I am always amazed at what the latest and greatest technologies are and how we can access them. Have you heard of Cryptopunk? I had not until I watched a segment of MSNBC a couple of days ago. I got curious and figured I would do a bit of research. In case you have no clue I have copied the below article and graphics (I hope) so you can learn about Cryptopunk. Enjoy!
The below comes from the website https://www.larvalabs.com/cryptopunks
10,000 unique collectible characters with proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain. The project that inspired the modern CryptoArt movement. Selected press and appearances include Mashable, CNBC, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, The Paris Review, Salon, The Outline, BreakerMag, Christie’s of London, Art|Basel, The PBS NewsHour, The New York Times in 2018 and again in 2021. The Cryptopunks are one of the earliest examples of a “Non-Fungible Token” on Ethereum, and were inspiration for the ERC-721 standard that powers most digital art and collectibles.
The CryptoPunks are 10,000 uniquely generated characters. No two are exactly alike, and each one of them can be officially owned by a single person on the Ethereum blockchain. Originally, they could be claimed for free by anybody with an Ethereum wallet, but all 10,000 were quickly claimed. Now they must be purchased from someone via the marketplace that’s also embedded in the blockchain. Via this market you can buy, bid on, and offer punks for sale. Below, you’ll find information about the status of each Punk in the market. Punks with a blue background are not for sale and have no current bids. Punks with a red background are available for sale by their owner. Finally, punks with a purple background have an active bid on them.
What is a CryptoPunk?
The CryptoPunks are 24×24 pixel art images, generated algorithmically. Most are punky-looking guys and girls, but there are a few rarer types mixed in: Apes, Zombies and even the odd Alien. Every punk has their own profile page that shows their attributes as well as their ownership/for-sale status (here’s an example).
What exactly is going on here?
CryptoCoins were made famous by Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is designed just to transact and store ownership of Bitcoin itself. We are using a successor to Bitcoin called Ethereum which allows for arbitrary computer code to be executed on the blockchain and the results of the execution to be stored forever. This is pretty cool! Normally code is run on a server somewhere and you basically need to trust the person running the server. Ethereum lets everyone execute the code, show each other what result they got, and agree that the code was executed properly and fairly.
We have written code that lives on the blockchain that anyone can use to buy and sell Punks with anyone else in the world. An interesting aspect of this system is that we no longer have any control over the code running CryptoPunks! Once we released it onto the blockchain it became permanently embedded there and can no longer be modified by anyone. This is scary for us as developers because we worry about bugs, but it is also a very powerful feature of the system. It allows a user verify that there are indeed only 10,000 punks, check that we can’t steal them from you, and basically make sure that everything we told you about the code is true.
How do I get a Punk?
- Download and install a Chrome browser plugin called MetaMask. This will allow websites (that you authorize) access to your Ethereum account.
- If you made a new account, buy some Ether. The MetaMask plugin has a button that will allow you to buy Ether from Coinbase.
- Once you have the plugin installed, this website will recognize it and add buttons that allow you to bid on, buy and sell punks directly in the interface.
- For example, you can buy Punk #8812 for 118.95 ETH ($395,645.53 USD).
- The actual images of the punks are too large to store on the blockchain, so we took a hash of the composite image of all the punks and embeded it into the contract. You can verify that the punks being managed by the Ethereum contract are the True Official Genuine CryptoPunks™ by calculating an SHA256 hash on the cryptopunks image and comparing it to the hash stored in the contract.
- CryptoPunks are almost an ERC20 token. We support the methods that provide your balance so you can watch CryptoPunks as a token in your wallet and see how many you own. None of the other methods are the same since you’re not transferring a simple balance, but need to reference which specific Punk you want to work with.
- The contract source and more technical details are available on Github.
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