CryptoPunks are taking over Miami

The popular NFT collectibles CryptoPunks are set to be showcased across Miami from April 12 as part of a month-long city-wide public art exhibition.

Nearly 100 characters from the popular crypto-collectibles project CryptoPunks will be displayed across bus shelters and billboards in Miami for one month from April 12.

The showcase will be hosted by non-profit art organization SaveArtSpace as part of its exhibition “Pixelated” — a month-long city-wide public art exhibition that will take over the streets of Miami for the first time this year.

In addition to the 96 characters that will be on display across the city, the popular NFTs will also be displayed during the event as part of a pop-up exhibition of CryptoPunks in partnership with art equipment retailer Blackdove at 69 East 41st St, Miami on April 15.

CryptoPunks was one of the first non-fungible token projects created on Ethereum, having launched in 2017.

The project mints tokens featuring unique cartoon characters that have varying value depending on the rarity of the features they possess. All 10,000 CryptoPunks were minted when the project launched and were made available to be claimed for free.

The tokens have since exploded in popularity to fetch exorbitant prices, with CryptoPunk 6965 — which depicts an ape in a brown hat — selling for 800 ETH worth more than $1.5 million in February, and Punk 2890 — which depicts a blue alien in a purple hat — selling for 605 ETH worth more than $750,000 in January.

Punk 6965:

SaveArtSpace stated they are aiming to display the “variety and depth” of the CryptoPunks, noting the project symbolizes individual expression through the use of social media profile pictures:

“Much the same way one’s style allows them to express themselves in the real world, in communities and organizations across the Internet, people began to display their individuality with their profile pictures. It was in this digital expression that CryptoPunks really began to thrive.”

SaveArtSpace is a non-profit that works on creating urban gallery experiences that focus on progressive themes such as intersectionality and social change.

The organization speculates that while nonfungible tokens have existed for several years, the increasing digitization of daily life amid the coronavirus lock-downs may have been the catalyst for the recent NFT boom:

“The ongoing Global Pandemic has upended people’s way of living, changing the world forever in an instant. Like our ancestors before us, we had to adapt quickly or perish. Although NFT’s have been around for many years, it wasn’t until this recent move to a more digitally focused life, that they really began to flourish.”

“By bringing these pixelated versions of our online lives to the real world, we hope to show to the world the very human side of this technological revolution,” they added.

This is not the first time CryptoPunks have ventured out into the real world. In November 2019, the project’s co-creator, John Watkinson, printed and signed 12 punks that were put up for sale in a Zurich art gallery.

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