In brief

  • The most affordable CryptoPunk NFT on the market right now costs more than $100,000 worth of ETH.
  • The NFT market is surging again lately on the back of prominent, high-dollar sales and rising overall transaction volume.

CryptoPunks are seminal NFT crypto collectibles, as the 10,000 randomized avatar faces were minted on Ethereum back in 2017—way before this year’s NFT market boom. We’ve seen some multi-million-dollar sales for coveted CryptoPunks in recent days, but even the low end is rising. Today, the floor reached six figures.

As of this morning, the cheapest CryptoPunk listed on secondary markets costs more than $100,000 worth of ETH. First spotted by crypto analytics firm DappRadar, the lowest-priced CryptoPunk available per creator Larva Labs’ own tracker is currently 39 ETH, which is about $108,000 at the current exchange rate as of this writing.

Today’s Ethereum price jump undoubtedly has something to do with it. The long-awaited London hard fork, officially known as EIP-1559, changes the way that the Ethereum network handles fees. For the first time, the network “burns” or removes the ETH mining fee from circulation, thus reducing the overall supply of the cryptocurrency.

As of this writing, more than 580 ETH (about $1.63 million) has already been burned since the network upgrade went live this morning. The price of ETH has jumped alongside the launch of the upgrade and the deflationary measures, rising more than 7% over the last couple of hours to reach a current price above $2,800 per coin.

That price bump likely pushed the price of the cheapest CryptoPunk NFT over the $100,000 line, but make no mistake: CryptoPunks have been hot again lately amidst an overall jump in NFT sales activity in recent weeks.

Eight of the top 10 most expensive NFTs sold in July were CryptoPunks, per data from DappRadar, with the highest selling for $5.47 million. Investor and social media influencer Gary Vaynerchuk—who sold his own collection of NFTs and is also part of Candy Digital, the NFT partner of Major League Baseballbought a CryptoPunk for $3.7 million worth of ETH last week.

An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a digital item, adding provable scarcity to things like still images, video clips, and interactive video game items as validated by a blockchain. The NFT market blew up in early 2021, with some $2.5 billion in transaction volume across the first half of the year, via DappRadar.

Although NFT collectibles can take all sorts of different forms, CryptoPunks have proven particularly popular and influential. We’ve seen a lot of other NFT projects take a similar approach with randomized features and a fixed number of collectibles, such as the rising Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, Larva Labs’ own more recent Meebits NFTs, and even Weird Whales—a project created by a 12-year-old kid that made $160,000 in a single day.