Home Finance What Are CryptoPunks and Why Are They Worth So Much?

What Are CryptoPunks and Why Are They Worth So Much?

What Are CryptoPunks and Why Are They Worth So Much?
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

CryptoPunks is one of the most expensive NFT collections and well-known blockchain projects, which occupies the first position in sales.

The demand for these works of crypto art grew in 2020, especially in early 2021.

Nowadays, the excitement around CryptoPunks does not subside. In 2022, some characters were sold for millions of dollars. In this article, we will tell you how each token’s rarity is determined, the cost of CryptoPunks, and how this collection affects digital art.

What is CryptoPunks?  

CryptoPunks are face pictures drawn in a specific format of digital art. This NFT is the first crypto art that marked the beginning of digital collecting. CryptoPunks are a unique collection of digital objects, each of which is an 8-bit pixelated picture of eccentric representatives of punk culture.

The number of characters is 10,000. Each is endowed with distinctive features. They are all presented as NFT tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain. Today, they are considered one of the most expensive and popular NFT collections.

History of creation

The project was launched in 2017 by Larva Labs developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson. This project aimed to unify the possibilities of NFT and art. Owing to this, we got concepts such as crypto-art and digital art.

The developers were inspired by the London punk culture of the 1970s, the fashion of that time, and zombies. All this formed the basis for creating the appearance of the characters. Thus, eight-bit pixelated pictures appeared. The images are small pop-art portraits (24×24 pixels). This collection includes 10,000 pictures, including zombies, punks, monkeys, aliens, etc.

At first, Cryptopunks could be acquired for free. Willing to get this NFT only paid for an Ethereum transaction fee, which was $0.11 in mid-2017. But after NFTs began to gain popularity, the cost of CryptoPunks also increased. Thus, one image can cost several million dollars.

Payment with Ethereum
Photo by Kanchanara on Unsplash

How to determine the value of CryptoPunks?

Each character from the CryptoPunks collection is endowed with its own attributes and differences in skin color, eyes, the presence of certain accessories, etc. Some attributes are more common than others. The more rare attributes a character has, the more unique and valuable it is. For instance, earrings are considered the most widespread accessory, and the cost of lots with them is much lower than lots with a beanie hat, which is the rarest attribute. It should be mentioned that the high cost of this NFT is defined not only by the rarity of attributes but also by consumer demand in the market.

Each character can have from 0 to 7 attributes. CryptoPunks with 0 attributes is called Genesis punks. There are only eight such characters. A complete list of the attributes of this collection can be found on the CryptoPunks website. They are in the “Attribute Counts” section at the bottom of the page. 

The only NFT that has all seven attributes is CryptoPunk #8348. This NFT has the following attributes: a beard, sharp teeth, a cigarette, a mole, a top hat, and an earring in his ear, and he is dressed in classic style.

All attributes of each NFT are available in the metadata. Therefore, if you want to buy a particular NFT, you can categorize the pictures by attributes. In this way, it is easy to find CryptoPunks with glasses, a beard, or any other set of accessories.

Where can you buy CryptoPunks?

To date, all CryptoPunks have already been bought, and they can currently be purchased on the secondary market. These NFTs are sold on Lavra Lab’s own marketplace and other trading platforms such as Christie’s auction house and OpenSea. It is worth noting that these NFTs are available in two collections – CryptoPunks and Wrapped CryptoPunks on OpenSea.

How much does Cryptopunks collection cost?

According to this information, the cost of these pixelated pictures from the CryptoPunks collection doesn’t differ on the official website of the project and the OpenSea platform. One picture from this collection can cost from 16.5 to 4.2 thousand ETH (from 67 thousand dollars to 17 million dollars). If we talk about the Wrapped CryptoPunks collection, the cost can vary from 25 to 66 ETH (from $102k to $268k).


The popularity of CryptoPunks is due to several reasons. Some people buy these NFTs to replenish the list of their collection with small pixel art. Others buy them to resell them and make a profit. Initially, CryptoPunks was released as an experiment and was available for free. Now, this NFT collection is considered a valuable collector’s item. Blockchain helped secure ownership, and the NFT made every CryptoPunk unique.

Now CryptoPunks are not just pixel art. These pictures are unique digital art objects that allow their owners to demonstrate their social status and influence the art world.

Author’s biography

Ranas Shakirov is an expert and analyst at Cryptorobotics with over four years of experience teaching cryptocurrencies and crypto investments and the author of a crypto trading course.

Featured Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay