CryptoPunks: Pioneers in Crypto Art and NFTs

CryptoPunks is a collection of non-fungible tokens based on Ethereum.

What are CryptoPunks?

CryptoPunks is one of NFT’s most recognized collections. This collection, created by John Watkinson, Matt Hall and Andy Milenius back in 2017, is a set of 10,000 24×24 pixel images.

Each NFT features a unique punk (alien, robot, monkey, etc.) that can be bought and owned by whoever owns that asset on the blockchain. All punks are unique, and some of them look like celebrities.

The world of non-fungible tokens has seen significant growth over the past few years. Much of that growth has come from buying and selling NFTs on Ethereum, which started with CryptoKitties in December 2017 and has since expanded to the millions of tokens that exist on the network today.

The CryptoPunks project was created with a similar goal: to show what’s possible with non-fungible tokens on Ethereum via ERC-721, just as CryptoKitties showed what can be done with ERC-20/ERC-233 tokens. By 2021, CryptoPunks and the NFT market had led to a surge in value. Several NFTs were sold at $1 million apiece. In the first six months of 2021, transactions totaled $2.5 billion.

Believe it or not, Larva Labs (the creator of CryptoPunks) released this collection for free - as an experiment. The two-person group behind CryptoPunks had no idea that it would become a leading name in NFT in the future.

At the time, ERC-721, which is now the standard for NFT, had not even been created. After Larva Labs released CryptoPunks, 9,000 of them were bought up by Ethereum wallet holders and the rest were held back by Larva Labs.

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