Punks were the very first NFT in the Ethereum ecosystem, the project that inspired the creation of the ERC-721 standard and CryptoKitties, and what Devin Finzer, the co-founder and CEO of OpenSea, calls true digital antiques in their NFT bible.
Weekly CryptoPunks sales volume, from Dune Analytics CryptoPunks dashboard by @eliasimos
The CryptoPunks market went through three bullruns this year, each one bigger than the last, and we are potentially going into a fourth one now. Floor prices increased from well below 1 ETH to nearly 6 ETH and there were many other moments that stood out. Moments that have been lovingly called CryptoPunks Moments™* by the community. Everybody has their favorite events from this year, so here are my personal top 5 moments that I witnessed in the CryptoPunks world.
* not an actual trademark, using ™ is a meme in the NFT world.
- 5 -
As CryptoPunks pre-date the ERC-721 standard, they could only be traded on the creators website, larvalabs.com. NFT-DeFi projects had to specifically adapt their contracts to accommodate punks (e.g., NIFTEX’s ZOMB).
Then, out of nowhere, came the announcement that Robi (creator of the ARK gallery for punks, a DAO to buy and sell punks) had created a wrapping contract, making it possible to reversibly convert a punk into a ERC-721 compliant version of itself.
Funnily, this announcement that also partly triggered the third 2020 bullrun, came from MadMaister, one of the creators of NFTfi and not Robi themselves.
Wrapped CryptoPunks, could now be sold on OpenSea and Raribile. This happened during the height of the RARI hype, resulting in legendary NFT flipper Pranksy and others to eat the floor on Larva Labs, wrap the punks, and flip them on Rarible with the additional benefit of getting a lot of RARI rewards.
Now, multiple DeFi projects use Wrapped CryptoPunks, e.g., NFTfi or NFTX.
- 4 -
Many people don’t know that the CryptoPunks we love and trade today are actually a fork, a second iteration of CryptoPunks: Version 2. The reason for this was a bug found in Version 1 which made the old contract and marketplace unusable, and Larva Labs decided to create a new version and transfer punk ownerships to the new contract.
Talk of this old contract comes up once in a while in the CryptoPunks Discord. On one such occasion, Hemba, a true punk OG, who once owned 100s of Version 1 and Version 2 punks, was telling stories from that time revealing they had exploited the old contract when the bug was found.
Hemba was very active in the Discord before they sold their last punk, and was respected enough that nobody gave them any grief when they posted the message above (Code Is Law mentality is strong with punks owners).
Hemba also still owns many of these old “classic” Version 1 CryptoPunks. Apparently, they were even contacted and asked if they were willing to sell some of these old punks. Looking at the old contract on Etherscan, we can see Hemba indeed transferred some to other wallets, so OTC sales may have happened.
- 3 -
Pranksy and the COZOM roundabout
The third 2020 bullrun not only resulted in massive sales volume, but also the sharding of three more punks on NIFTEX. Sharding is the process of turning a NFT into ERC-20 tokens, enabling fractionalized ownership. These shards can be traded on Uniswap. Pranksy successfully sharded CryptoPunk #3831, now known as COZOM (COvid ZOMbie), for 100 ETH and shard prices quickly spiked after the initial sale.
Just to emphasise how amazing #NFTs are, i've just partnered with @NIFTEXdotcom to convert my COVID-19 @larvalabs #cryptopunks Zombie into 10,000 shards valued at .01 each, grab some today for your share of one of the coolest punks in existence $COZOM https://t.co/QafZWnUsUQ pic.twitter.com/rnJGJGhbyY
But as things are in NFTland, after the bullrun comes the dip, causing CryptoPunks floor prices and COZOM shard prices to drop hard. Pranksy wasn’t phased, and after a few months, they triggered the buy-out clause, the mechanism to get the NFT back out of the sharding contract.
Okay! It is happening! The very first serious claim attempt on a #CryptoPunk on @NIFTEXdotcom!@pranksyNFT has triggered a buyout at 50 $ETH valuation. It will run for 2 weeks and if nobody buys him out with 28 $ETH, the punk is his again— Pixls (@pixls_dot_eth) December 6, 2020
cc: @larvalabshttps://t.co/cDCUXLT14d pic.twitter.com/Vife89ZNn1
After a two week veto phase, the buyout was completed unopposed at a 50 ETH valuation.
He's home! $COZOM the COVID-19 Zombie #cryptopunk is back home just in time for christmas, buyout complete, the best Zombie in existence is back! #Pranksyspiggybank https://t.co/E6DdfShBQX@NIFTEXdotcom
The story doesn’t stop here. COZOM was quickly flipped again by Pranksy for 100 ETH, making this one of the wildest flips in punk history.
While many people got burned on the buyout of COZOM, I have seen very little animosity towards Pranksy.
- 2 -
Ross nearly dies* while buying a zombie punk
People who hang around in the CryptoPunks Discord know that Ross accidentally sold their only zombie punk too cheap. Ross is an NFT OG, crypto artist, and the co-founder of the VRON collective and the CryptoWiener project who has traded a few punks in their time.
Then one day, zombie CryptoPunk #5412 became on sale for 38 ETH. Ross quickly bought it and finally got a zombie back. They later revealed that they tripped and fell while running to get their hardware wallet. Zombie trading is dangerous business!
Ross lives and happily merged their zombie and their CryptoWiener into one crossover Discord avatar image and promptly collabed to get an ETH-MEN of their zombie minted:
Tonight 7.30 PM CET we drop the first batch of our punk series! Tomorrow 9 AM CET a smaller part to respect the timezones. https://t.co/XU3axotwCR— ETH-MEN (@ETHMENOFFICIAL) December 18, 2020
More info @ our discord https://t.co/uGW2PAZ6T8#NFTs #ETHMEN @rariblecom
RT for free $ACPT @cctip_io airdrop 5000 ACPT 200 pic.twitter.com/qLcFqVS5k3
- 1 -
Pranksy snipes Natealex for a zombie punk
The top CryptoPunks moment is based on drama and hilariousness and happened only a few days ago. CryptoPunks were launched some time ago, so there are many inactive wallets holding valuable punks. Sometimes one of these accounts wakes up and starts dumping CryptoPunks below current market value.
Exactly this happened, somebody was offering punks at 3 ETH during a 5 ETH floor. Natealex, legendary OG and Ethereum developer, put in a bid on this old account’s zombie CryptoPunk #6649 for 35 ETH. The owner accepted the bid. At about the same time Pranksy put in an offer for 36 ETH. Both transactions got confirmed only 2 blocks apart, with Pranksy’s going in first, thereby snipping Natealex with the original owner probably never seeing the second bid. Needless to say the Discord exploded.
— Pranksy (@pranksyNFT) December 26, 2020
Pranksy and Natealex have been friendly rivals in this space for a long time, so I don’t expect any bad feelings to come out of this. For those watching it was a mindblowing exchange. Sorry, Nate!