CryptoPunks: What are they, who created them and how many are there?

It is one of the most popular NFT collections, with millions of dollars in motion. Everything you need to know: who created it and how to buy a unique avatar.


What are CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks are a series of 10,000 images converted into NFTs. In essence, this collection is pioneering in the field of non-fungible tokens.

The project is based on the Ethereum blockchain and is traded with the cryptocurrency Ether, as is the case with most NFTs.

What is an NFT? It is a document that accredits the possession of a unique digital asset, encrypted and registered on a blockchain. These tokens opened a new era in digital collecting and attracted many investors.

Features of CryptoPunks

The CryptoPunks collection is one of the icons in the world of NFTs. The following are some of its highlighted features:

  • The buyer of a CryptoPunks NFT is the owner of a unique and unrepeatable avatar; in other words, there are no two alike.
  • Each CryptoPunk is generated randomly based on a series of attributes.
  • In this scene there is a great variety of designs, in 24 x 24 pixels.
  • The most popular and valuable CryptoPunk avatars show aliens, zombies and monkeys.
  • When it comes to avatars, these images are often used as profile photos on social networks, especially on Twitter.

A brief definition of CryptoPunks: It is an NFT project composed of pixel-based avatars that are randomly generated.

The official description of the project indicates that these “10,000 unique collectible characters with proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain (…) have served as an inspiration for the modern cryptoart movement.

Who created CryptoPunks?

The CryptoPunks were created by the Larva Labs studio. The project emerged in 2017 as an experiment, when there were still a few years left for the NFTs boom in 2021.

  How to start collecting NFTs?

As we mentioned, this initiative was one of the first to offer a collection of digital assets, affordable with cryptocurrencies.

When CryptoPunks were launched they were offered for free. Keep in mind that at the time the NFTs standard still did not exist on the Ethereum network.

In that first release, 9,000 CryptoPunks were offered to the public and Larva Labs kept the remaining 1,000.

How many CryptoPunks are there?

The CryptoPunks collection consists of 10,000 images.

The figure is equal to that of another collection of avatars offered as NFTs, the also popular tokens of the Bored Ape Yacht Club series created by Yuga Labs.

Why is each CryptoPunk so expensive?

CryptoPunks prices skyrocketed alongside the NFTs boom in 2021.

The starting point of the frenzy for non-fungible tokens was the auction of Everydays: The First 5000 Days by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple. On that occasion (March 2021), a buyer paid $69 million for his work, which was offered as an NFT.

Hand in hand with the boom, some of the first non-fungible tokens emerged. The CryptoPunks collection achieved sales that exceeded one million dollars per unit.

As with other NFT series, the rarest are the most expensive. Some have been sold for really millionaire sums.

“If someone owns a CryptoPunk, they are an old-school investor or someone with plenty of money,” observes the BlockGeeks website in a review that includes the most expensive editions in the Larva Labs collection.

What is the most expensive CryptoPunk?

At the time of publishing this article (December 2022) the most expensive CryptoPunk is #5822, with a price in excess of 23 million dollars.

  Ethereum Wallets: What are they and how do they work? Beginner's Guide

Its current owner is Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of Chain, a firm specializing in blockchain-based technologies.

Three additional facts about CryptoPunk #5822:

  • Its value doubles that of the second most expensive of this collection.
  • The avatar is starred by an alien, with rare and difficult to obtain attributes.
  • One of them: it has a handkerchief on its head, which no other CryptoPunk has.

On the official profile of CryptoPunk #5822 you can check its transaction history since its appearance in June 2017.

How to buy an NFT of CryptoPunks?

To buy the CryptoPunks it is necessary to do it within the Ethereum blockchain, consequently with the digital currency Ether.

As explained by Larva Labs, through this market it is possible to buy, bid and offer CryptoPunks for sale.

Those interested in buying a CryptoPunk NFT must know the meaning of the background colors:

  • Blue background: it means it is not for sale and does not have current offers.
  • Red background: they are available for sale.
  • Purple background: they have an active offer.

In practice, how to buy a “punk”?

  1. The first step is to install the MetaMask add-on in the Google Chrome browser.
  2. In that way, you will be able to access an Ethereum account.
  3. On that platform, the user must have Ether currency to make a purchase.
  4. With the add-on installed in Chrome, buttons will be added to offer, buy and sell CryptoPunks from an intuitive interface.

To learn more about buying and selling CryptoPunks, it is recommended to review the market guidelines and join the official project chat on Discord, where a bot announces the offers and sales in real time.