In a striking and symbolic move, a valuable Ethereum-based non-fungible token (NFT) from one of Web3’s prominent PFP (Profile Picture) collections, CryptoPunks, has been permanently removed from circulation and linked to an Ordinals inscription on the Bitcoin network. The burning of CryptoPunk #8611, which was sold for approximately 55 Ethereum or $95,000, garnered attention as a group of Bitcoin enthusiasts celebrated the costly endeavor.
CryptoPunk #8611 tied to Ordinals Inscription
The decision to burn CryptoPunk #8611 was driven by the community and facilitated by Nathan Stein, a developer from Wolf Capital, who announced the initiative on Twitter. Holders of Bitcoin Bandits, a Western-themed collection of Ordinals inscriptions, also played a role in the effort. Approximately 150 people contributed to the cause, indicating strong support within the community.
When an asset is burned, it is irretrievably locked in a digital wallet that no one controls. In the case of CryptoPunk #8611, it was sent to a well-known burn address that already held $21 million worth of Ethereum. Minh, an account on Twitter, documented the purchase and burning of CryptoPunk #8611, describing the event as “chaotic, yet beautiful.”
Ordinals, a Bitcoin protocol that gained attention earlier this year, enables the creation of NFT-like assets on the Bitcoin network by inscribing data onto individual satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. This data can include images, videos, or plain text, effectively creating BRC-20 tokens. While the NFT industry is considered nascent, Ordinals inscriptions are even newer, leading to the hype, bugs, and scams within the realm of Bitcoin. As the Ordinals community develops, the practice of teleburning, where high-value NFTs from Ethereum are symbolically shifted to Bitcoin assets, is becoming more prevalent.
The new trend highlights Bitcoin’s role in the NFT space
The burning of CryptoPunk #8611 echoes a similar event that took place earlier this year when an expensive NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection was burned, signifying a symbolic transition from Ethereum to Bitcoin. These acts of burning valuable NFTs serve as statements and sources of entertainment for the individuals involved.
However, the burning of CryptoPunk #8611 serves a different purpose. Nathan Stein explains that the ultimate goal is to create a series of Ordinals inscriptions that correspond to a fraction of ownership in the original CryptoPunk #8611, even though the underlying asset can no longer be owned on its original Ethereum chain. The current Ordinals inscription pointing to CryptoPunk #8611 will be ceremonially sent to a digital wallet associated with Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, in what is effectively a one-way trip.
The Bitcoin Bandits community members who collectively purchased CryptoPunk #8611 will also participate in a contest related to a separate inscriptions project. However, the spokesperson emphasizes that the burning of CryptoPunk #8611 was primarily intended to set an example and express a belief that CryptoPunks deserve better than being solely associated with Ethereum.
The act of burning high-value NFTs serves as a visual representation of the community’s desire to explore alternative possibilities and make statements regarding their preferred blockchain network. As the intersection between NFTs and Bitcoin continues to evolve, these symbolic gestures underline the ongoing exploration and experimentation within the crypto space. The burning of CryptoPunk #8611 and its symbolic link to an Ordinals inscription on the Bitcoin network highlights the growing trend of teleburning, where Ethereum-based NFTs are transferred to the Bitcoin ecosystem.