Erik Weijers, a month ago

Why one guy 'teleburned' a Bored Ape to Bitcoin

The Bitcoin Ordinal NFT's protocol keeps making headlines. More than 100.000 files, mostly images, have been inscribed to individual satoshi's in the past three weeks. A few days ago, a Bored Ape owner decided to 'teleburn' his Ethereum-based NFT to Bitcoin. But is that even possible, moving NFT's between blockchains?

As you probably know, we can't send BTC to Ethereum or ETH to Bitcoin. These are native coins of different blockchains, not on friendly terms. Since all 10.000 Bored Apes NFT's were once minted on Ethereum, how could such an NFT move?

Destroying NFT's on Ethereum is easy enough: transferring one to a burn address makes it unable to ever recover. That was not the plan of a certain Jason Williams, Bitcoin lover but Ethereum NFT owner (his Ape, the 'Blond Don', worth over 160.000 dollars).  

Part a publicity stunt, part a principled move, he contacted Bitcoin Ordinals developer Casey Rodarmor to help him transfer his NFT to the chain that in his view has 'brought true scarcity to collectibles.' It is true that the image file data of NFT's on Bitcoin are inscribed in the blockchain itself, unlike Ethereum's, where the NFT generally is a pointer to the image, not the image itself. That isn't hardcore enough for some people. 

Teleburn baby!

Instead of sending his Ape to an Ethereum burn address, Williams used a burn address attached to a new Ordinal inscription on Bitcoin. In doing so, it no longer existed on Ethereum but magically appeared as an ordinal NFT on Bitcoin. 

It sounds a bit like make-belief, and it is, in a real sense. After all, the two chains don't directly communicate. The before and after is simply that the NFT is no longer accessible on Ethereum, whereas a copy of that image now sits as an NFT on Bitcoin.

The founder of the Bored Apes, Greg Solano, doesn't agree that the Ape is really transferred: 

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. 

Still, it is quite likely that the Ape will retain its value after transferal. An experiment of Tascha Che comes to mind. She bought an actual diamond, minted it as an NFT, destroyed the physical diamond, and then sold the NFT for more money than the actual diamond itself. 

Welcome to a strange new world!

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