Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs, virtual worlds, & collectibles
Dear Bankless Nation,
It’s a CryptoPunks world, and we’re all just living in it.
Joking aside, the clout surrounding CryptoPunks and the demand for these historic Ethereum collectibles have undoubtedly never been higher.
The latest major influx of Punks attention arrived courtesy of global payments giant Visa, which earlier this week revealed it’d added Punk #7610 to its “collection of historic commerce artifacts.”
So as we continue to explore this “new era of NFT commerce” and the frontiers of NFT-centric culture, it’s clearer than ever that CryptoPunks have become the crown jewels at the heart of our zeitgeist.
For today’s Metaversal, then, let’s explore some of the top intrigues and biggest recent happenings around CryptoPunks, the most successful NFT project to date!
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📈 Floor price ATH
The pulse: The current floor price for a CryptoPunk is 78.75 ETH. Achieved for the first time yesterday, this valuation marked a new standing all-time high for the CryptoPunks floor at the time of this post’s writing.
Some perspective: During the first CryptoPunks craze back in the springtime the Punks floor price acutely topped out at 25 ETH, so we’ve seen the floor x3 since that point and then some.
🏖️ Big summer sales
Demand grows: The 12 largest CryptoPunks sales to date have all taken place in 2021. Of these dozen sales, 8 have taken place this summer and 3 during this August alone.
Big picture: Aliens, Apes, and Zombies are the three rarest types of CryptoPunks. That all of the largest Punk sales so far have centered around these three rare types reinforces these digital collectibles’ status as Veblen goods, i.e. exclusive, high-quality status symbols.
💥 Volume boom
Trading explodes: CryptoPunks facilitated less than $1 million worth of trading volume during its first three years in existence. Compare this reality with the fact that 24-hr CryptoPunks trading volume surpassed $100 million for the first time ever this Monday, August 23rd, and you can easily see just how popular Punks have become.
Track all the action:
🔗 Now fully on-chain
As CryptoPunks creators Larva Labs recently explained:
“When we created the Cryptopunks in 2017, we linked the composite images of all the punks to the smart contract by storing a cryptographic hash of the image in the Cryptopunks contract. This way, it was clear that the contract pertained to that image, and that image only.
However, as the Cryptopunk images are fairly small at 24x24 pixels each, it has always been theoretically possible to store them on the Ethereum blockchain directly. Furthermore, the Cryptopunk attributes (hair styles, glasses, beards, hats, etc.) could also be put on-chain alongside the images. Storing them on-chain in this way would further cement the long-term survival of the Cryptopunks images and attributes, and ensure that they can be fully accessed by anyone with only an Ethereum client.”
Alas, Larva Labs just revealed they’ve proceeded with this functionality by releasing a smart contract users can query through Etherscan to retrieve "the CryptoPunks images as either a raw set of pixels or an SVG.” The same functionality can be used to retrieve a Punk’s attributes in an on-chain manner, too.
🛍️ Go punk yourself!
You don’t have to be able to afford one whole CryptoPunk in order to trade around these choice collectibles. Indeed, back in July I wrote a Bankless guide on “How to get exposure to CryptoPunks.” Check it out if you want to explore things like:
NFTX’s $PUNK vault
NIFTEX’s fractionalized CryptoPunks
Yam DAO’s uPUNKS synth token
Additionally, this week I wrote a Bankless primer on “How to fractionalize NFTs via Fractional.” The Fractional protocol already already offers a handful of fractionalized CryptoPunks vaults, so get up to speed with my post if you’re interested in diving in further!
🐻 Wen bear?
Speaking of Fractional, this week Bankless hosted Fractional founder Andy8052 and community manager DeeZe for an epic State of the Nation episode on the ongoing NFT craze. Definitely don’t miss this one!
Toward the end of the convo, the discussion turned toward how much steam this current NFT craze could have left. Andy offered some speculation here that I thought was as good a guess as any. He said:
“I think that if you have a time horizon that’s longer than a year or two, you’ll probably be okay. There’s just too many smart people who are buying things right now who literally have no intention of selling … and so I think that we’ll probably, just totally guessing, have a few more months of real craziness and things will get really, really insane.”
When it comes to CryptoPunks, I’m predicting Andy’s speculation above is pretty close to how things will play out, i.e. the rally continues in the near-term and then after mid-term chop CryptoPunks are still ultra desirable and valuable and thus new heights can be possible. We’ll see! 😄
🎨 Read “CryptoPunks explained” by Christie’s
🕵♀️ Read “The Original CryptoPunk” by Andrew Schreiber
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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.
Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.