What Are The CryptoPunks V1? And, How Can They Disrupt The Market?

Are the CryptoPunks V1 the original CryptoPunks? Technically, yes. According to LarvaLabs, the company behind the collection, the V1s “are not official Cryptopunks,” though. How will the market react now that they’re making a resurgence? This might be the first, but it’s not the last time you’ll hear about the CryptoPunks V1. Let’s explore their history and the controversy around them.

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What Are The CryptoPunks V1?

Back in 2017, prehistory for the NFT market, LarvaLabs distributed 10.000 CryptoPunks V1. However, there was a fatal mistake in the governing smart contract. After a transaction, it allowed the buyer, not the seller, to withdraw the money. The buyer could literally have its cake and eat it too, leaving the seller completely in the red. 

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Here’s a thread explaining the technical details of the faulty contract:

What did LarvaLabs do? They disowned the original series and started again. They gave away another set of 10.000 CryptoPunks, the V2, and the rest is history. The almost free collectibles gained traction little by little and became the behemoth they’re today. All of the CryptoPunks in circulation were  V2s, until now…

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A Rebel Marketplace Arises

The CryptoPunks V1s still exist, but they had no marketplace to commerce in because Open Sea banned them. However, a new platform came into town and allowed them to reappear. This time, they’re called Classic Punks or Wrapped CryptoPunks V1, because to be able to sell them you have to wrap them in a new smart contract that doesn’t have the know vulnerabilities of the original contract.

The rebel marketplace is LooksRare.org and, so far, these up-and-coming NFTs have made 307.44 ETH in sales. Not bad, considering there are only 116 holders and LarvaLabs owns at least 1000. In LooksRare, only 23 owners are selling 269 items, so they’re pretty rare. The marketplace describes them as:

“A wrapped CryptoPunk from the initial exploited V1 contract version. Buyer beware – if you don’t understand the preceding sentence, this is not the CryptoPunk you’re looking for.”

Another buyer beware has to be, that low number of holders means that a few people have control of the market and can potentially manipulate it as they see fit. So, tread lightly. 

ETHUSD price chart for 02/04/2022 - TradingView

ETH price chart for 02/04/2022 on Kraken | Source: ETH/USD on TradingView.com

LarvaLabs Disowns The CryptoPunks V1

Through their public channels, the only thing LarvaLabs said was: “PSA: “V1 Punks” are not official Cryptopunks. We don’t like them, and we’ve got 1,000 of them… so draw your own conclusions. Any proceeds will be used to purchase real Cryptopunks!”

However, in the company’s official Discord channel, they are threatening legal action. They also admitted that they sold a bunch of CryptoPunks V1 because they thought that by “selling some of the tokens we would signal our distaste for it.” According to LarvaLabs, they’ve been using the 210 ETH that they received to buy V2 CryptoPunks. And they matched that amount and made a donation to the Rainforest Foundation. 

Here’s trader extraordinaire and crypto influencer Cobie explaining the situation:

As he puts it, “they dumped on people and now they’re trying to make what they dumped as worthless as possible.” Real people paid those 210 ETH. Why do they have to suffer? However, they might end up with the upper hand. LarvaLabs can use all the legal tricks that they want, but they can’t destroy the CryptoPunks V1 contract. 

The Intricacies Of The V1 Contract

As this pseudonymous Twitter user puts it, “my understanding is the contract code is permanent – you can only update a contract post deployment by calling the selfdestruct() function, if there is one. A function which neither of the two Crytopunk contracts have!”

Not only that, there’s another way to destroy a contract, and here’s where the big reveal comes. “Because of ETH’s extortionate storage costs, most use external forms of storage (punks are off-chain art!). In layman’s, contracts essentially include a link to specific reference point, which contains the image. LarvaLabs cannot do that with v1 punks because, both their v1 and v2 contracts point to the same file!”

Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

And that’s the story of the CryptoPunks V1.

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The CryptoPunks V2 Market

According to NFT Stats, “The total sales volume for CryptoPunks was $41.42M. The average price of one CryptoPunks NFT was $232.7k. There are 3.373 CryptoPunks owners, owning a total supply of 9,999 tokens.” Let’s check in a few years to see if the CryptoPunks V1 make a dent on that.

Featured Image: Screenshot of CryptoPunks V1 from LooksRare | Charts by TradingView


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Blockchain Gaming Is Here To Stay, But, Is The Industry Facing Talent Scarcity?

Some say that blockchain gaming will inspire the next wave of cryptocurrency adoption. Play-to-earn games are certainly ever-present in headlines and conversations around the world. Are they close to mainstream adoption? Not in the slightest. The industry is just beginning and there’s a long way to go. The companies producing the games are well funded and make incredible amounts of money. However, they don’t seem to have that many employees.

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Besides being a nascent industry, blockchain gaming production requires a special set of talents that are not commonly found. This presents an immense opportunity for young students and people looking to pivot and make a career change. Since monetization is built in the ecosystem, chances are blockchain gaming is here to stay. And you can be a part of it. Let’s look at the numbers and you’ll see what we mean. 

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How Big Is The Blockchain Gaming Market?

In his report titled “Blockchain Gaming Beginnings: From Crypto Craze To Decentralized Fun,” author Joost Van Dreunen offers concrete numbers: 

  • How many people are playing? “Total addressable audience for blockchain gaming is still in its infancy. Mobile, PC, and console total 1.49 billion monthly actives.”
  • What devices are they using? “The platform of choice is PC, which includes browser-based (40% of total titles), local clients for Windows (16%) and Mac (6%), and Linux (3%)”
  • What blockchains are they interacting with? “The most popular blockchain is WAX (36%), based on an aggregation of top titles organized by protocol. Ethereum (10%) is much less prominent.”
  • However, “The success of Alien Worlds, which counted 1 million users in August, 2021, almost single-handedly accounts for the success for WAX.”
  • “There is a massive difference in popularity among the top titles: Alien Worlds has 59x more players than the #15, Zoo – Crypto World.”

WAXUSD price chart - TradingView

WAX price chart on Bitfinex | Source: WAX/USD on TradingView.com

What Else Do We Know About The Blockchain Gaming Market?

We found even more data for you, let’s dive into the Unique Active Wallets, courtesy of Naavik’s Blockchain Games report:

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  • Believe it or not, “DappRadar notes that games accounted for over half of blockchain wallet activity in the third quarter.”
  • Not only that, “blockchain gaming daily unique active wallets (UAWs) averaged 1.2 million in October 2021 or up 44% compared to September.”
  • Let’s dive deeper into those numbers. “The growth in UAW over the past month has mostly been driven by growth in Axie Infinity and Splinterlands wallet activity, which have increased 24% and 57%, respectively.”
  • This one mirrors the previous report. “The top title by monthly UAWs, Alien Worlds, has 10x the activity as the number ten title, Jelly Squish.”
  • September 2021 saw a decline in blockchain gaming, but the numbers are once again looking impressive. “Trading volumes grew 762% quarter-over-quarter in Q3 2021 to $2.32 billion.”

What’s All That Noise About A Talent Shortage?

The wildest stat in Van Dreunen’s report is the number of employees the most successful firms in the space function with. Dapper Labs employs 242, Mythical Games 123, The Sandbox 94. Projects that are on the news all the time suffer the same fate, Decentraland has 52 employees and Open Sea 43. Compare that to, “to 9,500 f/t employees at Activision Blizzard, 11,000 at Electronic Arts, 6,495 at Take-Two Interactive, and 960 at Roblox.”

While we could interpret that the data reveals we’re dealing with efficient companies, Van Dreunen thinks otherwise. “A year-over-year increase of +102% in headcount across top blockchain game devs indicates that talent is likely to become a major bottleneck in search of the killer app.“ It may be so, but, that was until NewsBTC published this article. Young people reading this will realize the immense opportunity it represents and will take the appropriate measures.

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Remember that, besides in-game monetization, these companies raise money for new projects constantly and with ease. That means, “Abundant investment money will force firms to compete on hiring experienced developers, engineers, and producers in the short term.” They’re dying to hire you. Go and get the necessary knowledge, this story is just starting.

Featured Image: Matryx on Pixabay | Charts by TradingView


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Mystery Buyer Drops $900,000 on CryptoPunks Splurge

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An unknown buyer on Larva Labs sprung into action yesterday evening to purchase 19 CryptoPunks NFTs. They spent $897,000 in less than two hours.

CryptoPunks Market Booming

A mystery buyer spent over 491 ETH on CryptoPunks last night.

The buyer’s account was inactive until last night, when they acquired 19 of Larva Labs digital collectibles. Their purchases included Punk 2484, one of 88 rare zombie punks. That one set them back $311,000.

NFT Larvalabs image showing the Crypto Punk collection
Source: LarvaLabs

CryptoPunks was launched by Larva Labs in 2017 and quickly found a cult following among ardent Ethereum users. Today they’re arguably the most sought after NFTs on Ethereum and have recently fetched huge sums of money. Last month, one punk sold for 605 ETH, $761,888.57 at the time.

Each punk comes in the form of a 24×24 pixel art and associated ERC-721 token, and there are only 10,000 in existence. They were given away for free on launch.

It’s unclear whether the whale account behind the $900,000 spree belongs to a group or an individual. Still, the high valuations on NFTs that were originally available for free are an indication of a booming market.

Twitter user gmoneyNFT pointed out the series of sales earlier today, speculating on whether the buyer could be one of the high-net-worth individuals who had recently commented on the NFT market, such as Mark Cuban.

Speaking to Crypto Briefing, gmoneyNFT said:

“I would guess they’re holding for now. I think everyone has a price that they would sell something for. But I’m sure for them, they will be holding for a long time.”

The NFT market has made leaps and bounds in recent months, with record-breaking sales and leading auction house Christie’s now pioneering the world’s first mainstream auction of digital art.

Disclosure: The author held Bitcoin at the time of writing.

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