NFTs or non-fungible tokens are unique assets that you can buy, exchange, and sell. They’re similar to cryptocurrencies since there is a blockchain network that verifies the authenticity of each asset. However, unlike cryptocurrency tokens, each NFT is unique.
CryptoPunks or Punks for short are one of the most popular NFT collections. Let’s take a closer look at these tokens and how you can purchase them.
What Are CryptoPunks?
In 2019, creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson decided to launch a collection of 24×24 pixel art images. Each image features a character with unique characteristics. The creators use an algorithm to generate these characters and ensure that each one is unique.
The value of each Punk NFT varies depending on how common their characteristics are. For instance, some characters have an unusual hairstyle, some sunglasses, or a beanie that makes them recognizable. The New York Times reported that the most expensive CryptoPunk ever sold reached $7.57 million USD.
CryptoPunks exist on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a network of users who put together their computing power to verify that each token traded on the blockchain is legitimate.
You can trade different types of tokens on the ETH blockchain, including cryptocurrencies and NFTs. The CryptoPunk collection uses the ERC-721 token standard, which verifies that each token is unique. It’s what makes these digital assets different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin where the tokens are interchangeable and have the same value.
You can see all the existing CryptoPunks on the Larva Labs website.
How to Buy CryptoPunks
The first step is to purchase Ethereum. There are different exchanges you can use:
- Coinbase is a well-known platform with excellent reviews.
- Gemini offers a user-friendly interface and some advanced security features.
- BlockFi is a good option if you’re looking for low fees.
Once you have selected the platform you want to use, you should create an account. Some platforms like Coinbase will ask you to upload a photo ID to verify your identity.
You can then fund your account by linking your bank account or entering your Visa or Mastercard payment information. Select ETH from the list of cryptocurrencies available and indicate how much you like to purchase. Note that Coinbase has a minimum of $25 for ETH transactions.
Create a Web3 Wallet With MetaMask
NFTs and cryptocurrencies rely on decentralized apps. Unlike regular apps that run on the network of the company that offers the app, decentralized apps or DApps run on P2P networks.
This model prevents any entities from having too much control over the app. It’s one of the things that make blockchain networks safe.
A Web3 wallet is a browser-based wallet that allows you to access DApps. You’ll need to create one to store the cryptocurrencies and NFTs you buy.
You can visit MetaMask to create a wallet. Click on download to install MetaMask on Chrome, iOS, or Android, and follow the prompts to create your Web3 wallet.
Transfer ETH to Your MetaMask
Open your Web3 wallet and look underneath your account name to find your wallet address. It’s a string of letters and numbers that you’ll use to connect your wallet to different applications.
Go to the exchange you used to purchase ETH and request a transfer. Enter the address of your wallet to indicate where your ETH should go.
Connect your MetaMask to OpenSea
OpenSea is a marketplace where you can buy NFTs and crypto collectibles. It’s one of the largest marketplaces of this type, and it’s also where you can purchase CryptoPunks.
Before you can buy CryptoPunks on OpenSea, you’ll have to create an account and link your wallet to the marketplace:
- Click on sign-in in the top right corner to get started. The site will take you to a page where you can log in or create an account.
- Create an account and log into it. Look for the wallet icon in the top right corner or click on the profile icon.
- A new window will pop up and ask you to connect your wallet. Enter your wallet address and wait for OpenSea to connect your wallet.
Find the Collection on OpenSea
The CryptoPunks are easy to find on OpenSea. You can type in CryptoPunk in the search bar at the top of the homepage or click on the explore button. You can then use the side menu to search for CryptoPunks or select this collection from the collections filter.
You can use the buy now and on auction filters to see NFTs currently available. You can also check the Larva Labs website to see which CryptoPunks are for sale and which ones have bids on them.
When you click on a CryptoPunk, OpenSea will take you to a page where you can learn more about the token. You’ll be able to see a transaction history that will help you assess the asset’s value.
If the owner is selling the NFT, you’ll see a buy now button or a button you can use to place a bid. All you have to do is click on buy now, select the funds from your wallet, and confirm the purchase.
OpenSea offers two types of auctions, English and Dutch auctions. With English auctions, users keep bidding to raise the price of the asset until the auction ends. With Dutch auctions, the price of the asset drops over time until a buyer purchases it.
If you bid on an English auction, you’ll have to wait until the auction ends to see if you won the asset. With Dutch auctions, you can place your bid in advance and wait for the price of the asset to drop to the price you’re willing to pay.
Approve on MetaMask
If you’re using MetaMask to manage your wallet, you’ll have to take an additional step and confirm the transaction on MetaMask.
CryptoPunks are one of the earliest and most successful NFT collections.
Who Owns the Most Cryptopunks?
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck or Gary Vee owns a total of 59 CryptoPunks! However, the Larva Labs website has a leaderboard where you can see anonymous users who own even more Punks. Gary Vee ranks 23rd on this leaderboard, and there is an anonymous user with a total of 430 NFTs.
Why Are Cryptopunks So Expensive?
Like with every other NFT, scarcity is what drives the price of CryptoPunks up. Because there is a finite number of tokens, owners know that these assets will remain valuable.
Users are also willing to spend more to get these NFTs because each character is unique. If you look at some of the CryptoPunks listed on OpenSea, you’ll see that the platform lists the percentage of images that share the characteristics of each CryptoPunk to give you an idea of how rare these features are.
Recently, an NFT depicting an alien with a mask for $11.7 million in a Sotheby’s auction. This token is extremely valuable because there are only nine aliens in the entire collection, and it’s the only Punk with a mask.
How Many CryptoPunks Are There?
There are a total of 10,000 NFTs in this collection. The creators have written this number into the Ethereum blockchain code for these tokens, meaning that they won’t be able to keep generating any more NFTs once there are 10,000 Punks available.
Having a limited number of assets contributes to making these NFTs rare and guarantees their value.