CryptoPunks are the NFTs that have generated the highest transaction volume since March 2021. What are these funny little characters?
Purple or fiery red hair, hood, cap, piercing and cigarette in the beak. At first glance, CryptoPunks look like the little pixelated characters from games from the 90s. However, these 10,000 characters created by Larva Labs have become real stars. Each of them is an NFT, which means that the authenticity and ownership of a CryptoPunks is certified on the blockchain. And as shown by a Chainalysis report published on December 6, 2021, these are the best-selling NFTs right now.
The company specializing in blockchain transaction analysis has therefore studied the NFTs that generated the most sales between March and October 2021. 3 billion dollars (more than 2.6 billion euros) in transactions.
CryptoPunks’ popularity rating is much more stable than other NFTs, Chainalysis notes. So even collections that have recorded huge sales spikes, such as Hashmasks or Mutant Ape Yacht Club, show ups and downs in transaction volumes. † Hashmasks generated more than $380 million in sales during the week of July 4. (…) But the average weekly sales volume is below $21 million Chainalysis points out.
What are CryptoPunks?
CryptoPunks are unique collectibles created by Larva Labs in 2017. They are algorithmically generated images of 24×24 pixels. There are 10,000 of these little pixelated punks and punkettes. † None are like the other, and each can only be officially owned by one person on the Ethereum blockchain. says Larva Labs. It is on this blockchain that the certificate of ownership of these NFTs is stored. There are different categories of CryptoPunks: Alien, Monkey, Zombie, Male, Female. In addition, on each CryptoPunk there is a wide variety of accessories or attributes on a unique way mixed: aviator glasses, cigarette, hat, duvet, beard, clown nose, hood, etc.
Each CryptoPunk has its own page like this one on the Larva Labs site that lists its attributes (hood, cigarette, etc), owner’s number, its status (for sale or not) and all the transactions it is involved in subject.
Originally, these NFTs could be applied for and obtained for free by anyone with an Ethereum wallet, but soon they were all claimed. † From now on, to get them, you have to buy them from someone by holding them, through the marketplace that is also integrated into the blockchain. says Larva Labs. But beware, CryptoPunks are no longer within the reach of all budgets. As the Larva Labs site indicates, the cheapest CryptoPunks are currently selling for 69 ether, or more than 250,000 euros.
The value of NFTs is increasing
While not all NFTs are as popular as CryptoPunks, Chainalysis still notes that the popularity of non-replaceable tokens has increased significantly in 2021. Since the beginning of the year, the volume of NFT transactions has risen to $26.9 billion. † One of the most notable trends is that we are seeing a significant increase in the total amount traded, as well as in the average size of trades, suggesting that the value of NFTs increases as they attract new users. says Chainalysis.
As for the NFT trading platforms, OpenSea is the most popular (it’s the one Numerama used when we created our own NFT): it registered crypto trades for $16 billion in 2021.
The data collected by Chainalysis shows that NFTs are far from a safe investment. Buying an NFT from someone yields a profit 65% of the time, the report says. And it’s even more uncertain if you buy the NFT from scratch: you can only make a profit 28.5% of the time.
† The NFT market is dynamic, but few will benefit from itwarns Chainalysis. NFTs represent one of the most exciting and growing areas in the crypto world (…) However, those who intend to collect and sell NFTs need to understand how competitive this market is. According to the company’s study, only a small group of very keen investors in this area reap most of the profits made on NFTs.