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May 11, 2022

Pastel: 2021 in Review & What’s to Come in 2022:

Pastel Transformed the NFT Ecosystem in 2021

After 3 painstaking years of development in stealth, we launched our Mainnet in January 2021. Our co-founders, Jeff Emanuel, Alexey Kireyev, and Anthony Georgiades had a vision stemming all the way back in 2018 of building a blockchain that was application-specific and purpose built for rare digital collectibles, a novel concept at the time. Rare digital collectibles, or NFTs, were brand new, but they saw that the current infrastructure — such as Ethereum and Bitcoin—were not built to handle the storage requirements and transaction sizes of this emerging ecosystem in order for it to thrive in the years to come.

Well, that dream came to fruition this year.

Pastel’s Preliminary Vision

We launched Pastel with the goal of building a marketplace so that creators, collectors, and builders could benefit from the world-class features and protocols that Pastel had to offer. At its core, it was to be a decentralized system that allowed for creators and collectors to trade NFTs in an entirely decentralized, peer-to-peer manner. A platform built purely to be the alternative to those running on Ethereum — offering a very intuitive interface, negligible fees, proven authentication of NFTs, and reliable storage.

With this objective in mind and our technical prowess already proven, we raised $5M in seed funding from Innovating Capital to continue refining the network and platform while simultaneously building out our marketing and business development program. We employed a less popular development model than most projects coming onto the market today. Unlike other projects who marketed their vision, raised capital, and then started building, we focused on perfecting the technology first.

Then the wheels started turning once again…

After a few months of developing the marketplace, we began to identify that certain gaps in the broader NFT ecosystem were growing larger and larger. We saw major issues not being solved but rather ignored. NFT scams and frauds were innumerable and asset loss due to antiquated and centralized storage solutions was dangerously high. But, again, nothing was being done about it.

We already built the protocols to solve these problems, but they were to be accessible only to those using the marketplace on our native blockchain. That did not sit well with our team because this ecosystem was built with collaboration, decentralization, and open-source in mind. The very nature of decentralization is that no one entity holds the keys to the castle. We had the tools to protect users from scams and asset loss with all the necessary infrastructure to work with layer-1 blockchains and layer-2 DApps.

Additionally, we had a number of layer-1 projects interested in utilizing our protocols on their own networks.

So, we opened our technology to the world.

Pastel Network: the World’s Preeminent Protocol Standard for the NFT Ecosystem

After this revelation, we focused all our efforts on becoming the infrastructure standard for the NFT space. We decoupled our protocols and features, modifying them to be standalone solutions easily capable of integrating across the ecosystem via open-APIs.

Core features are as follows:

Sense Near-Duplicate NFT Detection Protocol: Directly integrate Sense, a lightweight protocol on the Pastel Network, into any project to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata.

Cascade Protocol for Distributed Storage: Built for speed, scalability, and redundancy, Cascade is a fully distributed, permanent storage solution for on-chain NFT metadata.

Pastel Developer Modules: Develop on-chain marketplaces or third-party applications directly on the Pastel blockchain, supported by a series of protocols, well-documented APIs, and RPC functionality to help builders get started.

Agile Ticket Structure: Easily represent NFT data on the blockchain and add custom features or launch dedicated apps on Pastel using an innovative ticket schema built on intrinsic data integrity.

Sense and Cascade are Truly One-of-a-kind

Sense is a lightweight protocol on the Pastel Network, built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate data. Sense can recognize the most subtle similarities between two digital collectibles, even if one has been transformed. The protocol goes beyond the standard “digital fingerprint” approach to establishing the rareness of an NFT and actually looks at the rareness of the pixel patterns in data. While digital fingerprints do allow users to verify that an NFT was created by a particular creator, this is a fairly weak form of rareness. Sense solves this problem by assigning a ‘Relative Rareness Score’ to quantify how rare an NFT is relative to all NFTs in the underlying dataset.

How it works: The software leverages a number of deep learning models using Tensorflow with Keras Applications to transform each NFT into a fixed list of over 10,000 numbers (the ‘NFT fingerprint vector’). It then assesses the correlation between a given fingerprint and the database of all existing fingerprints on Pastel, other NFT marketplaces (e.g., Rarible, OpenSea), and open databases on the entire internet (e.g., Google) and outputs a relative rareness score — a number between 0% (i.e., the NFT is identical to a previously registered NFT) to 100% (i.e., the NFT is completely unique). The Sense Protocol “sees through” superficial changes in the same way as a human eye, and, like a human, can recognize even the most subtle change in an NFT.

Sense protects creators and collectors from fraud, scammers, and outright theft. While we verify the authenticity and provenance using the creator’s digital signatures (like all NFT systems in use), we go much further and assess how rare the underlying pixel patterns of the NFT’s data are. If value is largely a function of rareness, we believe that this additional layer of rareness authentication will result in better valuations for NFT creators. After all, if another creator makes a similar NFT in the future, they will still be able to register it, but it won’t achieve anything close to the rareness score of the original NFT. Platforms are also able to guarantee that any nefarious activity to produce counterfeits in the future will be futile, as any attempts to list duplicate works will result in low rareness scores or possibly flagged for removal.

Now to storage —

Cascade is a purpose-built distributed storage protocol for NFT metadata that is fully redundant, decentralized, and permanent. Pay once, store forever.

The current approach of relying simply upon a TokenID and external hyperlinks to centralized storage servers or unreliable external dependencies like IPFS leaves users highly vulnerable to the loss of assets and requires ongoing external maintenance. Pastel is the first NFT platform to have its own completely integrated, decentralized storage layer based on the advanced technologies of RaptorQ and Kademlia. We ensure that the underlying digital asset itself is uploaded, verified, and registered on Pastel’s Cascade Protocol — rather than just the token with which it is minted. Through a series of smart tickets living on the Pastel Network, creators can store their masterpieces in a distributed fashion that is tightly coupled and indelible from the NFT itself.

How it works: Cascade Storage Protocol, leveraging the RaptorQ fountain code algorithm, begins by breaking each asset up in a series of redundant chunks. Every chunk contains certain random fragments of the combined file which is distributed redundantly across participating SuperNodes running on the network. Two parameters that control how the data is encoded into chunks: 1) the size of each chunk and 2) the desired redundancy factor. The sets of chunks are then randomly distributed across network nodes using the Kademlia DHT algorithm. No complex or centralized system for deciding which node is responsible for which chunk, no iteration through SuperNodes to find one with the relevant chunk, and no complicated logic for handling chunk re-allocation in the case of SuperNodes entering and leaving the network.

These protocols are truly game changers. Sense is the first of its kind in the ecosystem, and Cascade is the true alternative to centralized storage.

Marketing and Business Development Recalibration for Pastel as the Layer-1 NFT Infrastructure Standard

With this new focus, we went heads down shedding light on these pervasive problems plaguing the NFT ecosystem, while making known that the solutions we created for these problems were easily accessible.

Our team traveled the world speaking at conferences and meeting with different projects and platforms in order to educate this ever-growing community on what Pastel has to offer.

Our team conducted countless AMAs and interviews to spread the word as well as wrote educational articles to provide a clearer picture on what the issues were and how Pastel solves them.

And, our efforts bore fruit.

We closed out 2021 by partnering with TomoChain — a native layer-1 blockchain — to integrate Sense and Cascade across its NFT standard.

But, we are not stopping there. 2022 is poised to be even bigger.

2022 Roadmap

Pastel will carry the momentum from 2021 and continue providing our world-class infrastructure to the NFT ecosystem.

In 2022, we are focused on:

  • Expediting development releases for a number of our internal projects — such as with versions Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, and Kubo;
  • Building stronger blockchain bridges, specifically with Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, Polkadot, and Polygon;
  • Expanding our network of partners with more native layer-1s, layer-2 DApps, and third-party enterprises;
  • Delivering more user incentive programs; and
  • Launching user-focused products.

Continuous Development Releases

Coming into 2022, we have revamped our entire development cycle to allow for faster, more frequent releases. Given that we are a native layer-1 application-specific blockchain, this is now more critical than ever. Each release cycle is well-planned, methodical, and heavily tested prior to a full Mainnet release.

We have been working on our largest upgrade, Cezanne, since our initial Mainnet release went live in January 2021. We anticipate that Cezanne will be fully deployed to Mainnet by the end of Q1. Subsequently, we will be following tight, quarterly release cycles. Each upgrade is composed of 4 distinct 2-week sprints resulting in a Testnet launch, and then subsequently 4 individual 1-week sprints for further development, de-bugging, and testing towards a Mainnet release.

Our various release cycles are well-intended to lead to major on-chain Mainnet enhancements. Overall, the upgrades will result in improved performance, increased scalability, revamped reward / incentive mechanics, more paths to increase PSL burn, and numerous blockchain-level optimizations that will make the Pastel Network stronger than ever.

Core areas of focus include:

  • Sense and Cascade Open-API full Mainnet release
  • Sense Protocol upgrade to include sharding for increased performance and scalability
  • Cascade Protocol upgrade to include storage-challenges for enhanced incentive measures and security
  • NFT CDN and ‘hot file’ caching via SuperNodes
  • Upgrades to smart-ticket structure to add overall NFT functionality
  • Pastel Improvement Proposal #01 (PIP-01) resulting in SuperNode governance upgrades (bonded stake, slashed rewards)
  • Full release of Pastel Developer modules with well-documented APIs and gRPC functionality
  • PIP-02 resulting in an enhanced consensus mechanics
  • Security improvements to harden against attack vectors

More Bridges and Cross-Chain Integrations

Pastel Network was founded around the idea that multiple chains will thrive over time. As a result, our core infrastructure was designed in such a way that Pastel can interact with a variety of other crypto ecosystems in a seamless fashion.

Wrapped-Pastel on Ethereum is already enabled on the Pastel Network, allowing users to access native PSL and its diverse array of use-cases directly on Ethereum. This year, our community can expect to see many more integrations with other chains such as Solana, Avalanche, and Polkadot. As more networks are bridged to Pastel, users within other ecosystems (e.g., OpenSea), can directly benefit from the wide breadth of Pastel functionality such as storage and certification. This also will be to drive overall network acquisition growth.

Further Partnership Launches

We are intensifying our business developments effort in order to increase our footprint in the NFT ecosystem. Given the interoperability of the platform and the integrability of our protocols and solutions — including Sense, Cascade, and our Developer Modules — we can target all of the major verticals in the market: native layer-1 blockchains (e.g. Solana, Avalanche, and Flow), layer-2 marketplaces and DApps (e.g. OpenSea, Decentraland, and Metaplex), and third-party enterprises (e.g. DraftKings, Artsy, and WME).

We are positioned well to pursue these target verticals and build on our recent successes.

Ongoing Incentive Programs

In 2022, we are focused on increasing the overall network usage by further incentivizing and rewarding activity in a variety of formats. Initially, we will be launching an incentive campaign to catalyze staking interest and garner enthusiasm to operate SuperNodes. This campaign will be performance-driven and will include rewards, such as PSL airdrops and NFT giveaways.

User-Focused Products

Despite our strategic pivot to an infrastructure integration business model — servicing projects and platforms — we firmly believe that the individual user, or consumer, is a major priority. This year, we remain committed to launching various user-facing products. To start, we will be launching two products that will allow consumers to leverage the next-generation protocols and solutions we offer to our partners, but in easy-to-use and intuitive interfaces.

We are beyond excited to bring these products to market because they have the ability to carry the NFT ecosystem into a very prosperous future.

Closing Remarks

2021 was just a warmup. We expertly navigated this rapidly evolving environment making key strategic decisions for the betterment of the project and the market as a whole. And, now, we are positioned to make a very big splash.

We have never been more focused and inspired to make 2022 legendary. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity in order to usher Pastel to the forefront of the ecosystem as the preeminent NFT protocol standard for NFTs.

We have no doubts this will happen, so come join us for the ride of a lifetime!

About Pastel Network

Pastel is the world’s preeminent protocol standard for NFT technology. Pastel also allows for the development of third-party applications to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated across any native L1 blockchains or L2 marketplaces.

Pastel is an entirely native blockchain supported by SuperNodes, which provides computational resources to the network to support asset registration, distribution, and permanent storage. Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

“This article was first published by our team here: https://medium.com/pastelnetwork/pastel-2021-in-review-whats-to-come-in-2022-70032b6a75dd

admin
May 16, 2022

Start Staking PSL on KuCoin

Users can stake PSL with KuCoin Earn for as low as 1,000 PSL and receive similar staking incentives as operating a full Pastel SuperNode.

Please find more information on KuCoin Earn here.

PSL Staking Promotion

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with KuCoin to provide users with the ability to delegate their PSL and earn staking rewards.

The PSL Flexible Promotion program allows KuCoin users to earn up to ~42% APR of staking rewards earned by operating full SuperNodes, starting with as little as 1,000 PSL and a maximum of 1,000,000 PSL. The program has already commenced and will be running for ~360 days. Users are able to stake and un-stake at any time during the program(subject to a 1 day promotional period).

To participate, please register for a KuCoin account and then navigate to KuCoin Earn where you can find the PSL Staking Product.

Please learn more about the program here or at the link below.

PSL Flexible Promotionhttps://www.kucoin.com/news/en-psl-flexible-promotion

How does staking work on Pastel?

True decentralization & security is of the utmost priority to Pastel’s Layer-1 network. While delegated staking at the protocol level has become very popular throughout the community, it comes with a high costs and risks.

In many delegated staking models, users can simply ‘delegate’ their stake to an existing validator and earn the same rewards as operating a full validator (less any commission fees that the validator charges), without needing to worry about setting up and maintaining their own infrastructure. With little incentives in place to operate a full validator, delegation at the protocol level has led to many networks being operated by a concentrated number of validator leading to concerns around centralization and security.

The potential risks are a growing concern to the ecosystem, as we have seen as recently as in the case of the Ronin Network hack. Smaller validators operated by concentrated parties sacrifices decentralization and increases the likelihood for security exploits such as 51% attacks and chain rollbacks. It also opens the door for the formation of cartels where delegates can concentrate the role of validation and governance to a few parties.

We are not alone in this view. Ethereum has long taken a similar stance — to be sure, Ethereum 2.0 will be a pure self-staking network with decentralization and higher levels of security at the top of mind. By choosing to not apply delegated staking to the Pastel Network we are able to better prevent many lethal attacks by increasing the number of independent network operators. This also combats any incentives for users to form cartels and bribe other voters, thus, bolstering the network’s robustness, resiliency, and security in the name of decentralization.

Partnering with KuCoin gives us the ability to balance such risks at the protocol level, while simultaneously offering the community an opportunity to gain staking rewards without the arduous costs of running full nodes. Through this partnership, up to 20 SuperNodes (100M PSL in total) operated by the Pastel Foundation will allocate their staking rewards for up to 1 year to the KuCoin earn program.

About Pastel SuperNodes

SuperNodes are powerful validator servers backed by self-staked collateral held in PSL.

SuperNodes host full copies of the blockchain and provide a unique second layer of services to the network, processing advanced functionality such as NFT Registration & Activation, OpenAPI Sense & Cascade Requests, and cross-chain bridge relayers & orchestrators.

This interconnected layer provides an additional level of performance, functionality, and security to the broader Pastel ecosystem. Compute intensive operations can be conducted on high-powered nodes, who collectively verify the output and monitor the state of other SuperNodes on the network prior to data or information being submitted on-chain.

SuperNode operators must self-stake collateral denominated in PSL, and in return their operators receive regular payment for the services they provide to the network. As highly committed custodians and validators of the Network, SuperNode operators are also given the opportunity to vote on key ecosystem development and growth initiatives playing a fundamental governance role.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to participate in Pastel’s SuperNode Founder Program. The Founder Program is intended to incentivize early SuperNode operators with additional rewards for participating in the network, providing enhanced performance, ensure network security, and encourage long-term decentralization. The first 250 SuperNodes activated on the Pastel Network will become members of the Founder Program, tracked by their unique PastelID and Address. In addition to receiving Block and Transactional Rewards, Founder SuperNode operators will also become eligible for random PSL or NFT airdrops.

Learn more about running a SuperNode here.

SuperNode Overview: https://pastel.network/supernodes/

Pastel SuperNode Founder Program: https://medium.com/pastelnetwork/pastel-supernode-founder-program-9f3f814c5e2

About Pastel Network

Pastel Network is a fully decentralized, developer-friendly layer-1 blockchain serving as the preeminent protocol standard for non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and Web3 technology.

Pastel allows for the development of third-party decentralized-applications (“DApps”) to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes, and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated cross-chain across various layer-1 blockchains, layer-2 protocols, or other third-party apps.

Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

For more information on Pastel Network, visit https://pastel.network/.

Website | Telegram | Twitter | Instagram | Github | Wiki | Medium

admin
April 21, 2022

Developers and companies are discovering dozens of new use cases for NFT technology—from community governance to luxury travel and real estate. 

There are many reasons NFTs are in huge demand, the most prominent being the features of their underlying infrastructure—public, permissionless blockchains that serve as the foundation for all things crypto-related. 

In this article, we dive into these blockchains and how they pave the way for us to discover the full potential of our NFTs.

What Is A Public Permissionless Blockchain?

Each blockchain is a shared database where transactions between a network of users are stored. The records are distributed among participants and made public so that anyone can access them inside or outside the network.

There are three primary forms a blockchain can take:
1. Permissioned,

2. Private,  

3. or Public and Permissionless. 

This article will focus on public, permissionless blockchains—like Ethereum—as they’re more commonly used for NFTs.

We can call any blockchain “permissionless” if participants can use it without restrictions. A public blockchain lets anyone access the blockchain. Therefore, a public, permissionless blockchain can be used by anyone, anywhere, without restrictions.

Permissionless Blockchains And Permissionless NFTs

Most NFT marketplaces allow any user to mint, buy, and manage their NFTs independently. However, some marketplaces—like the Binance NFT marketplace—may choose what NFTs can be created and shared, as well as gain access to the private key of the NFT holder, i.e., take custody of the token.

An NFT is only as “permissionless” as the blockchain that hosts it. But, most people have only ever interacted with permissionless NFTs due to this specific use case’s commercialized nature.

Remember, an NFT is just a token. Since community is the crux of many NFT collections (i.e., a 10,000 collection of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs), creators would be wise to host them on a permissionless (i.e., anyone can buy the NFT) blockchain.

In an alternate universe, a NFT creator could theoretically choose to mint their NFT on a “permissioned” blockchain, where only a private audience can access the token. 

The Benefits of A Permissionless NFT

Permissionless blockchains are the main reason NFTs have seen widespread acceptance, vast usability; here’s why:

Decentralization

If you purchase an NFT today, the record of your purchase is linked to the history of the NFT on the blockchain. Anyone on the internet can confirm the existence of your NFT without needing to go through any company or regulator. 

Since blockchains are distributed ledgers, this also means that no single entity can manipulate the records as they please. The value of the NFT can be trusted because the decentralized blockchain is free from control or manipulation by any entity or group.

Transparency

NFTs are stored transparently, so the record of the creation, sale and any transfers of the NFT are accessible to any prospecting buyer or any other interested party. 

If you consider purchasing an NFT, you can analyze the record of the NFT, its various sales prices, its creator, and the exact moment it was created. In this way, NFTs can’t be faked.

NFT transparency also applies to market sentiments concerning any particular NFT you are interested in. Some NFT marketplaces allow you to view bids made by other prospecting buyers, which can guide you as you decide how much you should pay for the NFT.

Anonymity

Permissionless blockchains allow you to trade NFTs without revealing your identity or undergoing rigorous Know-Your-Customer (KYC) checks that require you to submit government identification and other requirements. This means you can keep yourself and your NFT investments private.

Ease of Exchange

Unlike other assets that may require significant effort and time to purchase, NFTs can be sold in seconds on any NFT marketplace. Most NFT marketplaces have a straightforward process for listing your NFTs, so in minutes your NFTs can be available to the public and sold.

Final Thoughts: Permissionless, Non-Fungible Tokens and The Blockchains That Host Them

From CryptoPunks to Little Pudgys, NFTs have seen massive growth and will probably only see more. 

Anyone who owns an NFT owns a token that is a one-of-a-kind digital asset and cannot be replicated. 

Although NFTs can launch as a collection and may share the same attributes, each NFT in a 10,000 NFT collection would still have its unique signature—stored permanently on the blockchain—making it irreplaceable, even if the proposed replacement looks exactly the same.

The potential of NFTs for various industries and systems is still being discovered, made possible through the core characteristics of blockchain technology.

Public, permissionless blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, and Algorand make NFT creation and investment even more accessible.

While the NFT industry is still early, its underlying technology provides a sturdy foundation for many more use cases across industries.

Andrew Amarosa
April 9, 2022

CryptoPunks are collectible ERC-721 tokens hosted on the Ethereum Blockchain and stimulated the “profile picture” NFT movement. CryptoPunks was among the first NFT collections from Larva Labs and laid the groundwork for upcoming NFT projects.

What is a CryptoPunk?

A CryptoPunk is a 24*24 pixel, 8-bit, punky-looking NFT art image. CryptoPunks are algorithmically generated and are unique, unalterable, and have no chance of complete similarity to one another.

The project was officially introduced in June 2017; 10,000 CryptoPunks were created by Larva Labs, and 9,000 CryptoPunks were offered free to claim by early cryptocurrency users.

The remaining 1,000 CryptoPunks, termed DevPunks, are numbered between 1 and 1000. These are rare punks tend to be priced higher than the others. Most CryptoPunks sell between $350,000 and $500,000 while there are some that are being sold for millions.

CryptoPunks are available to be bought and sold on third-party marketplaces such as OpenSea, Rarible, etc. Some punks are also auctioned at these marketplaces. 

Why Buy CryptoPunks

The price of the CryptoPunk collection rose exponentially around Aug 2021. With a floor price starting around under $100 and skyrocketing to millions in April 2022. Many view CryptoPunks as “digital antiques” of sorts, the “storage of value” of which is currently being determined by markets throughout the course of history.

How to Recognize a Punk

Punks are divided into five general categories: 6039 male punks, 3840 female punks, 88 Zombie punks, 24 Apes, and 9 Aliens. The rare avatars are naturally more costly.

Further, these punks can have a combination of 87 attributes. You could buy a Beanie, Choker, Pilot Helmet, Tiara, Buck Teeth, Welding Goggles, Pig Tails, Rosy Cheeks, Cowboy hat punk, etc., depending on the type of hat, glasses, hair, race, or the skin color it has.

There are 4501 punks with any of the three attributes mentioned above, 3560 with two attributes, 1420 with four of these attributes, 333 with just one attribute, 166 with five attributes, 11 with six attributes, and eight punks with no attributes at all.

Does the Punk Background Mean Anything?

Yes, it does!

The punks on the blue background have no bids and are not for sale. Punks with a red background are available for purchase, while punks with purple background are auctionable and have an active bid on them. Punks in the green background are wrapped punks sold on different NFT marketplaces.

You can join the Discord chat for live announcements related to the sale and purchase of CryptoPunks, which also has a bot announcing all sales, offers, and bids in real-time.

Learn a Bit About the Statistics

The total lifetime sales volume for Cryptopunks as of March 2022 is $2 Billion, whereas $75.24 million were spent in February 2022. The lowest price of an available punk as of April 2022 is 68 ETH, or approximately US $236,636.60. The highest sale of CryptoPunk in Feb 2022 was that of an alien punk with a blue hat costing $23.7 million.

A person can buy more than one punk, too; the maximum number of punks owned by a single owner as of date is around 400.

How to Buy a Punk

You can check the profile page of each punk on the Larva Labs website to see details on their attributes. You can check the current market status of the punk to see who owns it, if it is on sale, and the owner’s expected price. If current bids are going on the punk, you can check it from the profile page.

The complete transaction history of the punk can be viewed on this page.

Once you decide on which punk to buy, you can follow the following steps to buy a punk:

  • Download a Web-3 wallet such as Metamask
  • Buy Ether from exchanges such as Coinbase
  • Install the wallet plugin on the Metamask website, and you will find options to bid, sell, and buy punks.

Remember, you should have wrapped versions to sell them on third-party marketplaces. For details on how to wrap your CryptoPunks, you can visit here. There are no fees charged on CryptoPunk transactions except for the gas fees charged on every transaction on the Ethereum Blockchain.

Do You Wish to Create your Own CryptoPunk?

The original collection of CryptoPunks is fixed and cannot be minted. 

However, some take to creating “clone” CryptoPunks through any marketplaces that allow creating your own NFTs. All you need is to have the required amount of Ethereum tokens in your wallet.

However, these “clone” punks are essentially worthless, and provably so since the ownership of the authentic punks can be verified on the blockchain.

About the Team

The project is the brainchild of John Watkinson and Matt Hall, co-founders of a creative technology company called Larva Labs. Larva Labs is also behind other popular Blockchain projects: Meebits, an NFT collection of 3D characters, and Autoglyphs, a generative art form.

Besides these, they are also involved in Web and Mobile technology. The only web project from Larva Labs was done with Google and was called Github Data Visualization using Flutter Web. Flutter is a development framework aimed to change the app development process. 

The mobile projects from the team include:

  • Road Trip, an endless driving game
  • Boo, an android app for face detection and animation
  • AppChat, a chatroom for the Android apps
  • FlowHome, an Android launcher that organizes social network notifications and system notifications creatively on the phone
  • BreathPacer, a breathing trainer app for iPhone with sound and animations
  • Androidify, personalizing the Android logo into self or friends’ avatars, etc. 

Final Thoughts: What’s the Latest on CryptoPunks?

US-based Yuga Labs acquired the intellectual property rights of CryptoPunks and Meebits in March 2022. They plan to give commercial rights to both communities. Until now, punk owners could only reproduce, transmit, distribute, and display their punk images. Now, they might be able to modify and sell third-party products with them.  

Yuga Labs is the creator of another popular NFT collection called Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) and the associated collection Mutant Apes Yacht Club (MAYC), launched in 2021. These collections are unique in that they gave full IP rights to the owners. 

Yuga Labs immediately granted all CryptoPunks holders full commercial rights to their Punks.

Andrew Amarosa
April 5, 2022

It’s June 2017. CryptoPunks — digital art pieces from what will become one of the most revered and valuable NFT collections that have just been launched and are being claimed for free by Ethereum users. 

Fast forward to 2022 and CryptoPunk #5822, a light blue alien punk with a bandana tied onto its head, is sold for $23.7M.

 It would be a dream come true for most people to ‌travel back in time to ’17 and claim one of those Punks for free. Claiming potentially valuable NFTs for free is a widespread online practice, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Can you actually get free NFTs that may gain value?

Let’s explore four good ways to get one online.

Get Free NFTs Via Play-To-Earn Games:

NFT gaming revolves around players earning NFTs that have actual value while having fun. Play-To-Earn (P2E) games help encourage people to buy and trade blockchain assets. Many P2E games run on the WAX blockchain and projects give users free NFTs to promote activity. 

If you’re not opposed to a bit of competition, you can earn free NFTs by playing games like Splinterlands and The Sandbox. These games allow players to win in-game items that can be sold for cryptocurrency by participating in daily quests or tournaments. 

Most NFT games have a booming marketplace where other players buy or trade in-game items. A game NFT may not be the next CryptoPunk, but it could grow to be of actual worth. 

There are several great NFT games to choose from, so it should be reasonably easy to find an NFT game that interests you. Besides free NFTs, NFT gamers can also earn cryptocurrency.

NFT Giveaways: 

Several NFT projects use giveaways to boost engagement or awareness for their project or express gratitude for their community’s support. These giveaways are most common on Twitter and Discord servers.

Following a project or an NFT influencer on Twitter is a good idea if you want to be aware of giveaways. You may be asked to retweet a post, share your ETH address, or follow specific accounts to win a giveaway. The winners are often chosen using a Twitter picker tool at random.

The downside to Twitter giveaways is that you may come across giveaway scams, where the Twitter user or project is using their giveaway post to gain followers without actually intending to gift an NFT. Do proper research on the user or project, so you don’t waste time and effort on these scam tweets. 

Another great way to get free NFTs is through giveaways in Discord communities. Projects trying to support their community may gift an NFT to a lucky member or have a process through which members can gain an NFT. To have access to these sorts of giveaways, you’ll have to be a member of the project’s Discord server. 

Just like on Twitter, some giveaways on Discord groups choose winners randomly. Projects may also make their Discord giveaways exclusive to members who already own their NFTs. 

NFT Airdrops 

Fractal, a popular NFT project based on Solana, recently airdropped 100,000 NFTs to members who registered. Several other projects are airdropping free NFTs, as airdrops are a common way projects raise awareness of their coin or NFT. 

All you have to do after finding an NFT airdrop is follow the process to register for the drop. Once it occurs, you’ll receive a token in your wallet. Enjin, a popular blockchain platform, sends free NFT airdrops randomly for users to claim. Free to Mint 

NFT projects also create free to mint tokens or free mints to boost interest in their projects. 

Free mints are NFTs you can claim without paying a minting fee to get the NFT. You’d still have to pay gas fees, which may be cheap or expensive depending on the project’s network. For example, Ethereum gas fees are costly compared to Near or Solana gas fees.

Security Tips

NFT airdrops, P2E games, giveaways, or free mints are all great ways to get a free NFT that may gain in value, but you should stay aware of possible scam projects or phishing attacks. 

Projects with free mints sometimes get hacked right before mint and there have been situations where user’s wallets were drained of funds after connecting their wallets to malicious links. If you’re interested in getting free NFTs, you should:

  • Always do your research. 
  • Avoid clicking on any link sent by a stranger to your DMs on Discord.
  • Do not rush to connect your wallets to mint an NFT until after a reasonable time. Some free mints last for hours or days, so you can usually wait to ensure  other collectors are claiming their free mints successfully. 
  • Keep in mind that no project admin would DM you to participate in a giveaway or free mint . 
  • Never give your seed phrase to anyone. 
  • Be part of an Alpha community. Alpha communities are the perfect place to get information on upcoming NFT Projects. 

Final Thoughts: Getting NFTs That May Gain In Value

Free NFTs are not hard to come by, but what sort of NFT you claim matters. If you want to get a free NFT that may gain exponentially in value, you  need to do your research.

You can learn about an NFT project from its whitepaper, Discord community and social posts. Most projects also publish updates on their timeline, growth or plans on a blog. It’s a good sign when a project offering giveaways or airdrops has:

  • A strong team. You should be able to find the person or people who are building the NFT project.
  • A clear vision or roadmap.
  • A growing community.

Anthony Georgiades

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