The Punks PNG

There is one single source-of-truth PNG-image containing all 10,000 punks.

The 10,000 CryptoPunks, uploaded to Github by Matt Hall on Jun 8th, 2017.

Today, all this art is actually entirely stored on the Ethereum blockchain (which is a feat in itself as storage on the blockchain is limited and expensive; more on this later), but this main PNG image remains the main source of reference to prove the authenticity of a given CryptoPunk.

They are numbered from 0 to 9,999, one hundred punks per row. In computer science, you start counting lists from zero instead of one, so this is just a fun artifact of that.

Since storing the PNG-Image in it's entirety on chain was not an option (expensive storage), Matt and John generated a cryptographic hash of the image so anyone could verify whether they're looking at the original, authentic punks image.

This is the hash of the original punks image:


It was added to the immutable smart contract, and the image stored on Github for anyone to download.

You can verify the authenticity of the punks image by generating the SHA256 hash yourself and comparing the result with the hash in the smart contract:

Verifying the Image Hash

Unix-based PCs (like Macs) come preinstalled with the shasum command. To verify the authenticity of the image navigate to the folder containing the image in the terminal and run:

shasum -a 256 punks.png

Alternatively, you can use this online SHA256 Checksum Generator:

This online hashing tool generates a hash right from within your browser.

"Why all this hassle?" one might ask... Well the beautiful thing about these hashes is that they are perfect identifyers of digital assets. If you change even just a single pixel, you get a completely different hash.

Adding one red pixel to a punk results in an entirely different hash.

That way, there never is a dispute about what any individual punk looks like... If you want to dive deeper into this topic, i wrote a deep dive on the immutability of digital assets here.