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CryptoPunks: pixelated avatars that the wealthy are snapping up for millions of dollars

CryptoPunks: pixelated avatars that the wealthy are snapping up for millions of dollars
CryptocurrencyCryptocurrency1 min read
Image: CryptoPunks / Larva LabsImage: CryptoPunks / Larva Labs

  • Millionaires are clamoring to buy CryptoPunks, the funky digital avatars shaking up the art world.
  • These 10,000 unique characters are worth almost $400 million - the cheapest CryptoPunk costs $37,638.
  • Billionaire Shalom Meckenzie just bought a rare "Covid Alien" avatar for over $11.7 million.
These pixelated avatars, known as "CryptoPunks," were first released in 2017 by creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson as an experiment. The characters, initially available for free, are now being auctioned off to eager billionaires for up to $11.7 million.

CryptoPunks are among the most famous NFTs, a type of computer-generated art stored on the ethereum blockchain.

"The whole thing is pretty weird, and that's kind of why we did this," Hall told Mashable. "There's like a weird intersection here between these virtual, digital things and an artificial rarity, but a rarity that is real and valuable in some sense."

Ten thousand unique CryptoPunks exist in the world, and some are considered more 'rare' than others - a tricky word for describing digital art that anyone can download. However, only one person can be the owner of an original CryptoPunk, and millionaires everywhere are clamoring for the title.

See the top 10 most expensive CryptoPunks and how much they sold for here.

1. CryptoPunk 7523, the most expensive CryptoPunk to date, sold for over $11.7 million. Billionaire Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of DraftKings, purchased the work at Sotheby's auction in June.

1. CryptoPunk 7523, the most expensive CryptoPunk to date, sold for over $11.7 million. Billionaire Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of DraftKings, purchased the work at Sotheby
CryptoPunk #7523      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

2. CryptoPunk 3100, another rare alien, was sold for $7.58 million, It sports the sole accessory of a headband.

2. CryptoPunk 3100, another rare alien, was sold for $7.58 million, It sports the sole accessory of a headband.
CryptoPunk 3100      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

3. CryptoPunk 7804, one of nine rare Alien punks sold for $7.57 million. Original owner Dylan Field, the CEO of Figma, calls it "the digital Mona Lisa."

3. CryptoPunk 7804, one of nine rare Alien punks sold for $7.57 million. Original owner Dylan Field, the CEO of Figma, calls it "the digital Mona Lisa."
CryptoPunk 7804 (CryptoPunk/Larva Labs)      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

4. CryptoPunk 3011, one of 6039 Male punks, sold for $1.76 million. Its rarest feature is the "vampire hair" style.

4. CryptoPunk 3011, one of 6039 Male punks, sold for $1.76 million. Its rarest feature is the "vampire hair" style.
CryptoPunk 3011      CryptoPunk/ Larva Labs

5. CryptoPunk 6965 sold for $1.54 million. It is one of 24 Ape punks, with a fedora accessory.

5. CryptoPunk 6965 sold for $1.54 million. It is one of 24 Ape punks, with a fedora accessory.
CryptoPunk 6965      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

6. CryptoPunk 2066, a rare Zombie punk with a knitted beanie, sold for $1.46 million.

6. CryptoPunk 2066, a rare Zombie punk with a knitted beanie, sold for $1.46 million.
CryptoPunk 2066      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

7. CryptoPunk 1190, one of 88 Zombie punks, sold for $1.38 million.

7. CryptoPunk 1190, one of 88 Zombie punks, sold for $1.38 million.
CryptoPunk 1190      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

8. CryptoPunk 4156, another Ape punk, sold for $1.25 million.

8. CryptoPunk 4156, another Ape punk, sold for $1.25 million.
CryptoPunk 4156      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

9. CryptoPunk 2140, an Ape punk with a knitted cap and small shades, sold for $1.18 million.

9. CryptoPunk 2140, an Ape punk with a knitted cap and small shades, sold for $1.18 million.
CryptoPunk 2140      CryptoPunk/ Larva Labs

10. CryptoPunk 6297, a Zombie punk, sold for $1.17 million.

10. CryptoPunk 6297, a Zombie punk, sold for $1.17 million.
CryptoPunk 6297      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

11. The least expensive CryptoPunk currently for sale is #3173, priced at just under $38,000. It is a Male punk with a cap, beard, glasses, and mole as its included accessories.

11. The least expensive CryptoPunk currently for sale is #3173, priced at just under $38,000. It is a Male punk with a cap, beard, glasses, and mole as its included accessories.
CryptoPunk 3173      CryptoPunk/Larva Labs

Image Source: CryptoPunk/Larva Lab

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