Are CryptoPunks NFTs really NFTs?

The winds are favorable for CryptoPunks. They sell for high prices and are of great interest to collectors. But are they NFTs?

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The CryptoPunks. You may know them… These works of art that sell like hot cakes. Their success is such that on Saturday January 23, 2021, a model was sold for 605 ETH, or approximately $750,000. Her name ? Punk Alien. But what are CryptoPunks really? Can we really consider them as tokens non-fungible (NFT)?

What is a CryptoPunk?

CryptoPunks can be considered NFTs. Here’s the official definition from the team page behind their design. “CryptoPunks is 10,000 unique characters to collect with proof of ownership stored on the blockchain Ethereum. This is the project that inspired the movement Modern CryptoArt. The first “non-fungible token” is an inspiration for the Ethereum ERC-721 standard that powers most digital art and collectibles. »

Finally, what is a CryptoPunk? It is a digital work of 24×24 pixels which is automatically generated by a algorithm. Concretely, when we talk about the CryptoPunk collection, we refer to representations of human beings or animals with a punk look.

Each punk who finds himself in the CryptoPunks family is unique and has his own specificities. The proof, on the profile of each punk, you can consult a sales history and see who owns the product.

At first glance, a CryptoPunk is nothing special. Some models smoke a pipe, while others wear a hat. Still others represent extraterrestrials. Either way, no matter how CryptoPunk looks, it can be worth a fortune, due to its rarity. As we said, each model is unique and the total number of pieces is limited to 10,000. The collection is currently in high demand.

Who is behind the CryptoPunk project?

It is Larva Labs, a company headquartered in New York, which is behind the CryptoPunks project. Created by Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the firm launched the project in 2017 as an experiment in the value of NFTs. In total, the project consists of 3,840 NFTs representing women and 6,039 men.

Originally, Punks were distributed for free and all buyers had to do was pay the transaction fees.

For months, the popularity of CryptoPunks has reached an unimaginable level. One of the models in the family, a pale-faced punk sporting a headband, currently holds the record. It was sold at a price of 4,200 ETH, the equivalent of $7.58 million. The transaction was completed in March 2021. In second position, there is CryptoPunk n°7084 marketed at $7.57 million.

How to buy CryptoPunks?

When the project was launched, the ERC-721 blockchain was not as we know it today and NFTs did not exist. Larva Labs then had to use ERC-20 tokens. By opting for the style punk, the team leading the project managed to modify the code of the classic ERC-20 in order to launch its NFTs.

To buy CryptoPunks, several solutions can be used. Here is the most used method:

  • Download and install the wallet MetaMask ;
  • Tap into your stock of ETH to be able to complete a transaction for NFTs. If you don’t have ETH, you have the option of buying some. To do this, simply go to a exchange platform. There are several: Binance, Coinbase, etc. ;
  • Once the wallet is opened, the buyer must go to the LarvaLabs website where he will connect directly with his credentials;
  • The last step is to select a CryptoPunk. Once the NFT is selected, the buyer can view its history, manufacturer, and cost. All he has to do is click on the “Buy” button.

Note that outside the Larva Labs platform, it is possible to buy CryptoPunks by going to the OpenSea marketplace. It is one of the main Ethereum NFT marketplaces.

What should be remembered? Are CryptoPunks NFTs? Yes and no. Yes, because they are identical to classic NFTs except that they generally represent characters whereas classic NFTs are more open. For example, the latter can represent whales, etc. No, because they were wrapped in ERC-721 before being available on marketplaces.

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