A slice of the punk: CryptoPunk NFT to be split into 56,000 pieces


Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) continue to capture the imagination of the cryptocurrency space, with some of the most popular projects attracting hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. Projects such as CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club epitomize the exclusivity of the most lucrative collections, with each NFT far from accessible to the average investor.

A new campaign intends to give a wider base of investors a stake in some of the most valuable NFTs by fractionalizing ownership to reinstate accessibility. Unique Network, an NFT infrastructure running on the Kusama and Polkadot networks, will split the ownership of a CryptoPunk to more than 56,000 addresses that have signed up for a share.

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The campaign offers users a chance to participate in what has become a highly siloed environment, as Unique Network CEO Alexander Mitrovich explained in a statement:

“This represents an exciting moment for interoperability. With our fractionalisation of Cryptopunk #3042 we are heralding a new era of NFTs that are accessible, interchangeable and can be shared across chains, and at a fraction of the cost.”

CryptoPunk #3042 was bought for 46.95 Ether (ETH) ($82,000) by Unique Network in June 2022 as cryptocurrency markets slumped to yearly lows. The NFT had originally been sold for $16 in November 2018 before CryptoPunks became one of the most exclusive Ethereum-based projects in the ecosystem and the trail-blazer for crypto-art and NFTs.

Unique Network’s acquisition of CryptoPunk #3042 was aimed at democratizing the asset as well as showcasing blockchain interoperability. There is no cost associated with signing up for a share of the CryptoPunk, which forms part of the firm’s Punks for the People campaign. 

Related: CryptoPunks’ trading volume surges 1,847% after Tiffany & Co. launches exclusive NFT collection

Interestingly, once addresses are airdropped with their individual refungible token, there will be significantly more owners of the single CryptoPunk on the Polkadot blockchain than the entire 10,000 original CryptoPunks running on Ethereum.

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Unique Network will also fractionalize the ownership of one of its flagship Substrapunk NFTs. Inspired by CryptoPunks, Subtrapunks were the first NFTs to be minted on the Polkadot blockchain. 

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Author: Gareth Jenkinson

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