Why Are CryptoPunks So Expensive and What Are They?

Why Are CryptoPunks So Expensive and What Are They?-featured

The oldest NFT collection released in 2017 is CryptoPunks. Everything you need to know about punks, including how much they cost, where to get them, who made them, and more, is covered in this guide.

In the course of 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) experienced tremendous growth in popularity. At the time of writing in January 2022, the demand for distinctive, uncommon, and scarce tokenized things is still skyrocketing. In an effort to sate investors’ ravenous need for the new asset class, celebrities, artists, and entrepreneurs are launching a variety of NFT initiatives.

However, despite the fact that there are currently hundreds or even thousands of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in circulation, all of which are competing to become the next big thing, the NFT frenzy really began with one project: CryptoPunks. Fun fact: It happened in 2017. Yes, you might probably predict what their cost was at the time (or find out later in this guide).

With some Punks selling for tens of millions of dollars, CryptoPunks are currently among the most well-known and costly NFT collections in the world. But what are these crypto arts precisely, and why are they so pricey and well-liked?

Hold on, this tutorial has all the details you want about CryptoPunks.

Why Do CryptoPunks Exist?

One of the first series created on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoPunks is recognized as a pioneer in the field of NFTs.

The 2017 release of CryptoPunks, a collection of 10,000 algorithmically created 2424, 8-bit-style tokenized and pixelated art pieces, was made by the New York-based software company Larva Labs.

Each CryptoPunk NFT is produced randomly from a variety of features, making each one distinct because no two CryptoPunks are precisely same.

Various CryptoPunks

The CryptoPunk collection includes a wide variety of designs with people, zombies, aliens, and gorillas. The CryptoPunk NFT is rarer the more distinctively they combine such qualities.

There are 6,039 male Punks, 3,840 female Punks, 24 apes, 88 zombies, 9 aliens, and mutton chops among them. Other distinguishing characteristics include lipstick, beanies, pigtails, rosy cheeks, and 3D glasses.

The first 1,000 CryptoPunks, sometimes referred to as “Dev Punks,” were set aside for the project’s creators. One CryptoPunk, #8348, possesses the seven fundamental characteristics and is one of the most sought-after works of art in the CryptoPunk collection whereas about eight Punks lack distinguishing qualities and are sometimes referred to as the Genesis Punks.

The Initial Punks Were Distributed Freely

It’s interesting to note that the inspiration for the most well-known NFT project ever began as a test.

The creators of Larva Labs, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, created a software application in 2017 that could generate hundreds of distinct pixelated pictures of outcasts and rebels.

The idea, which was influenced by the 1970s London Punk movement, was to employ the software and the avatars in a smartphone app or game.

They had no idea, however, that their modest endeavor would pave the way for the enormous NFT sector we know today.

The 10,000 CryptoPunks collection was subsequently released on the Ethereum blockchain at a time when the ERC-721 token standard was not even an idea.

Every owner of an Ethereum wallet first received a free CryptoPunk, giving them access to the NFT collection. The remaining 9,000 Punks were left for the developers after the first 9,000 were snapped up.

The NFT market surged in 2020, therefore let’s fast forward. CryptoPunks became the most in-demand digital picture with ownership rights on the blockchain as demand increased.

Their prices skyrocketed on secondary NFT markets like OpenSea, resulting in multi-million dollar sales, auctions at some of the best auction houses in the world, including Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and the enticement of numerous well-known investors, like Jay-Z, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others.

As of January 2022, CryptoPunks have produced over $2.5 billion in total traded volume on OpenSea alone, and as the NFT field attracts more mainstream users, both popularity and market value are continuously rising.

Why, though, are these tokenized photos so well-liked? Let’s investigate.

The Most Ancient NFT Series is CryptoPunks.

When there is a large demand for a good but a small supply, the price will soar. And with the renowned CryptoPunks, such is the situation. In fact, the NFT is so well-liked that Visa felt compelled to get in on the action by buying a Punk for $160,000.

But the major issue is: What actually fuels consumer desire for what some may describe a collection of fragmented images?

There are several causes for the rising demand for CryptoPunks, but two stand out: scarcity and outage.


One of the most well-known NFT initiatives is the CryptoPunk collection. An ancient NFT, like CryptoPunk, is worth as much as an iconic old work of art, like Picasso’s “Femme nue couchée au collier” from 1932, which TRON’s Justin Sun bought and tokenized.

Therefore, the blockchain’s age of CryptoPunks makes them more desirable. Most investors merely purchase Punks to own one of the oldest NFT artworks remaining in existence.

Jay-Z, Serena Williams, and Other Names of Scarcity

The uniqueness and scarcity of tokens, in general, contribute significantly to the value and appeal of NFTs. CryptoPunks are not excluded either.

The thrill is increased by the scarcity of CryptoPunks available for purchase, which also drives demand through the roof. Most CryptoPunks are extremely sought-after due of their rarity.

The common Punks are worth less than the uncommon Punks. For instance, the collection’s rarest CryptoPunks are those that are extraterrestrial. They are therefore quite pricey.

The appeal of the NFT collection among well-known people like Jay-Z, Serena Williams, and many others is another factor driving demand. The photographs have been utilized as social media profile pictures, which particularly appealed to the cryptocurrency community and increased demand for them.

Let’s now examine at some of the priciest CryptoPunks that have ever been sold.

The Highest Cost CryptoPunks Ever Sold

The prices that investors and ardent collectors of digital art have spent to get rare CryptoPunks are listed below.

The price of CryptoPunk #7523 is $11.75.

There are only nine extraterrestrial Punks in the collection, and CryptoPunk #7523 is one of them. It is among the collection’s rarest works of art as a result. The NFT, which features an extraterrestrial wearing a surgical mask, sold for an astounding $11.75 million at the well-known London auction house Sotheby’s.

Shalom Meckenzie, a significant shareholder in the daily fantasy and sports betting company Draftkings, bought The Punk.

10.26 million for CryptoPunk #4156

With just 24 ape Punks in the collection, CryptoPunk #4156 was the second-most expensive Punk ever sold in December 2021 when an investor paid a whopping $10.26 million for it.

($7.56 Million) CryptoPunk #7804

A pipe-smoking alien in a cap and sunglasses is CryptoPunk #7804. Dylan Field, the CEO of the cloud-based design tool Figma, purchased it for $7.56 million.

($7.51 Million) CryptoPunk #3100

In March 2021, CryptoPunk #3100 was last sold for $7.51 million. It is a Punk from another planet, but it has a white-blue headband.

(5.44 million dollars) CryptoPunk #5217

A red knitted headpiece and a gold chain are on the ape Punk known as CryptoPunk #5217. The most recent sale was for $5.44 million.

How Can I Purchase a CryptoPunk NFT?

Like other non-fungible tokens, all of the CryptoPunks are viewable on several NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea, the largest secondary NFT marketplace.

Investors, however, can only purchase CryptoPunk via the Larva Labs website. There, the company offers a number of resources necessary to assist customers in making their choice of avatar, including a tracker that displays all of the available Punks and their varied pricing.

You must first log in using an Ethereum-based wallet, ideally MetaMask. Using the official website of Larva Labs, you may bid on, purchase, and sell CryptoPunks after receiving permission to use the platform and gaining access.

Based on the color of their backdrop, you can tell the state of each CryptoPunk NFT when you bid on, purchase, and sell them on the market.

If a CryptoPunk has a blue backdrop, it means that there are currently no open bids on it and that it is not for sale. A purple backdrop indicates that there is an open offer for the chosen CryptoPunk NFT, while a red background indicates that the owner of the Punk has put it up for sale.

With the aforementioned in mind, you may check out our comprehensive, step-by-step tutorial on how to purchase and sell NFTs on OpenSea.

The Prognosis for CryptoPunks

The NFT field has seen a number of high-profile investors enter, and CryptoPunks are at the forefront of the crypto art movement. One Punk is now worth several million dollars, up from practically nothing in just four years.

While it is impossible to predict if the present interest in CryptoPunks and NFTs in general will last into the future, one thing is certain: as the oldest series—starting years before the Bored Apes Yacht Club and other well-known NFTs—they will always be a vital part of the NFT universe.

Despite this, Larva Labs is continuously looking for methods to make the project even better because it is highly doubtful that it will continue to issue CryptoPunks, as their scarcity is one of the main factors contributing to their appeal.

The software company said that it has placed all of the CryptoPunk characteristics and photos on-chain on the Ethereum blockchain, ensuring their lifetime and the resilience of CryptoPunks’ investments.

From where do the market statistics on this website come?

The Cryptopunks contract on the Ethereum blockchain is used to load the pricing, bids, and sales that you see on this website. We also had to create a market because the Cryptopunks predate the ERC-721 standard (and all third party NFT marketplaces), making it impossible to trade them. Beyond what the blockchain offers, we have no access to any more data and no influence over the contract that governs this market. Anyone could really create a web front end for it.

Do you impose transactional fees?

No. Beyond what Ethereum charges, we impose no additional costs for Cryptopunk transactions made through the built-in market (gas).

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