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CryptoSkulls Official Logo.jpg
Blockchain Ethereum
Creation Date May 18, 2019
Fungibility Non-Fungible
Developer(s) Alex Slayer
Explorer(s) Etherscan
Marketplace(s) OpenSea, LooksRare


Social Account(s) Twitter

Instagram TikTok

Chat(s) Discord
Website(s) Official Site

CryptoSkulls are 10,000 uniquely generated pixel art skulls released as a ERC-721 Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain on May 18, 2019, by Alex Slayer and his business partner. CryptoSkulls are considered by many to be the second 10k Profile Picture (PFP) collection after CryptoPunks.

Early history

Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and inspired by CryptoPunks, Alex Slayer, released the CryptoSkulls NFT collection on May 18, 2019. Internet archives of the original CryptoSkulls website show that Alex added the message "CryptoSkulls are collectible pixel art images inspired by CryptoPunks."[1] to the site's metadata which confirms CryptoPunks as Alex's inspiration. He chose to use skulls because of his love for heavy metal music and games like Diablo, in which the skull is a prominent image.[2]

Contract Source Code showing that the CryptoSkulls contract was submitted to Etherscan for verification on May 20, 2019.
Contract Source Code showing that the CryptoSkulls contract was submitted to Etherscan for verification on May 20, 2019.

The CryptoSkulls contract was created on May 18, 2019 and submitted to Etherscan for verification on May 20, 2019.

All 10,000 CryptoSkulls were minted to Alex's project wallet and manually listed over time on marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible. An initial giveaway of 100 CryptoSkulls commenced at the end of June 2019 to help gain attention for the launch.

On October 30, 2020, Alex teased a CryptoSkulls based game, Gold of Skulls, via Notion.

On March 18, 2021, GSK, an ERC-20 token was launched in support of Gold of Skulls.[3]

The original CryptoSkulls website as it appeared on May 28, 2019.

On December 23, 2021, CryptoSkull Game Token holders were able to claim 300 GSK per Game Token owned.[4]

Recent events

CryptoSkulls were #1 in weekly volume on OpenSea for the week of January 10, 2022.


On January 18, 2022, CryptoSkulls creator, Alex Slayer, details what will happen to the 1,908 CryptoSkulls that remain in the project wallet.

In the early morning of January 11, 2022, historical NFT collector, Leonidas, came across the project for the first time and proceeded to purchase 888 of the roughly ~3,000 CryptoSkulls listed for sale by the project wallet.[5] Sales continued to climb as other NFT collectors noticed the increase in volume of the collection and decided to purchase as well. Up until this point, CryptoSkulls had had a niche community of collectors but because there were still thousands of skulls listed by the project wallet that needed to be purchased to "mint out" it had received limited interest from collectors. The CryptoSkulls Discord quickly shot up from roughly 350 to over 15,000 members after NFT influencer Gary Vaynerchuck began purchasing dozens of CryptoSkulls as well. Later in the week, while live on a CryptoSkulls Twitter Space, Gary purchased a Skull Lord (CryptoSkull #70) for 100 ETH ($332,863.00 USD at the time).[6] CryptoSkulls would finish the week as highest volume collection on OpenSea.

On January 18, 2022, Alex announced what would happen with the 1,908 remaining CryptoSkulls in the project wallet. 1,500 of the CryptoSkulls were designated to be handed over to a community multi-sig wallet, thus creating the funding for the CryptoSkulls DAO.

CryptoSkulls DAO Creation

On March 23, 2022, the CryptoSkulls community voted to establish the CryptoSkulls DAO by approving the DAO's Skull Paper, written by Leonidas.[7] This vote also approved who the founding Skull Council members would be.

On March 28, 2022, Alex Slayer completed a transfer of 1,500 CryptoSkulls to the DAO multi-sig wallet (aka “The Crypt”).

On April 29, 2022, the CryptoSkulls DAO went live for community proposals.

Demonic Skulls

A "V2" CryptoSkulls collection, Demonic Skulls, was first teased on January 28, 2022, through a cryptic announcement posted by Alex in Discord.

Further cryptic announcements introduced the character, The Alchemist, central to the lore of the Demonic Skulls.

All CryptoSkulls holders were able to claim one vial of "Demonic Blood" (an ERC-1155 token) per CryptoSkull they owned that could be used in conjunction with their CryptoSkull to mint a new ERC-721 Demonic Skull NFT. Each CryptoSkull could only be used once for the demonization process and the original CryptoSkull would be unaffected during this process. There would be three levels of Demonic Skulls (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3). A Level 1 Demonic Skull would require one vial of demonic blood and would share many of the traits of the CryptoSkull used to create it. A Level 2 Demonic Skull would require three vials of demonic blood and would not share the traits of the original CryptoSkull. The maximum number of Level 2 Demonic Skulls was set to 2,500. A Level 3 Demonic Skull would require five vials of demonic blood and like the Level 2 Demonic Skulls, it would not share any traits with the original CryptoSkull. The maximum number of Level 3 Demonic Skulls was set to 150.

Demonic Blood claiming went live on March 23, 2022, at 2:30PM EST.

Demonic Skull minting went live on April 15, 2022, at 2:00PM EST. Due to a faulty line of code in the contract, more than the allowed 150 Level 3 Demonic Skulls were able to be minted. Once the Demonic Skulls developers realized the error, minting was paused for the remainder of the day. Demonic Skull minting would resume on April 16, 2022, at 12:30PM EST. Those who minted on April 15, 2022, were airdropped a copy of their Demonic Skull under a new contract. The tokens on the old contract had their metadata changed to "Do Not Trade" to distinguish the tokens from the original contract. Those who minted Level 3 Demonic Skulls after the 150 max had been reached were given two Level 2 Demonic Skulls each and were allowed to use their CryptoSkull for the demonization process again.

By April 19, 2022, over 1,394 Demonic Skulls had been minted, burning over 2,570 Demonic Blood vials.

On May 13, 2022, those who minted on the original Demonic Skulls contract had their "Do No Trade" tokens updated to a limited edition "Cheerful Skulls" collectible item.

A slide from the Gold of Skulls First Look Sketch Book, detailing playable abilities from CryptoSkull NFTs in the game.
A slide from the Gold of Skulls First Look Sketch Book, detailing playable abilities from CryptoSkull NFTs in the game.

Game Development

On July 8, 2022, Alex hosted his first recorded Twitter Space AMA and gave an update on the CryptoSkulls game, Gold of Skulls, in which the scope had been completely revamped due to the success during rediscovery.[8]

The new game concept, as described by Alex: "Gold of Skulls will be a multiplayer collectible card game with a heavy focus on heroes. Heroes will consist of CryptoSkulls, Demonic Skulls, and also heroes that are unique to Gold of Skulls that are not NFTs. No NFTs will be required to play Gold of Skulls, however, both CryptoSkulls and Demonic Skulls NFTs are playable characters in the game."[2]

A "First Look Sketchbook" revealing game concepts was revealed in July 2022.

Supply and rarity

CryptoSkull #43, one of the ten Uniqueness Index (UI) 1 CryptoSkulls, also known as Skull Lords
CryptoSkull #43, one of the ten Uniqueness Index (UI) 1 CryptoSkulls, also known as Skull Lords

Supply: 10,000

The CryptoSkulls project pre-dates typical NFT rarity systems and norms and utilizes an organic system called "Uniqueness Index" to attempt to establish trait rarity.

From CryptoSkulls creator Alex Slayer on June 22, 2019, in Discord:

"Uniqueness Index shows total rareness of all skull features. For example, Skulls with a beard are more rare than without a beard and have less Uniqueness Index. Each Skull (except the 10 Skull Lords that were hand drawn) had its gene-value saved during Skull generation. Gene-value is a set of feature indexes. Uniqueness Index is calculated by gene-value analysis."

The ten most unique CryptoSkulls belong to Uniqueness Index (UI) 1 and are known as Skull Lords. These ten CryptoSkulls were hand drawn and some have embedded video in their metadata.

An example of "hidden rarity" in CryptoSkulls
An example of "hidden rarity" in CryptoSkulls

On August 5, 2021, CryptoSkulls was listed on Rarity Tools.

"Hidden Rarity" exists in CryptoSkulls when a trait is hidden due to traits that have matching colors, usually with the skull and hair. Hidden rarity is not reflected in Uniqueness Index or on Rarity Tools.

Game Tokens

1,000 of the 10,000 CryptoSkulls are marked as "Game Tokens" and the idea being that they would be listed by the project wallet at a slightly higher price giving collectors the ability to support game development of the future CryptoSkulls game, Gold of Skulls, in which their token would grant them special access.

Their stated in-game function from Alex is "Game Token holders will be able to summon an immortal being in the game to fight for you as well as some additional cosmetic bonuses."[2]

Uniqueness Index Breakdown
UI Total in UI Hair Beard Crossbone Hand Drawn
1 10 X
11 708 X X
12 1340 X X
13 36 X X
15 297 X
16 538 X
2 236 X X X
22 4759 X
25 1721
26 260
5 95 X X

Things to know

Creative / Ownership Rights for Token Holders:

As per the CryptoSkulls Official Website:

CryptoSkulls owners have full commercial rights to the art in their owned wallets. There are no monetary limits on earnings on merchandise, derivatives or other commercial uses. It is our opinion that a blockchain transaction satisfies the legal requirement for copyright transfer. So copyright ownership of each individual image is adjudicated by the Ethereum (or Polygon) address for which the non-fungible token (NFT) of that image is assigned. Upon transfer or sale of the NFT to a new owner, the previous owner gives up all claims to the copyright.[9]

Notable Holders

An incomplete list of noteworthy CryptoSkulls holders includes 3LAU[10], Steve Aoki[11], Faze Banks,[12] Steve Deleonardis[13], Chris Fronzak, Crystal Hefner[14], Sean Ono Lennon[15], John Stamos[16], and Gary Vaynerchuck[17].


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1: Alex Slayer AMA
  3. Etherscan Token Page for GSK
  6. Etherscan Transcation for Gary Vee's Skull Lord purchase
  7. Snapshot vote to establish the CryptoSkulls DAO and adopt the Skull Paper
  10. 3LAU's NFT collection on OpenSea
  11. Steve Aoki's NFT collection on OpenSea
  12. Faze Banks NFT collection on OpenSea
  13. Steve Will Do It NFT collection on OpenSea
  14. Crystal Hefner NFT collection on OpenSea
  15. Sean Ono Lennon collection on Rarible
  16. John Stamos NFT collection on OpenSea
  17. Gary Vee NFT collection on OpenSea