"How to buy a CryptoPunks NFT" is a question on the minds of many, according to Google search trends, as people scramble to get their hands on one of the trailblazers of today's explosive NFT movement: CryptoPunks.
CryptoPunks are a collection of pixelated avatars of eccentrics and oddballs that, just by looking at them, you'll hear chiptune music playing in your head because they're reminiscent of 8-bit video game graphics. Though the art may seem elementary and crude, some were sold for millions of dollars.
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What are CryptoPunks?
Four years ago, John Watkinson and Matt Hall, founders of software company Larva Labs, launched a software program that generated 10,000 pixelated, 8-bit-style avatars of eccentric-looking men and women.
At first, Watkinson and Hall figured they had a smartphone game on their hands with these funky characters, but little did they know that these 8-bit style works of art, now known as CryptoPunks, would explode into popularity in 2021.
CryptoPunks are arguably the trailblazers of the non-fungible token (NFT) movement. Each avatar is unique and different. From a wild-haired blonde smoking a cigarette to a chill, laid-back man with a goatee and a hoodie, you can find a doppelgänger of yourself in at least one of these CryptoPunks.
"There are 6,039 male Punks and 3,840 female Punks. A total of 696 wear hot lipstick, while 303 have muttonchops. There are 286 Punks with 3-D glasses, 128 rosy-cheeked Punks, 94 Punks with pigtails, 78 Punks with buck teeth and 44 beanie-wearing Punks," Christie's, an NFT auction site, said.
All 10,000 CryptoPunks were minted into NFTs and they're now stored on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing owners to trade them. According to Larva Labs, the cheapest CryptoPunk you can get costs 34 ETH, which is a whopping $93,624 as of this writing.
How to buy CryptoPunks
Before you can buy a CryptoPunk NFT, you'll need to purchase adequate Ethereum (consider the price of the CryptoPunk you want and ETH gas fees) and you'll need to know how to set up a Metamask wallet. Read on to find out how to do this; if you already have a Metamask wallet, you can skip this section.
1. Go to the Google Chrome Web Store and type in "Metamask" into the search bar.
2. Click on the Metamask extension.
3. Click "Add to Chrome" and click on "Add extension."
4. The Metamask icon should appear next to the address bar on Chrome. Click on it.
5. Click on "Get Started" followed by "Create a Wallet."
6. After reading the "Help Us Improve Metamask" page, click "I agree."
7. Create a password (make sure it's complex).
8. Next, you'll be given a secret recovery phrase; it's extremely important to keep it somewhere safe. If you lose this secret recovery phrase, you can't recover your Metamask account — and there will be no customer service to help you. Also, never disclose your 12-word phrase to anyone. Not even your mom!
9. Confirm your secret backup phrase by clicking the words in the right sequence.
10. Click on "All done," and that's it, your Metamask wallet is all setup.
How to add ETH to your Metamask wallet
1. Click on the "Buy" button.
2. You can buy ETH with your debit card, but the purchase limit is $1,000. That being said, you'll need to transfer money to your Metamask wallet after buying it on a less restrictive exchange like Coinbase. (If you don't know how to buy crypto on Coinbase, check out this guide).
3. Click on "View Account" next to "Directly Deposit Ether." Copy your wallet address.
4. Go to your Coinbase account and click on "Send/Receive."
5. In the "Pay With" section, make sure it says "Ethereum."
6. Paste the Metamask address you copied in the "To" section.
7. Type in how much you'd like to send to your Metamask wallet (or just click "Send All" if you'd like to transfer all your ETH).
8. Click on "Continue," and your ETH should be sent to your Metamask wallet.
Buying a CryptoPunk NFT with your ETH
1. Make sure you're logged into Metamask and go to Larva Lab's website.
2. Click on "Allow access to Metamask."
3. In the pop up window, click on "Next" and "Connected." You'll know you're connected to the Larva Lab's site because a tab will say "Connected to Ethereum."
4. Click here to see all the CryptoPunks for sale. For this tutorial, I selected CryptoPunk #9366. I'm digging the blue eyeshadow and the tobacco pipe!
5. Next, click on "Buy" and a Metamask window will appear, giving you details on how much the CryptoPunks costs and how much the Ethereum gas fee will be.
6. Unfortunately, I don't have $190,000 to spare to show you the final step of buying a CryptoPunk, but once Metamask confirms you've got sufficient funds to buy a CryptoPunk, click on "Confirm" and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.
7. Voila! Now, you've got your CryptoPunk!
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!