Bored Ape Yatch Club (BAYC #1626’s) owner burned the NFT in a symbolic shift from existing on Ethereum to Bitcoin. Despite this, Yuga Labs says it’s an illegitimate Bored Ape.
Last weekend, a non-fungible token (NFT) from one of the world’s most-sought after collections was permanently removed from circulation, as its owner shifted the asset’s underlying blockchain from Ethereum to Bitcoin.
The digital asset, Bored Ape Yacht Club #1626, was recently sold on OpenSea last November for 108 ETH, at the time worth approximately $432,000. At today’s prices, the NFT would be worth around $169,000.
NFTs are digital assets that represent ownership of an item, typically digital art. As each NFT is unique, a unique record is produced on the blockchain that it is based on, often containing history and technical details of that specific NFT and the artwork or other asset associated with it.
However, BAYC #1626’s owner relinquished its position on the Ethereum network, permanently removed from circulation in a process known as burning.
Digital assets can be burned – or permanently removed from circulation – where a given asset is sent to a location where it can no longer be retrieved. Doing so also terminates the asset from the network it is based in.
Now, BAYC #1626 is now not on the Ethereum network, but depending on the whims of the owner, it may pop up elsewhere. Jason Williams, claiming to have incinerated BAYC #1626 from the Ethereum network says that the process was “essentially throwing a Lamborghini into a trash compactor–It’s kind of fun.”
As for what happens in the future for the Ape and what it can mean, Williams puts it: “Whether putting bloated JPEGs on Bitcoin’s base chain is smart or not is a whole ‘nother discussion, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun seeing how it plays out.”
How the burn happened
From burning the Ape, Williams believes that BAYC #1626 now exists on Bitcoin. In burning BAYC #1626, William linked the burn location to an Inscription made through Ordinals. Inscriptions on the Bitcoin network are made up of individual satoshis – the smallest unit that bitcoin can be divided into. Ordinals is a crypto project created by Casey Rodarmor that allows for content like videos and images to be assigned to a satoshi, so that it can live on the Bitcoin network.
pls i just wrote the code @Rob1Ham lit the fire 🔥
— Casey Rodarmor (@rodarmor) February 12, 2023
The number of Inscriptions on the Bitcoin network is approaching 100,000, and there are many marketplaces that allow for people to trade them. Currently, a significant number of Inscription buyers and sellers are active on Ordinal’s discord server.
BAYC #1626 was burned using a new feature on Ordinals called Teleburn – which creates a unique burn send location with each new Inscription. Teleburn allows users to assign existing assets from other networks to a Bitcoin Inscription, removing it from circulation, which results in transferring the token between blockchains.
Ethereum NFTs can let users store images on-chain, but most NFTs are directed to an asset, often images stored off-chain. If data is stored on Bitcoin using Ordinals, a Bitcoin Inscription will have a given NFT’s data stored directly and permanently on the Bitcoin blockchain.
“The idea is that you are one-way, permanently burning an asset on another chain and pointing it to the ordinal that lives on the Bitcoin chain,” said Rob Hamilton, who collaborated with Rodarmor to create the new Ordinals feature.
When Hamilton and Rodarmor linked up to develop Ordinal’s Teleburn function, the two discovered Williams’ reply, hoping to burn his Ape.
— Jason A. Williams (@GoingParabolic) February 11, 2023
“This has now set the standard of representing an asset across the chain,“ said Hamilton. “It’s going to be the way to actually have skin in the game,” highlighting that burned assets are permanently gone from circulation.
Hamilton is excited about Teleburn’s future, hoping that it will catch on as a method for people to bridge their digital collectibles from one network to another. Rodarmor hopes to expand Teleburn to also support other chains like Tezos and Solana.
Is BAYC #1626 still linked to Yuga?
After burning, some may wonder if the Ape still holds the same Yuga Labs cred, where it is linked to an Inscription.
Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano says that the Inscription linked to BAYC #1626 is an unlicensed reproduction of the original Bored Ape NFT, saying that its owner no longer maintains possession of the asset on Ethereum.
“If you transfer your ape to an address you no longer control (even if it’s the ‘burn’ address), you have effectively given up your license,” he stated. However, BAYC #1626 still exists on-chain, it’s not gone from Ethereum (or anywhere) forever.
It's not "gone from ETH forever." It's basically the same as any other transfer: If you transfer your ape to an address you no longer control (even if it's the 'burn' address), you have effectively given up your license.
And no, before someone asks, that doesn't mean that anyone… https://t.co/E52b7ZjWbu
— Garga.eth (Greg Solano) (@CryptoGarga) February 13, 2023
According to a Yuga spokesperson: “Only NFTs minted from Ethereum contract 0xBC4CA0EdA7647A8aB7C2061c2E118A18a936f13D are legitimate BAYC NFTs,” pointing to the smart contract that generated the collection’s 10,000 Apes.
Ordinal’s Teleburn function isn’t quite out yet to pose danger for Ethereum as a network favored by NFT collectors – rather it’s a solution for keeping track of any Teleburn-Inscripted NFTs history of ownership across blockchains.
Despite this, it poses the question of difficulty in discerning whether a digital collectible is authentic or not, as it exists on multiple chains – and whether they are linked to their original projects.
Web3 dev platform Hiro’s CEO Alex Miller says that Williams “basically turned it into something that is now an ultra-rare [Ape],” in reference to how people usually ascribe value to NFTs based on attribute rarity, saying that the market may value it as its own unique piece of art.
Even if the Inscription of BAYC #1626 is a bootleg of its Ethereum-based existence, Miller says that the digital collectible will “carry a lot of value”, as it is the first of its kind.