Ownership of NFTs are recorded on a blockchain network, which supports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether.
CryptoPunks were one of the earliest NFT projects and have risen in value as collector’s items. The project included a total of 10,000 small pixel-art portraits of people, zombies, aliens, and apes. Larva Labs, which created the CryptoPunks project in 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain, says on its website that the series “inspired the modern CryptoArt movement.”
When Larva Labs created the figures in 2017, it kept 1,000, but gave away the rest for free to anyone with an Ethereum wallet. The collection of CryptoPunks sold at the Christie’s auction house came directly from Larva Labs. Christie’s did not identify the buyer.
Each CryptoPunks figure was algorithmically generated and has unique attributes, from hairstyle and glasses to hats and smoking accessories.
The nine that sold at Christie’s included some that had rare traits, which boost their value. CryptoPunk 635, which has a blue face, bandana and sunglasses, is one of just nine so-called alien punks in the entire 10,000-piece series, Christie’s said. Another of the nine sold, CryptoPunk 2, is sought after for being the second in the entire series.
The interest in and value of CryptoPunks has risen along with the NFT movement in recent months.
Over the past 12 months, 9,524 of the 10,000 CryptoPunks have exchanged hands, according to Larva Labs. The total value of all transactions tied to the NFTs is $740 million, Larva Labs says.