Behind The Article: My Research on CryptoPunks NFTs

crypto.bbt
3 min readMar 1, 2022

It began with my curiosity. NFT? Why are these pixels worth a few million dollars?

I decided to follow one of the most popular NFT collections, Cryptopunks. If I could paint these pixels on a screen and put it on the blockchain, why can’t I get a million dollars too?

These CryptoPunks pixels are worth more than US$100,000. Source: LarvaLabs

Key Info on CryptoPunks

As I go down this rabbit hole to research for my article, I found interesting background information on the project.

  • CryptoPunks started as an experiment.
  • The 10,000 characters were algorithmically created.
  • The project inspired the ERC-721 standard for NFTs that we know now.
  • They gave out 9,000 NFTs for free and kept 1,000 for themselves.

I started to understand the significance of the project. It could have been a first-mover advantage. CryptoPunks are unique. They also represent the early adopters of the NFT. It is a status symbol as an early adopter.

Takeaways from CryptoPunks

What I really enjoyed was that it truly was just an experiment. The Canadian duo repeatedly pointed out that they were merely fiddling with the possibilities.

It started with “Ok, we have cool randomly generated characters. Now, how do we distribute them? How do we make money from them?”. It went to be the biggest NFT project in the world. You never know what will happen just by tinkering around.

Something was bizarre to me. It was the fact that this digital art was created by coders. The art was created by AI. It was stored on the blockchain, viewed on a screen. Yet, fine arts companies and auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s are so invested in this.

“One of the most exciting things is that we are accessing an entirely new audience and a group of artists as well. That was very much on display in our sales over the last three days.”

Reason for Sotheby’s bold move to auction NFTs by CEO Charles Stewart

Is it art? Is it tech? Many artists are using NFTs to showcase their art, which is a deviation from what was created to be — code. It is not necessarily a good or bad thing, it was just bizarre to me.

Final Thoughts

It’s still early to decide if it is truly worth millions or just a fad.

One thing is for sure: CryptoPunks made an impact on crypto. They were innovative and special.

Can the same be said for most other NFT collections on the market? I have to dig deeper into the world of NFT to pass a judgement on the most significant ones.

Stay tuned for more articles on Crypto.bbt!

Additional Resources

If you are interested to dig deeper, here are some resources that I used to research for my article on Cryptobbt:

1. Compilation on GitHub

This was extremely comprehensive, although the structure make it difficult to sieve through the multitude of information.

2. Mashable Article

Most research on CryptoPunks will lead you back to this article that started the hype.

Remember that they were giving out 9,000 NFTs for free? This was the article that caused a mad rush to redeem all 9,000 in 24 hours.

3. Numerous Interviews With The Founders

I prefer reading and quoting from direct interviews instead of description of the interview. Matt Hall did quite a few of them and I frequently quoted from this article since it was aligned with the theme of my article.

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crypto.bbt

A blockchain enthusiast to help you simplify crypto concepts