In brief

  • A CryptoPunk NFT sold for nearly $4.4 million today, making it one of the most expensive Punks sold to date.
  • The seller purchased this particular CryptoPunk for just $443 worth of ETH back in November 2018.

CryptoPunks are considered the OG's of NFTs, not only due to their heritage—they were minted in 2017, well before this year’s boom—but also how much they’ve influenced other NFT sets since. Curious how much they’ve soared in value in recent months? Here’s a prime example of the incredible price multiplier seen of late.

See this CryptoPunk? It’s #2338 in the set of 10,000 such collectibles, and it’s one of just 88 Zombies in the entire bunch, not to mention one of four “Zombie Mohawk Thin” variants. It just sold for 1,500 Ethereum, or about $4.38 million at the time of sale. That makes it one of the most expensive CryptoPunks sold to date, although the cryptocurrency’s changing value means that the rankings vary depending on the amount of ETH paid or the then-current value in US dollars.

In any case, while the dollar amount is jaw-dropping, the rise in value over the last couple years is even more shocking. As data from CryptoSlam shows, this particular CryptoPunk was purchased for just $443 (3.5 ETH) in November 2018. All told, it’s just shy of a 1,000,000% return in less than three years’ time.

Of course, CryptoPunks were originally given away for free to anyone with an Ethereum wallet who claimed one in time, but the secondary market value has skyrocketed during this year’s NFT market boom. According to creator Larva Labs, some $878 million worth of CryptoPunks have been sold over the last year.

One CryptoPunk sold for $11.8 million via Sotheby’s auction to DraftKings board member Shalom Meckenzie in June, while another sold for $5.4 million worth of ETH last week. In fact, noted investor and social media influencer Gary Vaynerchuk bought a CryptoPunk NFT for $3.7 million last week, although the 1,600 ETH he spent would have been worth $4.6 million today due to a recent rise in the value of Ethereum.

“I have a lot of empathy for people’s curiosity or cynicism or debate, but I have incredible confidence in this asset,” Vaynerchuk told Decrypt last week, when asked about criticism over his investment. “And I’m sure people said the same about a Jackson Pollock painting at some point.”

An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a digital object, whether it’s a digital painting, video file, or interactive video game item—or in this case, a pixelated 24x24 avatar with randomized features. The NFT collectibles market blew up earlier this year, generating some $2.5 billion in total transaction volume during the first six months of the year.

While the buzz around NFTs seemed to quiet in late spring and into early summer, we’ve seen a resurgence of late—and CryptoPunks are helping to lead the charge. In addition to some recent sales above the $1 million mark, the floor for the cheapest CryptoPunks is also rising.

Yesterday, the cheapest CryptoPunk on the market sat at just above $100,000 worth of ETH, the first time that the floor had reached six figures. Today, the lowest-priced CryptoPunk available for purchase is just under $150,000 per Larva Labs’ official tracker. The rising price of Ethereum has something to do with the rise, but as data from CryptoSlam shows, people are also snatching up the lowest-priced Punks en masse right now.

“The next CryptoPunk floor sweep is really gonna get everyone in a TIZZY,” Vaynerchuk tweeted just last night. Less than a day later, it’s already happening.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.