Got your eye on a CryptoPunk? It might be time to buy one

“It’s hard to understand the value of these things,” Empire host Santiago Santos admits, but a CryptoPunk is an icon that will remain a “grail” in any collection


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Despite the cooling sentiments in the NFT market, certain blue-chip collections have managed to remain relatively buoyant, maintaining a degree of market appeal. 

Floor prices on CryptoPunks, the top tier of all NFT blue chips, have never looked so enticing to many potential collectors. Jason Yanowitz notes the collection now sits at an approximate 45 ETH floor and asks, “Is now the right time to buy a Punk?”

“I’m seeing a lot of group chats,” Yanowitz says. “People are asking the question.”

“It’s a very difficult question to answer,” Santiago Santos responds, explaining it mostly depends on the buyer’s intentions.

“Are you collecting? Are you investing?”

On the Empire podcast (Spotify/Apple), angel investor and long-time Punk holder Santos admits, “I don’t think of them as investments.”

“I personally just collect stuff that I really like.”

Santos is partial to “hoodie” Punks which, at the time he purchased them, seemed to be an underappreciated attribute representing hacker culture, he says.

“It’s hard to understand the value of these things,” Santos admits, but a CryptoPunk is an icon that will remain a “grail” — a top-tier piece that tends to attract higher value — in any NFT collection, he says.

The collector notes he’s still on the hunt for more CryptoPunks. “I have earmarked and bookmarked ten Punks that I would want to buy.”

His acquisition strategy involves delving into the seller’s history, he says. 

“I want to understand this behavior of, maybe this person bought it for 300,000 bucks. And at the time it corresponded to X amount of ETH.”

“If I offered the same amount of ETH or if I offered the same dollar amount, he’s at least going to break even.”

Yanowitz mentions past advice he’s been given regarding buying strategy: “You either buy a  grail or a floor.”

Sweeping the floor

For Santos, it’s about adding unique pieces to his collection, whereas floor purchasing — buying the lowest-priced NFTs in a collection — tends to be more of an investment play. 

“People are sweeping floors and they’re making a bet that the floor for a particular collection is going to go up,” he says.

“It’s more of the investor type that says, on a relative basis, Punks have really come down a lot,” he says. “At their peak, they were three times more. It’s kind of like a levered ETH bet.”

With the cheapest CryptoPunk currently priced around 45 ETH, Yanowitz asks if it’s worth spending a little more ETH for one with attributes the collector finds more appealing.

“At the end of the day,” Santos answers, “you don’t want your wallet littered with shit you don’t like.” 

“I never want to buy stuff because someone tells me it’s worth a lot.”

Santos reiterates that for him, it’s not necessarily about investment. “My hoodie Punk, I’m never gonna let go. I’m not gonna sell that.”

“Just be mindful,” Santos advises, “people are gonna know exactly what you bought it for.”

“Buy with a clean wallet, so people don’t know who it is, or it’s tied to other stuff that you’re doing.”

“Sometimes it’s good to collect and just keep your head down.”

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