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Autoglyphs are the first “on-chain” generative art on the Ethereum blockchain. They are a completely self-contained mechanism for the creation and ownership of an artwork.

The Autoglyphs are a highly optimized generative algorithm capable of creating billions of unique artworks, wrapped inside an ERC-721 interface. 

Check the rendering of the works here.


NIFTIES Interviews LarvaLabs

After the last 24 hours hype on CryptoPunks, with more than 90 Eth of volumes (with two Apes sold for 30 Eth each and one Zombie for 9.5 Eth), we decided to interview the team behind the project!

Hi Matt & John! As the founders of LarvaLabs, can you tell those unfamiliar with it what your company does, how did you choose its name, where you are based and what it is like to work in such an environment?

Our company was started in 2005 as a mobile development company for an early smartphone called the T-Mobile Sidekick. The name just sounded funny to us at the time, and didn’t matter that much for the first products we were working on, but it ended up being something we used for 15 years, hah. We work out of Brooklyn which is great, lots of creative people and projects around to draw inspiration from.


Talking about NFTs, you created CryptoPunks which was the first NFT project on Ethereum and the inspiration for the ERC-721 standard. How did the idea come out?

In early 2017 John had been fiddling around with a pixel character generator, and it was getting to the point where it was making lots of really cool interesting characters. We just weren’t quite sure what to do with them. No idea really seemed to be strong enough until we discovered Ethereum, and had the idea to make them unique and ownable on the blockchain. From there we started the work of trying to actually figure out if it was possible, and in what form it should take when actually implemented on Ethereum.


What was the most challenging aspect of developing this project? What about the most rewarding?

The most challenging part was the initial contract development. Smart contract development is very different from other types of development we had done. The blockchain has extremely limited capabilities and is very unforgiving of mistakes. The most rewarding thing has been answering the question “Will anyone be interested in this idea at all?” We weren’t sure that this idea would resonate or not, and to see it become an entire category of art and asset with financial and emotional value is very cool.


Your collectors community is very warm and is slowly increasing despite the project having a few years. What makes CPs still interesting for collectors, in your opinion?

I think it’s interesting because it’s the first thing of its kind on Ethereum. As people get into NFTs, they end up discovering the Cryptopunks and then usually want to own at least one. So as the NFT space grows, people end up discovering us as part of their research. I think the community is welcoming because we all think very long term about the space now. We all imagine NFTs becoming a normal thing for art collectors to own in the future, so we’re all happy to have new people get interested.


Many collectors are asking if it would possible to have CPs listed on marketplaces like OpenSea or maybe on other digital art galleries. Do you think it could be possible in the future? Would you be open to it and which are the technical options?

We've looked into the technical feasibility of supporting Cryptopunks on NFT exchanges. It is indeed possible to build a proxy contract, where a Cryptopunk is wrapped in an NFT, bought/sold/transferred on a platform such as OpenSea, then unwrapped later by the new owner. It's not something we plan to do ourselves, as we like how the market functions as-is, and splitting it between the "classic" market and OpenSea might create some confusion for some users. However, we imagine it's inevitable that somebody will eventually build this bridge. And the cool thing about truly decentralized projects such as the Cryptopunks is that anybody can build it!


Your second project is Autoglyphs, it draws inspiration from Sol LeWitt's art and is somewhat less pop than the previous one. Can you tell us the main differences between Autoglyphs and CPs yourself?

Autoglyphs were designed to be able to answer “Yes” to the question “Is the art entirely on the blockchain?” The algorithm that generates the art, and the 512 generated pieces all live entirely on the blockchain. It was a response to working entirely within the constraints created by the blockchain to see what was possible. It’s also closely related to Sol LeWitt’s work in the way that the instructions are the art, and the final representation can take many forms.


Why did you set the total number of Autoglyphs to 512? Are there any rare or particular ones among them?

Yes, there are 10 different character sets for the Autoglyphs, in decreasing rarity. We mainly set the total number to 512 because we felt that was the number of interesting variations that the generator could produce.


Why did you decide to support 350.org against climate change? Do you know about other NIFTIES projects helping the cause?

We felt that since blockchains are so energy intensive we wanted to help offset that with a donation to a related charity. 350.org was one of the few that had an Ethereum address, so we were able to make the donations entirely on chain as part of the art creation process. We feel that transparency is an important part of what makes blockchain interesting so wanted to take advantage of that. I’m not aware of any other projects specifically benefitting 350.org, but I would encourage others to consider it!


Both CPs and Autoglyphs had also some physical reproductions signed and sold. Do you think this enhances the NFT value on the blockchain or at least manages to help people understand crypto art?

We do think this is an important bridge to the traditional art world, and involves people that otherwise aren’t comfortable with the blockchain or even technology in general. We were very careful to design a system that preserves the true nature of the project however. The true ownership is still on the blockchain, even if there is now a physical representation of that in the print and associated paper wallet.


Any other project in the NFTs space in the pipeline? We know you do not usually release info in advance, but can you tell us what question or wish is the starting point of it?

Nothing to talk about at the moment! It usually takes us a pretty long time to work through all the details of a project and we usually have a few we’re considering at any one time, so it’s hard to tell which one will end up worth releasing.


Last but not least, a curiosity: will you ever sell your Alien Punk?

Tough question! Probably not? We only have one Alien, so we’re very protective of it. Never say never, but we’ve been able to resist some pretty high offers so far at least!





Collector Interview: GoWest

Hi GoWest, it's a pleasure to interview one of the first NFT collectors, and arguably the most famous CryptoPunk collector ever.

I don’t know about that! There are some collections out there that are way more valuable than mine, but I think a lot of the old school CryptoPunk collectors like to keep a low profile.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live in Canada, and currently trade stocks and crypto full time. When not isolated in my home due to deadly viruses, I enjoy working out and golfing!


How did you get interested in NFTs and what NFT was the first one you got? Do you remember it? Is it still meaningful to you?

I first came across NFTs when CryptoKitties launched in November 2017. I was lucky enough to be aware of the project while it was still in beta testing, so when it went public, I snatched up a founder cat which I was able to flip for quite a profit, a few days later. I was the first person to ever buy a founder and that was my first NFT! It will always hold a special place in my heart, even if it’s no longer in my possession.


Talking about CryptoPunks, how many of them have you collected and traded so far? Why did you got so fascinated by them and why do you find them a valuable asset to have in your collection? 

I have well over 100 CryptoPunks and I’ve only ever sold one or two. I totally missed the boat in June 2017 when they were given away for free, but after getting back into NFTs in the fall of 2018, I quickly became interested in them for their collectible value. CryptoPunks were the first Ethereum-based NFT, so from that perspective, I believe they should be a part of any serious NFT collection.


At the moment you own three very special Punks, and you had to invest a lot to buy them. Can you explain to those unfamiliar with CPs why you collected them and what makes each of them so particular?

Sure! #8348 is the only CryptoPunk with seven traits, and he just looks bad-ass! He is by far my favourite CryptoPunk and I was thrilled when he came up for sale.


#5314 is an ape, which is one of three types of special CryptoPunks (aliens, apes, and zombies). That was a bit of an expensive acquisition but apes are very hard to come by, since there are only 24 of them.


#1 is valuable to me for obvious reasons. Unfortunately there’s a CryptoPunk #0 so I don’t own the first one, but he is the first male CryptoPunk, and obviously a very low number. Coming from the world of CryptoKitties where low-numbered cats are more valuable just for that reason, it seemed obvious to me that CryptoPunk #1 was highly collectible, so I snatched it up when I saw it was for sale.


We might know the answer, but is there any other Punk you wish to collect in the future? Are there any character traits you are particularly fond of?

I’d obviously love to own an alien, but no one’s selling. There are only nine aliens in total and they’re in strong hands! As far as traits go, I’ve collected quite a few beanies, because they’re the rarest trait. I’m also a fan of medical masks just because of how relevant they are, given what we’re going through in the world right now. It’s kind of strange that LarvaLabs even included medical masks as a trait for punks, but they obviously saw the future.


Any tips you wish to give new NFT collectors? Anything that worries you in the NFT realms and you'd advise people to be careful with?

If you’re a new collector, take your time to learn about a project before you make an investment. You’ll save a lot of money if you get to know other collectors and deal with them privately. The prices you see on the market are often highly exaggerated; think of NFTs like art - it’s not a fast moving market like a cryptocurrency market.


Thanks for the precious advices! Any other projects you are particularly fond of right now?

Most of my attention outside of CryptoPunks has been on CryptoKitties, metaverses (CryptoVoxels and Decentraland), and CryptoStamps. I also own a complete collection of Autoglyphs, which is on-chain generative art that was created by LarvaLabs, the same team that created CryptoPunks. There are so many other interesting projects out there, but I’ve only got so much time (and money)! I also have some digital art, from various artists like Josie (one of the originals), and JoyWorld.


Thanks and keep in touch!

My pleasure!