Etheria made a spreadsheet of the first NFTs and NFT-like experiments. OLGA is listed as #3 but I am confident it’s actually the first true NFT.
Here’s @etheria_feed’s tweet:
The first candidate is a Counterparty asset called THING. I don’t think it belongs on this list. It was registered with a quantity of 1,000,000,000 tokens. It does not have a description nor any pointer to artwork. In 2021 all but one of its tokens were destroyed and this is why at first glance it can appear to be an NFT.
The second listing, Quantum, is an interesting pre-NFT experiment. The artist Kevin McCoy registered a Namecoin entry under the rather cryptic name d41b8540cbacdf1467cdc5d17316dcb672c8b43235fa16cde98e79825b68709a. This is simply the SHA256 of the file whose “[t]itle transfers to whoever controls this blockchain entry.”
Unfortunately the Namecoin entry expired because McCoy failed to renew it. When interest for early NFTs appeared in 2021 he made a replica on Ethereum (to which he then assigned the artwork’s title), and Sotheby’s auctioned it off for $1.4M. What they (McCoy and Sotheby’s) forgot to mention is that this Namecoin entry had been re-registered by twitter handle @Early_NFT months before the auction.
McCoy claims the original “NFT’ expired, hence the title fell back to him. In my opinion @Early_NFT could very well be the rightful owner. It’s very unclear though – but point proven – Quantum was a cool pre-NFT experiment, not a properly tokenized piece of art.
This leaves OLGA as the top contender to the title of First Ever NFT. Etheria’s table assigns each candidate several properties. Here are OLGA’s classifications:
|Property||Etheria’s Input||My Opinion|
|Part of Multi-token project||FALSE||FALSE 1|
|Explicit token||MAYBE||TRUE 2|
|Described on chain||FALSE||TRUE 3|
|Chain||BTC (Counterparty)||BTC (Counterparty)|
|721 or wrappable||FALSE||POTENTIALLY 4|
|Fits technical NFT definition||MAYBE||TRUE 5|
|Fits collectible NFT definition||MAYBE||TRUE 6|
Let’s first make it clear, as Etheria stated, there is no clear definition of an NFT. These properties are chosen by Etheria in a best effort. Exactly what each term implies can also be up for discussion.
Let me elaborate:
- Being part of a multi-token project is not a requirement to be an NFT. I think Etheria added this attribute to highlight that they are the first NFT project, which afaik is correct.
- I don’t know what they exactly mean by explicit token but OLGA sure is a crypto token, or as its description goes; “One & Only”. To prove my point I just transferred it to another Bitcoin address.
- After several years hidden deep in the Bitcoin blockchain @C0rnh0li0 discovered OLGA and retrieved the artwork solely through its on-chain description. The blockchain messages; “One & Only” with its dual meaning, the name day wish, and the artwork were sufficient for him to make sense of the NFT. I’m happy I put the entire file on-chain rather than just the hash. This prevented link rot and enabled OLGA to resurface.
4. I do not plan to move the token to another chain. But technically I could. One way would be to burn it and broadcast a description of its new format, be it an ERC-721 token or something else. A future owner can do this if he wants.
5. OLGA is clearly an NFT. This is indisputably TRUE.
6. When Etheria made the table it was unclear whether OLGA was a collectible. We decided to make this one & only historic blockchain token just that. In the spirit of peer-to-peer finance we created a sales contract, aka dispenser, where you can buy it directly with bitcoin and with no middleman.