Crypto Punk's Not Dead Chronicle - Inside the Billion $$$ Blockchain Token Con-Artist Fraud

Inside the Crypo Blockchain Art Token Fraud


Book Corner - Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World by Dan Davies


So far I got asked here on crypto punk’s not dead about videos (how to do an art token fraud in five minute or such) but never about books about the history of money (and fraud).

Anyways, let’s bring on David Gerard - a crypto / blockchain historian and writer - to help us out:

Dan Davies’ Lying for Money is another of those books I recommend to everyone, all the time. Only Chapter 2, on darknet markets, is directly about crypto - but the rest of the book’s totally about crypto. Also, you need both editions.


Davies has a Golden Rule for detecting fraud:

Anything which is growing unusually quickly needs to be checked out, and it needs to be checked out in a way that it hasn’t been checked before. Nearly all of the frauds in this book could have been stopped a lot earlier if people had been a bit more cynical about growth.

Source: Dan Davies: Lying for Money - not a book about crypto, except it really is

Anyways comments and questions welcome. What crypto (or history of money) books do you recommend or read?

PS: Find my little crypto bookshelf @ Best of Crypto Books.

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Public Service Announcement - Yes, CryptoPunks is A Con-Artist Financial Fraud - 'Flex' How Stupid AND Rich I Am?!


As a public service announcement allow me to restate what might get lost in the programming minutiae:

Yes, CryptoPunks is a con-artist financial fraud. The Emperor has no clothes. Let’s start with what you “own” when you buy a CryptoPunk [token].

The only thing that you “own” is the private 256-bit integer number that you create (for free) on your own computer and that you MUST keep secret, that is, your private key.

From the 256-bit integer number (private key) you get a “free” public key and public Ethereum account - the account gets derived (calculated) via Elliptic Curve Cryptography from the public key.

Anyways, if you now buy a CryptoPunks token via the CryptoPunksMarket contract / service - all you get is an entry in a database that you are now a “certified” CryptoPunks owner and you get assigned an index number (between 0 and 9999). That’s it.

There’s nothing decentralized or trustless. You have to trust the central issuer LarvaLabs that you own a picture / image of punk.

And the fact is that LavraLabs actually tell you that you don’t. To quote:

My name is Mordecai Goldstein and I am the General Counsel of Larva Labs LLC [- a multi-million dollar crypto fraudster operator].


The original [24×24 8-bit pixel] images [that any 6-year old can redraw “by hand” in minutes], to which we [claim to] own exclusive copyrights, can be found at:

And so on and so forth. What’s your take?

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Inside the CryptoPunks Fraud - Selling To Yourself For A Higher Price to Pump Up the Market (And Pull-In Greater Fools to Scam) - What's Your Take?


As always Trolly McTrollface - the former Bitcon Maxi Club critique - and now famous Art market connoisseur is on to something:

Just bought all my art tokens for 10% more than what I paid for them to myself last week. As a result my portfolio of pixel art is going up nicely in value. Expecting a Forbes piece about my outstanding pixel art investment talent. Had to buy $2000 worth of ETH to pay for gas. The system works.

Did you know? That you can 1) open-up and use as many free Ethereum accounts as you like (more than atoms exist in the universe) and 2) sell to yourself with the CryptoPunksMarket contract for free (you pay only the Ethereum “gas” transaction fee) from one of your many accounts to another.

Anyone has any insight how much of the market is self-dealing to pump up the price and pull-in greater fools to scam? What’s your take?

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Inside the CryptoPunksData Contract - Three Weeks In - What's News?


To see how absurd the crypto punks news coverage¹ (and gambling community) is - let’s have a looksie what we have learned about the revolutionary CryptoPunksData contract (uploaded and gone live on August 18th) about three weeks ago.

The CryptoPunks founders start off with a teaser in the code commentary inside the contract:

This contract holds the image and attribute data for the Cryptopunks on-chain. The Cryptopunk images are available as raw RGBA pixels, or in SVG format. The punk attributes are available as a comma-separated list. Included in the attribute list is the head type (various color male and female heads, plus the rare zombie, ape, and alien types).

First let’s search the internets with the keywords cryptopunksdata contract and - surprise, surprise - we end-up right back here as the top search result. A billion dollar asset and the founders published the secret formula as an open book and we get not a single analysis or posting. Nada. Nothing. Zero.

What am I missing? If you find anything, please share and comment. Let’s learn and study together.

¹: On-chain? Off-chain? Whatever. It’s all about the price and numbers go up, isn’t it greater fools?

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Q: Am I allowed to create and sell my own [Crypto]Punks?

I am not a lawyer but let’s get real. Yes, in a free world you can of course create and sell your own punks.

About the originals by LarvaLabs - the first question is are they really original? See the Blockheads (Anno 2013) and I am sure there are many more.

I’d say you cannot copyright a trivial 24x24 pixel image - there might be a point about the complete collection (like you can copyright a complete database but not individual facts).

Anyways, the irony is of course the name, that is, CryptoPunks.

The punk ethos is that you do-it-yourself and you don’t care what others think (oh, that looks so cheap and so on). And crypto - of course - is by definition a law-less “decentralised” fraudster paradise where anything goes. And yes, selling 24x24 pixel images by itself is a fraud and shame on the LarvaLabs fraudsters¹ for not stopping the madness but raking in the millions $$$ from greater fools.

¹: Please remember - a blockchain token - is nothing special - it is just a signed database entry. Yes, the emperor has no clothes. See Come See My Collection from a more honest computer scientist (shame on Matt Hall and John Watkinson both have computer science university degrees - so they for sure know what they are doing and how a database works).

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Inside the ExpansionPunks Tokenomics - A Legit $1Million Get-Rich-Quick Cash Grab? Financial Fraud? What's Your Take Greater Fools?


Michelantrollo writes:

Looking at your ExpansionPunks site, mint is 0.06 x 10,000. 600 ETH ~$1.9m. 33% to DAO, 50 ETH to community and charities, so 352 left. You both [Jeremy Posvar, Data Wizard and Florian Uhde, Code Wizard] need to be paid and there’s set up costs, but what are those? Is the mint price justified considering avg wages?

Selling-off 10 000¹ images (24×24) anyone can recreate in minutes from scratch for millions and keeping 2/3 of the money in your own pocket - is that a legit get-rich-quick cash grab? Or a conceptual art parody? Or is that financial fraud (scamming greater fools)? What’s your take?

¹: Note - You can download the official 2400×2400 copy of all 10 000 punks in one composite image. See expansionpunks.png (~700k).

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Inside the Expansion Punk Fraud - 'Classic' Crypto Punks Collection Attribute Generation Rules - Your Comments Welcome


Jeremy Posvar, Data Wizard and Florian Uhde, Code Wizard from the Expansion Punks greater fool crypto scamming operation (on target to hit a million $$$ - congrats!) are posting some attribute generation rules if you want to match up with the original Larva Labs “genesis” collection.

Rule 1: Punks with “Welding Goggles” must NEVER be assigned a “Hat” trait, only “Hair” traits. Why? Goggles wouldn’t pair well with various Hats.

Rule 2: “Pilot Helmet” punks NEVER have an “Eye” trait (e.g. glasses, eyeshadows). Why? The Pilot Helmet has integrated goggles, so double Eye traits would be awkward.

Rule 3: Aliens/Apes NEVER have Facial Hair, Blemish, Mouth or Nose traits (in the genesis series).

Rule 4: Aliens/Apes should ONLY be assigned “hat” attributes, NEVER “hair” attributes. Why? Aliens/Apes don’t grow human hair styles (in the genesis series).

What’s your take? How punk is that “honoring of the original punk ethos”? Is it bullshit to rationalize a cash grab and selling a token with an index to an image any 6-year-old can (re)draw in minutes or download for free on the internets (in the original 24x24px size or with a 2x, 4x, 8x or you name it zoom factor)?

Ask me anything (AMA) - Tuesday Sept. 7th @ 9pm (PST). Welcome to the “honest and transparent” crypto fraudster world.

Update Let me clarify the post since there are two anonymous reports. I applaud and approve greatly publishing on how the originial CryptoPunks are put together and the attention to detail on doing a 100% pixel-perfect clone and such.

However, I greatly disapprove of the fraud selling “art” tokens to greater fools with the promise of getting-rich-quick. Shame on the self-proclaimed data wizard and code wizard. You for sure know what you are doing.


While updating punks.contracts a code nugget from the ExpansionPunk contract:

/// this will take the money on the contract and split it
///  based on the logic below and send it out.
///  We funnel 1/3 for each dev and 1/3 into the
///  ExpansionPunkDAO
function withdraw() public onlyAdmin {
        uint256 _balance = address(this).balance;
        uint256 _split = _balance.mul(33).div(100);
        require(payable(jp).send(_split));   // Jeremy Posvar (jp)
        require(payable(fu).send(_split));   // Florian Uhde (fu)
        require(payable(dao).send(_balance.sub(_split * 2)));

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Inside the CryptoPunks Bubble - Greyscale / Grayscale Punks Collection Case Study - Conceptual Art (Parody)? (Get-Rich-Quick) Cash Grab? Greater Fools (Financial) Fraud?


I wrote-up an article titled Inside the CryptoPunks Bubble - Greyscale / Grayscale Punks Collection Case Study - Conceptual Art (Parody)? (Get-Rich-Quick) Cash Grab? Greater Fools (Financial) Fraud?

What’s your take? Questions and comments welcome.

PS: Download punks_grayscale.png (~800k) for all 10 000 grayscale punks or punks_sepia.png (~800k) for all ye olde’ sepia vinatage punks.

And here’s the “magic” formula / script to turn all 10 000 original punks into grayscale (or why not? yes, ye olde’ sepia vintage) in less than ten seconds:

require 'cryptopunks'

print "==> loading image..."
punks = 'punks.png' )
print "OK\n"

# change all 10 000 punks to grayscale
punks_grayscale = punks.grayscale "punks_grayscale.png" )

# or change all 10 000 punks to ye olde' sepia vintage
punks_sepia = punks.change_palette8bit( Palette8bit::SEPIA ) "punks_sepia.png" )

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Inside the 24px Story and Mistery - 24px Pixel Cats Collection (Inspired by Cool Cats) and 24px Pixel Apes Collection (Inspired by Bored Ape [Yacht Club]) - What's Next? Comments Welcome


For a week now I follow the 24px story that started some weeks before on August 2nd with the drop (and sale) of the first art collection by an anonymous dev called 24px.

24px dropped two pixel collections (on the open sea market):

See for more.

What’s your take on the 24px story and/or pixel art collections? Your comments are welcome. Let’s learn and study together.

PS: Yes, there’s a 24px reddit channel started on August 14th, see r/24px


Spongetoshi writes:

24px fam[ily]

WE control the value.

If you’re all listing them for 0.08 ETH (~$300) then the floor [price] is 0.08 ETH (~$300).

If we ALL agree to list for 2 ETH (~$7500) minimum, the floor [price] is 2 ETH (~$7500) and people are forced to sweep [buy] at that price or above.

Work together. That’s our value. That’s the power of no dev.

Pass it on.

What’s your take? It’s all about the price and getting-rich-quick, isn’t it greater fools?

Root Slash Bin writes:


This is very odd.

Funds were moved out of the 24px royalties wallet.

Half of the funds were left in the wallet.

No one in the community, as far as we know, has solved the puzzle.

Funds were sent in 10 ETH (~$40 000) batches to the tornado cash [money laundering service]¹.

We’re trying to figure out what we can now.

1 Two 3 Code comments:


I never for a second believed in the “24px mystery unlocks community wallet” dream.

Honestly don’t know why anyone would care. 300 ETH (~$1.2million) divided over 19 800 art tokens is 0.015 ETH (~$60). Who cares [about peanuts]?

We could build that value in a month or two by meming ¯_ (ツ)_/¯.

What’s your take?

¹: Tornado Cash improves transaction privacy by breaking the on-chain link between source and destination addresses.

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Former Bitcoin Maxi Club Critic Trolly McTrollface Announces Career Switch and Becomes Art Critic w/ New Newsletter That Will Save You Millions of $$$ - Is 10 000 the New 21 Million? Are Art Token the New Digital Gold Originals?


Former Bitcoin Maxi Club Critic Troll McTrollface and founder of Tetherino writes:

Get screenshots of art tokens worth $10,000 every week in your mailbox! Welcome to Trolly’s Newsletter.

Bitcoin [maxi club] bashing feels too much like beating a dead horse. I’ve decided to switch careers and pick a job that’s truly future proof. I am now the best (and only) art token critic. A few weeks from now, fortunes will be made and lost at my whim.

In each newsletter, I will thoroughly analyse an art token piece worth at least $10,000. I will reveal the hidden message of the artist, position the piece within its cultural context, point out its flaws and its genius, and estimate its price potential.

It takes a special kind of talent to distinguish art from bullshit. A talent none of the art token bagholders have, or they wouldn’t have aped into art token in the first place. My mission is to bring comedy gold to the chaos, and make your path to financial ruin as enjoyable as possible.

Trolly McTrollface

What’s your take? Is 10 000 the new 21 Million? Are art tokens the new true digital gold originals? Or the new comedy gold?

Whose your favorite art token critic / bullshiter that you follow to ape in to make big $$$?

Update The first edition of Trolly’s newsletter is out!

I’ll be dissecting a classic. For sale at a mere $11,185, this [Doggy #3362] piece is a solid example of the current trends in the art token world.


Last but not least, the piece is transpiring with functionalism. The purpose of art token is to be bought at ever higher prices, transcending one’s fear of getting financially obliterated in the event where you fail to find the greater [fool] bagholder. But look at this piece. How could such a laid-back Doggy lead to financial ruin? It exults confidence and cuteness. Truly, it could never lead you to lose your home or your kids’ college fund.

What’s your take on Doggy #3362? Is a mere $11,185 a steal?

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