Bandits community, who have obtained CryptoPunk #8611, will also participate in a contest associated with a distinct inscriptions project.

However, the spokesperson emphasizes that the burning of CryptoPunk #8611 primarily aimed to set a precedent and convey the belief that CryptoPunks deserve broader associations beyond Ethereum.


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