CryptoPunks is one of the most popular online marketplaces for trading digital artwork. It’s been a year since it launched–and it has seen some wild changes in both buyers and sellers! Today, we’re going to take a look at how this marketplace has evolved, looking at some of the best-selling artists from day one to today.
What are CryptoPunks?
CryptoPunks are virtual 3D models, created with the first-generation NFTs. By assigning a unique number to each model, they can be traded among users of the CryptoPunks marketplace. A user who wants to buy a crypto punk will send an e-mail to the seller, and then transfer Bitcoin to their account. The seller will then provide an e-mail address where the digital artwork can be downloaded.
Some sellers are reluctant to trade on CryptoPunks because of its anonymity, but for others-it’s exactly what they need. For some artists, this system allows them to bypass third-party platforms like eBay or Etsy, which take a cut of their revenue and come with expensive fees. Another benefit to them is that they are not prohibited from trading on the platform due to age or location, unlike other services.
Artists can create their own ‘genesis frames’ by selecting an alphanumeric word of any length and generating corresponding images, which are assigned numbers. The market allows for anyone to generate a new frame by paying its previous owner a flat rate. This helps artists retain control over their digital assets, even if someone has purchased them already.
Price History of CryptoPunks
CryptoPunks were initially sold through auctions – but quickly switched over to direct sales after realizing it was more favorable for both buyers and sellers. Prices range between 0.08 BTC-0.15 BTC ($51- $92), with some of the more exclusive ones going for up to 0.24 BTC ($142). The best-selling artists ranged from people who paid for their purchases in Bitcoin, to players of No Man’s Sky and cryptograffiti. Each crypto punk is tied to a unique smart contract where ownership can be transferred by paying a flat fee (in Bitcoin) to its owner along with a cryptographic puzzle which they have to solve.
Offers have been made on some of the most expensive CryptoPunks, but most offers were declined because it was “only a token gesture” or that the seller was “holding out for a better deal”. However, there is no way for users outside of public forums and Reddit threads to which artist is selling which Cryptopunk, so it is possible for a CryptoPunk to be traded without the buyer knowing its true history.
The Evolution of CryptoPunks
For the first year, buying and selling crypto punks was almost entirely through auctions–this allowed for prices to fluctuate depending on the demand of that specific artist. However, this meant that people who wanted to buy could only do so during an auction–and if they missed out, they would have to wait until another one opened up. Eventually, these practices were replaced with direct sales because it was more favorable for both buyers and sellers. This way not all owners are active at once, maximizing liquidity in the marketplace.
Unlike other online art services which have monthly fees or take a cut of revenue, Cryptopunks does not have any fees for buying or selling. By decentralizing the marketplace, it is held entirely in the hands of its users without any interference from third parties. CryptoPunks are also unique because they are tied to a smart contract where ownership can be transferred by paying a flat fee (in Bitcoin) to its owner along with a cryptographic puzzle which they have to solve!
Best CryptoPunks Artworks
Some of the most expensive artworks at CryptoPunks belong to people who paid for their purchase in Bitcoin, people who play No Man’s Sky, and cryptograffiti.
The artwork can be traded without the buyer knowing its history. Cryptopunks are also unique because they are tied to a smart contract where ownership can be transferred by paying a flat fee (in Bitcoin) to its owner along with a cryptographic puzzle which they have to solve!
The best selling artists were people who paid for their purchases in Bitcoin, players of No Man’s Sky and cryptograffiti. Each crypto punk is tied to a unique smart contract where ownership can be transferred by paying a flat fee (in Bitcoin) to its owner along with a cryptographic puzzle which they have to solve. Since the market was started last year it has generated over $1 million in trade volume, so far.
The most expensive artwork sold for over $25,000. The work is a “Four Generation” or F Gen Crypto Punk created by the artist cryptograffiti which he bought from its original owner who paid for it in Bitcoin. It’s considered to be one of the best-selling artists because he traded a large sum of bitcoins to another player making his future generations even more costly.
On May 1, 2016, a Gen Zero was sold on OpenSea for about 0.033 bitcoin (about $20) and later resold to someone else for 0.100 bitcoin (about $500). Over time as new crypto punks were released this initial sale increased its value as it would require more money to purchase those newer types of crypto punks.