Crypto archaeology and V1 Punks controversy
Crypto archaeology and V1 Punks controversy
février 05 2022

Blockchain is transparent and immutable, which means that it can be freely explored by anyone searching for the relics of the crypto history 🤠

Crypto archaeology is becoming a thing now, and the recent V1 Punks story has only made it more popular.

Released in 2017 by Larva Labs, Cryptopunks are an important part of the crypto history: they helped prove that several lines of code and an 8-bit jpeg could translate into a meaningful ownership and build a community around it. Cryptopunks helped forge the crypto culture, and they are still regarded as a prestigious sign of belonging to the early crypto adopters’ circle, even if they lack so many things most recent NFTs have: access to a service or a product, founders-curated partnerships and projects… etc.

This being said, Larva Labs face an increasing discontent from the community: first, due to their reluctance to acknowledge the IP rights transfer to NFT owners, and now – because of their mishandling of the Cryptopunks relics reveal.

Indeed, the commonly known Cryptopunks were not the first ones. Larva Labs’ first try at releasing the series turned out to be a failure: a bug in the smart contract caused ETH to be allocated to the buyer instead of the seller. After the bug was discovered, Larva Labs released a newer version of the smart contract and airdropped the (V2) punks to it.

The blockchain, however, keeps record of everything – and this is where crypto archaeologists come into play.

🧐 V1 punks were recently discovered by a group of “original Punk claimant’s, NFT historians, digital archaeologists and extremely talented developers”. They have patched the bug by wrapping old NFTs into the new ERC-721 standard, thus allowing the V1 punks’ owners to put them on the market. The wrap also changes the punks’ background for easier recognition.

😠 Larva Labs were not happy and stated that “V1 Punks” are not official Cryptopunks”. They have even tried to make a point by wrapping and selling 1000 V1 punks that they own, only to cause more indignation from the community.

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 That’s the thing with Web3: from the moment NFT ownership is decentralized, community voice means much more than the founders’. Cryptopunks’ main value being historical, there’s no reason why an even older version of them wouldn’t be valuable too.

Excavated by the community from the depths of the blockchain – that’s a totally viable narrative for the crypto space, and V1 punks’ current price floor of 12ETH is a proof.