Punks Worth Millions: What Are CryptoPunks and How to Join the Revolution
What are CryptoPunks?
CyptoPunks are a digital art collection of 10,000 completely unique NFTs that can be owned on the Ethereum blockchain. Just like punk music took the 70’s by storm, CryptoPunks were one of the earliest NFTs to make history in the world of cryptocurrency.
That’s right, these Punks changed the face of digital art and were even the inspiration for the ERC-721 standard. If you have no idea what that is, this standard allows for the traceability and transfer of NFTs… in other words, they quite literally inspired the tech behind the success of NFT marketplaces today. Let’s just say these Punks are no joke!
Why are CryptoPunks so popular?
Because CryptoPunks pre-date all third-party NFT marketplaces (like OpenSea) they weren’t originally available through standard means of transaction. Luckily for everyone, now they’ve migrated into the tech they inspired and can be bought/traded on OpenSea… if you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars lying around. You can check out all CryptoPunks currently for sale directly on the Larva Labs site.
While the jaw dropping price tag may seem insane, what it really means is that when you get your hands on a CyptoPunk, you’re also buying a piece of crypto history. To some, that’s priceless.
Who created CryptoPunks?
CryptoPunks were created by Matt and John, the two technologists behind Larva Labs. If you aren’t familiar with Larva Labs, they’ve got a hand in everything ranging from analytics and web infrastructure to apps, NFTs, and even work with Microsoft and Google. Their successes have been extensive with the large project load they’ve undertaken. You name it, they’ve done it!
Are CryptoPunks worth it?
Being that CryptoPunks rank within the top 5 most expensive NFTs, of course you must be wondering – are they worth it? The honest truth is that the actual value of these pieces of art are difficult to comprehend. The entire idea of digital art and NFTs was only recently introduced, and the fact that they’re just now becoming a topic of semi-regular conversation is even more novel.
So, are NFTs of any kind worth the hype? The obvious answer is: it depends who you ask. Some would argue that the whole idea of owning an original piece of digital art (that looks like a pixelated punk, an ape, a pigeon, or what have you) is an unstable investment of unknown value with an uncertain future (just what your account wants to hear).
The flip side of this, however, is the fact that we are moving in a more digital direction at a faster pace than ever before. With the introduction of the Metaverse it’s becoming more and more difficult to ignore the fact that virtual assets will eventually become a part of our daily being.
For example, buying a digital Gucci sweater for your avatar to wear in your virtual meeting space. It isn’t a question of if we’ll adopt these virtual novelties, but when. I mean, you wouldn’t want to walk into your virtual job interview underdressed, right?
So, when it comes to digital art, the argument could be the same. We have already seen a massive spike in the acquisition and trading of NFTs, art pieces, and collectibles. Will these eventually take the place of stocks? Are these going to be the inheritance we eventually pass down to our children, or our children to theirs? Time will tell.
When it comes to CryptoPunks specifically, the value here lies in the meaning behind the artwork. As one of the OG NFTs who paved the way for NFT trading as we know it, a true collector would likely say that owning a punk is a priceless testament to crypto history.
How to get your own CryptoPunk
The first step in trading crypto-based anything is to get yourself a wallet. No, we’re not talking about that leather one you’ve had your eye on. Think of your wallet as a digital holster for all things crypto. From currency to NFTs, these are all stored within your wallet. MetaMask is among some of the most common, and easily integrates with multiple platforms where you can buy, sell, and trade crypto-based assets.
MetaMask is quite literally idiot-proof. To get started, all you have to do is download the app (on your phone) or add the extension to the browser of your choice by clicking download.
Once you’ve downloaded the app (or added the extension) you can choose to integrate an existing wallet or create a new one.
Once you have an active wallet, you can buy, sell, and trade crypto-based assets as you please. The great thing about MetaMask is that it offers ways to buy crypto directly through the wallet with the use of services like Wyre and Transak. So, instead of purchasing cryptocurrency through a market, you can simply enter your debit or credit card information and voila! You’ve got crypto.
Once you’ve deposited some ETH into your account, head on over to an NFT marketplace like OpenSea where you can buy, trade, and sell everything from art and domains to NFTs. Here you can find the CyptoPunk collection as well as currently available punks, bids, and previous purchase history.
The future of Punks
The truth is, the future of NFTs is still up in the air. While there are promising signs that this will be a ‘new normal’ in the world of virtual assets, we can’t say for sure whether or not NFTs are a blip on the timeline or if they’re here to stay.
However, CryptoPunks hold a unique spot in this market as one of the defining collections that gave NFTs a name… and a future. So, will they still be selling for millions of dollars in a few years? Who knows. But, their value (to the right collector) is timeless.