1 CryptoPunk > 1 BTC - TokenSmart NFT Humpday Report #31

Welcome to the 31st issue of the NFT Humpday Report, a weekly column covering and providing embedded analysis on the NFT economy’s biggest topics du jour. Brought to you by WIP meetup collaborators and nft42 community hub TokenSmart.

Yesterday around midday, the cheapest CryptoPunk for sale was Punk 3195 at 21.98 ETH, or $57.83k USD, while the going price for 1 bitcoin was trading just north of $55k. Tuesday thus marked the first time the price of a “floor” Punk eclipsed the spot price of bitcoin in the cryptoeconomy’s history! 

Why it’s important: In various senses comparing CryptoPunks, the project that gave rise to the ERC-721 NFT standard, and BTC, the OG crypto, is an apples and oranges equation. Yet the arbitrary milestone still lords as a powerful benchmark for the recent triumphant surge in CryptoPunks valuations amid the ongoing NFT boom, as even just two years ago a floor Punk didn’t fetch $100 worth of ETH, much less +$55k. 

Moreover, this is dream memetic material. 

Outside of any further reasoning the “1 CryptoPunk > 1 BTC” meme is visually, self-evidently powerful. Even if the meme moves in and out of sync with the floor CryptoPunks/BTC exchange rate over time, the fact it’s already been achieved once will do much to influence more people that CryptoPunks are seriously valuable. Why hold BTC when you can hold a Punk instead, reaping in social capital, access to unique NFT opportunities, and having more fun all the while? 

Of course, there are arguments to be made any which way as to how to organize your crypto portfolio, but “why not a Punk instead?” is a question more folks will ask now that “1 CryptoPunk > 1 BTC” has happened. 

An abridged timeline of Punk prices: In recent years and particularly in recent months CryptoPunk valuations have experienced a meteoric rise, driven by the upsurge of the NFT ecosystem and the project’s blossoming status as the premier blue-chip NFT project. For context, here’s an abridged timeline of that rise:

  • June 2017: CryptoPunks released by Larva Labs, at which point Ethereum users could claim them for free!

  • May 2019: Punks price floor (shortened to PFP henceforth) reaches ~$75. 

  • Sept. 2020: After steadily rising since the start of 2020, the PFP hits 2 ETH for the first time. Around this point, work begins on NFTX, an NFT index project whose Punk-centric index funds later start providing a considerable boost to CryptoPunks liquidity starting in 2021. 

  • Nov. 2020: PFP trades around 3 ETH. 

  • Jan. 2021: PFP rises to ~4 ETH; NFTX launches. 

  • Feb. 2021: PFP climbs to ~5 ETH early on in the month; collector interest begins to explode; one anonymous user goes on a $1M Punk buying spree; the PFP surges to 10 ETH around the middle of the month, at which point 1 floor Punk would fetch you 0.5 BTC; as the month closes the PFP blasts through 20 ETH and acutely tops out at 25 ETH. 

  • Mar. 2021: The PFP retraces as low as 16 ETH, setting a local bottom. 

  • Apr. 2021: As of the middle of the month the PFP had returned to +20 ETH; at the time of this post’s writing, that had reached ~22 ETH.  

What comes next: With a new standing all-time high of 25 ETH, the next round psychological milestone for the PFP is 30 ETH. It’s impossible to say what will happen next in any market, but with historic auction house Christie’s auctioning 9 CryptoPunks next month, it’s certainly well within the realm of possibility that we see a 30 ETH PFP sooner rather than later regardless of what happens after that!

Thanks for reading the 31st NFT Humpday Report! Check back this time next week for more excellent NFT ecosystem coverage! Cheers 🌠