Interview with the anonymous person who claimed over 703 CryptoPunks.

This is an interview with Mr.703, the holder of over 549 CryptoPunks created by LarvaLabs. Mr.703 returned last month as people noticed his address started to move, here is a conversation with him.

Mr.703 is an anonymous collector who owned over 730 CryptoPunks which he claimed for free (excluding gas) in 2017. Only 10,000 CryptoPunks exist and Mr.703 still has 549 CryptoPunks left, over 5% of the total supply and the largest holder if you don’t count the dev wallet. Check this website to learn more about what CryptoPunks are. This was a unique interview as Mr.703 asked to verify the messages on the blockchain so pay attention to how it will work in the paragraph below this.

We are using Public-Key Cryptography for this interview. Any person can sign a message using the intended receiver's public key in such a system, but that encrypted message can only be decrypted with the receiver's private key. You can verify the message yourself.

Mr.703’s collection is worth around $9M-$14M.



1 | When LarvaLabs created CryptoPunks, what made you claim so many Punks?

I got introduced to - what is now called NFTs - when I read about a project on the Bitcoin blockchain called Rare Pepes in 2017: a community-driven card trading game where someone took a 4chan joke to the next level. As so many things 4chan it was extremely innovative yet socially totally unacceptable.

When LarvaLabs introduced CryptoPunks I saw it for what it was: innovative, combining 8-bit aesthetics with top-notch technology, fun. The punks being essentially free at the time, I claimed one after another, making sure I focused on rare attributes as far as they were still available and ended up with a very respectable collection not only in size but in terms of rarity of punks.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "1 | When LarvaLabs created CryptoPunks, what made you claim so many Punks?\n\nI got introduced to - what is now called NFTs - when I read about a project on the Bitcoin blockchain called Rare Pepes in 2017: a community driven card trading game where someone took a 4chan joke to the next level. As so many things 4chan it was extremely innovative yet socially totally unacceptable. When LarvaLabs introduced CryptoPunks I saw it for what it was: innovative, combining 8 bit aesthetics with top notch technology, fun. The punks being essentially free at the time, I claimed one after another, making sure I focused on rare attributes as far as they where still available and ended up with a very respectable collection not only in size but in terms of rarity of punks. ",
  "sig": "0x1cc4741c543db7ff71db04c6d3c7d634462a204928ff212a052a127d50d0735a688cab0c23aae1c9cb7666ac3a8d318223a8d68f19339b5eeeec23b5ca3a6bdd1c",
  "version": "2"
}

2 | You recently returned to this wallet, have you been keeping track of the price of CryptoPunks ever since you bought them?

No - I have not actually. I collected the punks, admired them, printed one out to have it framed and put it next to other artworks I own as a conversation piece. Being totally oblivious I found out by accident that I had some, what seemed high, bids on my punks.

The true magnitude of what a treasure I have been sitting on dawned on me only when bids started to flood my account after selling some punks for what turned out to be way under market value. Bids hit $750’000 within a few hours. I discreetly reached out to the community and learned that my collection is worth millions. Imagine the shock! Shoutout to the LarvaLabs Discord server: best place to rub shoulders and get an understanding of valuations etc.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "1 | When LarvaLabs created CryptoPunks, what made you claim so many Punks?\n\n2 | You recently returned to this wallet, have you been keeping track of the price of CryptoPunks ever since you bought them?\n\nNo - I have not actually. I collected the punks, admired them, printed one out to have it framed and put it next to other artworks I own as a conversation piece. Being totally oblivious I found out by accident that I had some, what seemed high, bids on my punks. The true magnitude of what a treasure I have been sitting on dawned on me only when bids started to flood my account after selling some punks for what turned out to be way under market value. Bids hit $750’000 within a few hours. I discreetly reached out to the community and learned that my collection is worth millions. Imagine the shock! Shoutout to the LarvaLabs Discord server: best place to rub shoulders and get an understanding of valuations etc.",
  "sig": "0x1017f78428792f11114625908d2374147e9016307a81a58e690c6058344c732970ffe45984d5872e09c5b3b835f8f337f667bfdd6b2d0b15d82912e784a8dbcb1b",
  "version": "2"
}

3 | What’s stopping you from dumping your Punks for millions now?

Back in 2011 I bought $2000 worth of bitcoin at around $16 and sold a year later to use the money for rent. Those would have been worth $4 Million today and I will never make this mistake again. NFTs are early days, hell blockchain is early days. We think it is huge due to the bubbles that playback to us what we put into them, but $1 trillion combined market cap is a small percentage of where this will go. The value of all the gold in the world alone is 10x that. The name of the game is HODL.

That being said, we are talking life-changing wealth for me and my family. This means, selling a portion of my punks to stronger hands than me will be the realistic option, good for the ecosystem and in line with another blockchain maxim of mine: when you are sitting on 100x gains sell at least some. No individual has a bigger stake in this than me. Except maybe the three alien guys. But my interest lies in rising prices, a broader market and strong hodl hands. We will see these in museums and auction houses in the not too distant future. In addition, I have a good job and am debt-free.

Why dump this treasure?

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "3 | Whats stopping you from dumping your Punks for millions now?\n\nBack in 2011 I bought $2000 worth of bitcoin at round $16 and sold a year later to use the money for rent. Those would have been worth $4 Million today and I will never make this mistake again. NFTs are early days, hell blockchain is early days. We think it is huge due to our bubbles that play back to us what we put into them, but $1 trillion combined market cap is a small percentage of where this will go. The value of all the gold in the world alone is 10x that. The name of the game is HODL. ",
  "sig": "0xc5b1360055c5ba55fcafec7b252150daf008d94b21f562d2ad5674917452eaf3589a67fbabe97ac893cb87d85b8ea1577fec6386e0e23ff39c2a564e14ccaa8c1c",
  "version": "2"
}
{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "That being said, we are talking life changing wealth for me and my family. This means, selling a portion of my punks to stronger hands than me will be the realistic option, good for the ecosystem and in line with another blockchain maxim of mine: when you are sitting on 100x gains sell at least some. No individual has a bigger stake in this than me. Except maybe the three alien guy. But my interest lies in rising prices, a broader market and strong hodl hands. We will see these in museums and auction houses in the not too distant future. In addition I have a good job and am debt free. Why dump this treasure?",
  "sig": "0xc3afc662badb8201a94ebcd9b02ea85434bc0426b579f0fa75afec9df0f614d63819290ffd925376c28888163f734299033331e35bfa8c69712d546207f1638f1c",
  "version": "2"
}

4 | In the next 5 years, where do you see NFTs going?

It would not surprise me to see major artists releasing work on the blockchain. NFTs in Sotheby’s and Christi’s. Major galleries and museums. That is a fairly easy prediction. Before that, the majority of the establishment is probably going to deride it as a fad, not real art. Similar to what has been said about Matisse, Picasso and Renoir in their - early - time. You have to be an Albert Barnes to get it - cannot expect that from everybody. Will it be 5 or 10 years? Short term predictions are near impossible - a long term the view is clear.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "4 | In the next 5 years, where do you see NFTs going?\n\nIt would not surprise me to see major artists releasing work on the blockchain. NFTs in Sotheby’s and Christi’s. Major galleries and museums. That is a fairly easy prediction. Before that the majority of the establishment is probably going to deride it as a fad, not real art. Similar to what has been said about Matisse, Picasso and Renoir in their - early - time. You have to be an Albert Barnes to get it - cannot expect that from everybody. Will it be 5 or 10 years? Short term predictions are near impossible - long term the view is clear.",
  "sig": "0xe6d153ceda376a36a5e66d235670c4501b8bb08bede638df27bb78397565562a4c5263bf00cb14c3683088f9489c453f0661e8f3dabf0f40238901fbde573e4a1c",
  "version": "2"
}

5 | This year just started and we have seen many influential people enter the NFT space, as CryptoPunks are the originals, do you think people will keep investing back into them?

Given the short time I had to get myself up to speed, it seems that some relatively large sums are being put into CryptoPunks as well as other NFT projects. CryptoPunks are unique for being the first. I think this is what Flamingo DAO meant when they said that ‘providence has the value’. It is a very simple concept really: who was first? Who was first to fly solo over the Atlantic?

Exactly - and who was second? Nobody cares. I am sure the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic made almost as many headlines at the time as Charles Lindberg, but time erodes that and what is left is the first. You can look up who the third person on the moon was or on Mt Everest, but these things are incredibly top-heavy and in art, this is reflected in the price, same for NFTs.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "4 | In the next 5 years, where do you see NFTs going?\n\nIt would not surprise me to see major artists releasing work on the blockchain. NFTs in Sotheby’s and Christi’s. Major galleries and museums. That is a fairly easy prediction. Before that the majority of the establishment is probably going to deride it as a fad, not real art. Similar to what has been said about Matisse, Picasso and Renoir in their - early - time. You have to be an Albert Barnes to get it - cannot expect that from everybody. Will it be 5 or 10 years? Short term predictions are near impossible - long term the view is clear.",
  "sig": "0xe6d153ceda376a36a5e66d235670c4501b8bb08bede638df27bb78397565562a4c5263bf00cb14c3683088f9489c453f0661e8f3dabf0f40238901fbde573e4a1c",
  "version": "2"
}

6 | People are comparing the hype for NFT Collectible projects to 2017 ICOs, what’s your outlook on this?

2017 saw many millions go into ICOs aiming for the next Ethereum, few of these survived to this day or lost almost all their value. Look, I am not going to talk down other NFT projects (or up for that matter) but when you love street art, and by a Mr Brainwash because you can’t afford a Banksy at least understand the difference between the two.

The key in 2017 was not to look for the next Ethereum but realise the potential of Polkadot or in our case CryptoPunks. What is the 2017 Polkadot equivalent of 2021 NFTs? I have no idea but I am sure there will be one out there if it isn’t already. Generally speaking - and I have done well with this approach - invest only what you can spare, do so in the art that inspires you and that you intend to keep or to support an artist that you enjoy. This way you can’t lose.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "6 | People are comparing the hype for NFT Collectible projects to 2017 ICOs, whats your outlook on this?\n\n2017 saw many millions go into ICOs aiming for the next Ethereum, few of these survived to this day or lost almost all their value. Look, I am not going to talk down other NFT projects (or up for that matter) but when you love street art, and by a Mr Brainwash because you can’t afford a Banksy at least understand the difference between the two. The key in 2017 was not to look for the next Ethereum but realise the potential of Polkadot or in our case CryptoPunks. What is the 2017 Polkadot equivalent of 2021 NFTs? I have no idea but I am sure there will be one out there if it isn’t already. Generally speaking - and I have done well with this approach - invest only what you can spare, do so in art that inspires you and that you intend to keep or to support an artist that you enjoy. This way you can’t loose.",
  "sig": "0x264b1ba20d75e01eca9ca671c2c7ed4e08c152d54b9b1854f813d987668e2da465b2f89d8a50f1b4281e8ef8bd66bf19ea04ba38959c60d4f4f7314578f4d5ff1b",
  "version": "2"
}

7 | Punks are called a 'store of value' for many, how far do you agree with this?

Another Ethereum winter notwithstanding, CryptoPunks are a store of value in a way, sure. But if you do not own a single painting or sculpture that is in the price range of a floor punk, think about why not? Are you in it for the art or for the supposedly mad gains?

Also: do not put 100% of your savings in punks or NFTs. Maybe get one or two and put a framed art print of them on your wall to raise some eyebrows. What if you put money into punks that you might need someday to pay rent when the NFT market is in a lull? I was that person - don’t be that person. If you can hodl 5-10 years then see above.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "7 | Punks are called a 'store of value' for many, how far do you agree with this?\n\nAnother Ethereum winter not withstanding, CryptoPunks are a store of value in a way, sure. But if you do not own a single painting or sculpture that is in the price range of a floor punk, think about why not? Are you in it for the art or for the supposedly mad gains? Also: do not put 100% of your savings in punks or NFTs. Maybe get one or two and put a framed art print of them on your wall to raise some eyebrows. What if you put money into punks that you might need some day to pay rent when the NFT market is in a lull? I was that person - don’t be that person. If you can hodl 5-10 years then see above. ",
  "sig": "0xb13235d577096ef1bd6bce93bd0416107478000d808a6ef7589cef18b588cb4b1ac64fa4aec88e7bbae5383599a6f77b8ac3f96af3f4188289eeb8fc788c02091c",
  "version": "2"
}

8 | NFTs in general, what’s the biggest issue you can see in the current market?

NFTs in general, what’s the biggest issue you can see in the current market?\n\nAgain - still catching up from my extended nap. But it seems that there are plenty of copycat projects out there that really don’t add anything to the ecosystem except clogging up the blockchain. Sure - any art student can create a piece in the style of Picasso, but that does not make it a Picasso.

If the piece does not inspire you or you can’t see how one project is not only superficially different from all the other projects but fundamentally unique, then better hodl your ETH — But that is the nature of hype. When the hype dies down and maybe with some delay, what endures is that which caused the hype and that is the OG.

Verify Message

{
  "address": "0x577eBC5De943e35cdf9ECb5BbE1f7D7CB6c7C647",
  "msg": "8 | NFTs in general, whats the biggest issue you can see in the current market?\n\nAgain - still catching up from my extended nap. But it seems that there are plenty of copycat projects out there that really don’t add anything to the ecosystem except clogging up the blockchain. Sure - any art student can create a piece in the style of Picasso, but that does not make it a Picasso. If the piece does not inspire you or you can’t see how one project is not only superficially different from all the other projects but fundamentally unique, then better hodl your ETH. But that is the nature of hype. When the hype dies down and maybe with some delay, what endures is that which caused the hype and that is the OG.",
  "sig": "0xa9cb5eb0962504a04e34b908f902c1d41520b9a32c9145305cd9a0d8aad2bf1d0d084f8a192bb632287fdf75a82daf20778588a44a33c460c933688d365693891c",
  "version": "2"
}