$1B CryptoPunks Leading NFT Mania

CryptoPunks are among the most-sought-after nonfungible tokens.

Reviewed by: Sumit Roy
Edited by: Sumit Roy

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the world by storm this year.

In March, digital artist Beeple sold an NFT of one of his works for a record $69 million; days later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet in NFT form for $2.9 million; and all year long, Dapper Labs has been selling NFTs tied to NBA highlights under the Top Shot brand.

Sales of NFTs in the first half of 2021 may have reached as high as $2.5 billion, according to DappRadar, with no end in sight to the boom.

Most recently, one of the oldest NFT projects, CryptoPunks, has powered new records in the space. These algorithmically-generated pixel art images are highly coveted by collectors, with only 10,000 in existence. Each 24x24 image is unique, and depicts men, women, apes, zombies and aliens.

The rarer the features on the punk, the more valuable it tends to be. In March, two rare alien punks sold for $7.57 million each. Currently, the cheapest punk is selling for the equivalent of $125,000—up 250x from where the punk traded hands less than a year ago—and significantly more than the price of a bitcoin.

At these levels, the combined value of all 10,000 CryptoPunks is over $1 billion.

Only time will tell whether these lofty prices will last, but for now, CryptoPunks are among the most valuable crypto assets in the world.


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Email Sumit Roy at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @sumitroy2

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he's worked for 12 years. Before joining the company, Roy was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing pickleball and snowboarding.