CryptoPunks is a non-fungible token (NFT) collection on the Ethereum blockchain. The project was launched in June 2017 by the Larva Labs studio, a two-person team consisting of Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson. The experimental project was inspired by the London punk scenes, the cyberpunk movement, and electronic music artists Daft Punk. The crypto art blockchain project was an inspiration for the ERC-721 standard for NFTs and the modern crypto art movement, which has since become a part of the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance ecosystems on multiple blockchains.
CryptoPunks are commonly credited with starting the NFT craze of 2021, along with other early projects including CryptoKitties, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and the sale of Beeple's Everydays: The First 5000 Days. There are 10,000 CryptoPunk tokens in both the V1 and V2 contracts. Due to their rarity and exclusivity, they sell for higher prices on the open market and have sold using auction houses like Christie's. On March 2, 2022, an anonymous user donated CryptoPunk #5364 to Ukraine's government Ethereum wallet public address to help funding Ukrainian government against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On March 11, 2022 it was announced that all of the CryptoPunks IP was acquired by Yuga Labs (parent company and creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club project) for an undisclosed sum. Immediately, Yuga Labs announced they were giving full commercial rights to CryptoPunks owners. On 7th May 2022 the transfer was completed, and the whole CryptoPunks marketplace was moved to the new Yuga Labs owned website.