Talk about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the term ‘CryptoPunks’ is sure to pop up. For those out of the loop, these are a collection of 10,000 pixelated ‘punk’ faces—each of them unique, each of them with a different characteristic—that have been making the rounds in art circles since the past year.
But don’t be fooled by their appearance. As per data from NFT marketplace OpenSea, the ‘cheapest’ punk is selling for anywhere between 25-29 ETH, or over $80,000 for what looks like a strange place to put one’s money in.
The allure, however, comes not from the punks themselves, but from the history behind them. CryptoPunks was one of the first-ever NFT projects to be minted on the Ethereum blockchain (which itself launched in 2015).
This means CryptoPunk owners—when they pay up big money for a punk—are actually betting on owning a piece of history on the Ethereum network. And while owning a piece of history isn’t so cheap anymore—the CryptoPunks price tags have priced out many potential punk fanatics from purchasing entire punks outright—one marketplace is hoping to solve the problem.
CryptoPunk #543 up for grabs
Otis, a self-styled stock market of culture, lets users buy and sell shares of cultural assets like sports cards, video games, memorabilia and, recently, NFTs
Its now offering fractionalized investing opportunities in NFTs. As per a release shared with CMB, Otis allows multiple investors to participate in a single asset, and CryptoPunk is going under the hammer for such an arrangement.
The company is allowing investors to fractionally purchase CryptoPunk #543, one of the first 1,000 NFTs ever minted, starting as low as $1. #543 is particularly rare as it contains three attributes: It features a mustache, which only 288/10,000 punks have.
‘Shares’ to #543, pictured above, were earlier offered to investors for a total value of $51,000 and sold out in under 3 minutes. The shares themselves open for trading later this month, allowing current investors to sell shares and new investors to get in on the NFT craze.
(Editor’s note: All CryptoPunks shown in this article are property of their respective owners and available for public viewing on OpenSea’s CryptoPunks collection.)