Oftentimes, the next big thing in NFTs turns out to be a project that had already been in existence for months, if not years. If we look back to the explosion of CryptoPunks, Curio Cards, MoonCats, Ghxsts and even Ether Rocks, it’s clear that collections with historical value experience a resurgence at some point in time.
Now, what we’ve witnessed time and time again with legacy projects, has started happening with CryptoSkulls. Years after this OG endeavor was set in motion, the NFT community has found renewed interest in this collection of 10,000 pixel-art skulls. CryptoSkulls topped OpenSea’s 24-hour sales volume chart today, accounting for more than 5,000 ETH ($16 million) in sales and a record 10,206 individual sales, causing many to wake up today and seek out information on the resurgent project.
CryptoSkulls was created by developer and artist Alex Slayer. Launched in May 2019, while this collection reached the market around the same time as innovative projects like Plasma Bears and Autoglyphs, its 10,000 supply and pixel-art design was a unique callback to Larva Labs’ groundbreaking 2017 project CryptoPunks.
Akin to the contemporary PFP (profile-picture) projects that have popped up over the last year, each NFT in the CryptoSkulls collection has a varying array of traits, with some being rarer than others. In the case of CryptoSkulls, this range of attributes is called a Uniqueness Index. On the Uniqueness Index, the fewer traits a Skull has, the rarer it is.
Beyond the general supply of CryptoSkulls, the project’s founding team also released 10 Skull Lords. These legendary-tier NFTs were hand-drawn, assigned names, and endowed with a Uniqueness Index of 1.
It seems not all Skull Lords were created equal though, as most (#9, #24, #27, #36, #41, #43 and #70) display static pixel images, the art for CryptoSkull #19, CryptoSkull #20, and CryptoSkull #42 links to short, animated YouTube videos complete with music.
Art and rarity aside, CryptoSkulls experienced a very slow start. Considering the NFT market had yet to reach even a fraction of the user numbers we’ve seen over the past year, a decent supply of the collection was actually minted and held within the official CryptoSkulls account itself. The collection’s final mint didn’t take place till Aug. 2019, a few months after the collection had launched and begun gaining a following.
In October 2020, CryptoSkulls revealed plans to intertwine the project with a gamified experience called Gold of Skulls. Alongside the game announcement also came the news that each CryptoSkull NFT would be a playable token in Gold of Skulls — which was originally planned for release in winter of 2021.
To support game development, 1,000 CryptoSkulls were even assigned the extra identifier of Game Token and said to have extra features in the forthcoming game. And while Gold of Skulls — which is billed as the “first game where the uniqueness of the collectible token will affect the uniqueness of the player” — has yet to be unveiled, the excitement surrounding the endeavor seems to have increased.
In conjunction with the Gold of Skulls game announcement, the CryptoSkulls team also developed and launched a limited Gold of Skulls ($GSK) ERC-20 standard coin with a total supply of 10,000,000. Currently, $GSK can still be purchased using ShibaSwap.
As of now, $GSK is tradeable and can be used as a payment token to purchase CryptoSkulls NFTs from the official CryptoSkulls account on OpenSea. Future applications of $GSK include in-game rewards for the Gold of Skulls game, development grants, and more.
Overall, CryptoSkulls outshines numerous legacy projects because it can arguably be considered the second-ever 10,000-supply PFP collection on the Ethereum blockchain after CryptoPunks. However, this accolade depends on one’s definition of a PFP project as there are a couple of 10,000-supply gaming collectible projects that precede it. In any case, the rediscovery of an OG project at such a low price point is always a cause for excitement in the space. This, paired with the fact that the project developers are still actively trading CryptoSkulls and developing Gold of Skulls, has helped trading volume explode in 2022.
While some may have believed CryptoSkulls would see increased secondaries in the fall of 2021 as a spooky NFT to collect for Halloween, on Jan. 11, sales started to seriously heat up as a response to key figures including GaryVee, Steve Aoki, GMoney, FVCKRENDER, ThankYouX, Matt Medved, Leonidas and many more aping into the project.
It’s anyone guess where the project goes from here, but with Alex Slayer still at the helm and as active as ever on NFT Twitter, CryptoSkulls may very well become a major contender in the 2022 NFT avatar market.
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Photos courtesy of CryptoSkulls.
Editor’s note: At time of publication, nft now and members of its staff are holders of CryptoSkulls NFTs.