Rarible Builds a New Home For V1 CryptoPunks After Larva Labs Dispute

Bishal Kumar Chanda
20.05.2022

Rarible announced launching a community marketplace for the V1 CryptoPunks, an OG community formed around the initial CryptoPunks contract. The V1 CryptoPunks community now has its own place v1punks.io to trade and wrap/unwrap their punks safely. 

What Are V1 CryptoPunks?

Back in 2017, when Larva Labs created CryptoPunks, the first batch of Ethereum NFTs had buggy code. Therefore, Larva Labs replaced them with the "V2" version, the current CryptoPunks, some of which have sold for millions of dollars. However, while most NFT enthusiasts are unaware of the discarded "V1" version of CryptoPunks, the blockchain never forgets.

Furthermore, things got interesting late last year when some CryptoPunks community members created a "wrapper" program for the V1 CryptoPunks. Effectively, the "wrapper" rescued the V1 CryptoPunks, turning them into new NFTs that owners could trade independently. 

CryptoPunks creators declared V1 Punks as "not official" and that they don't like them.

That is when the notoriously protective Larva Labs, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, pushed back against the V1 Punks. Moreover, the duo tweeted in January that V1 Punks were "not official" CryptoPunks, and they "don't like" them. Similarly, some V2 Punk owners were not thrilled about the growing popularity of V1 Punks.

The NFT Community Amused by The Hypocrisy of Larva Labs

While showing their disapproval towards the V1 Punks, Larva Labs wrapped and sold some of its own V1 Punks. Further, the duo apologized for the move in February, calling it a stupid and bad decision. In fact, Larva Labs made about $622,000 worth of ETH at the time from selling off their V1 Punks.

Afterwards, Larva Labs bought official V2 Punks from owners and donated a matching amount to charity. However, the awkward situation created a bad experience for the CryptoPunks community. Also, the debacle was deeply amusing for the V1 Punk owners and supporters. 

Despite interacting with the wrapper program and selling their V1 CryptoPunks, Larva Labs decided to take action against the project. Although the V1 Punks originated from Larva Labs, they issued a DMCA takedown to OpenSea, claiming a copyright violation. As a result, the V1 Punks were no longer listed on the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea.

V1 Punks Make a Comeback

Earlier this year, Larva Labs sold the CryptoPunks IP to BAYC creator Yuga Labs. Therefore, the firm was no longer in a position to litigate the DMCA claim, and Yuga Labs appeared uninterested. Consequently, the claim expired, and the V1 Punks again returned to OpenSea.

V1 Punks make a comeback after Larva Labs dispute.

Earlier this year, Rarible initiated the conversation about a new home for the V1 Punks ahead of the DMCA saga. In fact, Rarible was looking to partner with notable NFT projects to help them roll out white-label marketplace tech. The V1 Punks wrapper creator FrankNFT.eth said that he wasn't convinced about the outreach from Rarible and thought that it was a scammer

While the V1 Punks already had their own website, the new standalone Rarible Marketplace is a much better effort. Moreover, it is fully customizable, and a share of the marketplace fees will go towards the V1 treasury. According to Frank, the V1 treasury can further fund future community-driven projects and initiatives. 

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