CryptoPunks is a new blockchain-based digital collectible item created by Larva Labs. Find out everything you need to know about CryptoPunks today.
What Are CryptoPunks?
CryptoPunks are digital collectible items stored on the Ethereum blockchain. They’re one of the first major instances of blockchain-based digital collectible items.
The “punks” are 24×24 pixel art images of various faces and people. Some are wearing cowboy hats. Others are wearing 3D glasses. Some are smoking. One’s a monkey. The images are generated by an algorithm. 10,000 CryptoPunks have been created.
The developers don’t plan to release any more CryptoPunks, and the code is already on the blockchain so it can’t be changed.
You can buy your CryptoPunk today for the cost of gas. In other words, they’re free for anyone with an Ethereum wallet – you just pay the network transaction fee (which is currently around 11 cents). Proof of ownership is stored on the Ethereum blockchain. You can view all 10,000 Cryptopunks in an image on the official website.
Larva Labs has also created a marketplace where you can buy and sell individual punks. You can offer them for sale to anyone for a minimum price. Or, you can sell your punk to a specific person.
In the image on the CryptoPunks website, you can see exactly which punks have been claimed. Punks with a blue background haven’t been claimed by anyone. Punks with a green background have been claimed. And punks with a red background are available for sale by their owner.
You can zoom in on each punk to get more details about each one. Most of them are male or female characters. However, there are also a few apes, zombies, and aliens tossed in. Each punk even has its own profile page showing their attributes.
For example, clicking on one punk’s profile will tell you how unique its features are. In the case of CryptoPunk #4553, for example, there are 6038 other male punks like him, 285 other punks with a “Luxurious Beard”, 501 other punks with “Classic Shades”, and 413 punks with “Crazy Hair”.
The profile also tells you the address of the Ethereum wallet holder who owns the CryptoPunk.
How Does CryptoPunks Work?
The CryptoPunks system is based on the Ethereum blockchain. The coding resides on the blockchain, and anyone can use that code to buy and sell punks with anyone else in the world.
Like with other blockchain codes, the code resides fully on the blockchain, so Larva Labs no longer has any control over the code behind CryptoPunks. It cannot be modified by anyone.
How To Get Your CryptoPunk
Getting a CryptoPunk is straightforward. Here’s how you start – even if you’ve never used Ethereum in your life.
Step 1) Download and install the Ethereum wallet and get some Ether (you can buy it from an exchange and transfer it to your wallet address)
Step 2) Download the CryptoPunks ABI file. Then, in your Ethereum wallet, “watch” the CryptoPunks contract..
Step 3) Pick a punk nobody else owns. Then, execute the getPunk (punkNumber) code, typing in the number of the punk you wish to own. You’ll be charged the transaction fees (gas), but you will not be charged anything else.
Step 4) If you want to sell a punk, you can execute the code offerPunkForSale (punkNumer, price). Set the price you would accept for that particular punk.
Step 5) If you want to sell your punk to a specific person, you can do that by typing in the following code: offerPunkForSaleToAddress (punkNumber, price, address)
Step 6) If you want to give a punk to someone else, you can do that by typing in the following code: transferPunk (address, punkNumber)
Are CryptoPunks ERC20 Tokens?
CryptoPunks use a similar system to ERC20 tokens. The official website describes them as “almost an ERC20 token”. With CryptoPunks, you can watch your punks like a token in your wallet and see how many your own.
However, none of the other methods are the same as ERC20 tokens because you’re not transferring a simple balance, but need to reference which specific punk you want to transfer.
You can view full technical details for CryptoPunks on github.
About Larva Labs
CryptoPunks were created by Larva Labs, a team of two developers named Matt and John. The company was originally founded to create apps for the T-Mobile Sidekick, then created over 20 apps for Android and iOS. The company has also worked directly with Google and Microsoft.
You can view more information about Larva Labs on their website.
Digital tokens are pretty much digital collectible items. So it makes sense that someone would create a digital collectible item designed more as an actual collectible than a currency. CryptoPunks are a unique addition to the blockchain economy.
You can pick up your CryptoPunk for free (plus the cost of an Ethereum transaction) from the Larva Labs website.