JPJA is perhaps the first ever DeFi contract*. One hundred shares were issued with a promise of a future dividend based on the verifiable result of an underlying asset.
On 27 June 2014 I tokenized an eBook and promised a future dividend based on its revenues. Here’s the announcement on Bitcointalk:
On 28 June 2014 the token supply was locked at 100 and the description updated to: “1 share = 1 % of eBook tips. See JPJA.net”.
On 27 December 2014 all holders of JPJA received the promised dividend.
I had spent the past year obsessing about bitcoin and decided writing a book would be a good way to structure my thoughts. Tokenizing the book would prove that:
“[B]itcoin is more than just a payment system. It is a financial platform of endless opportunities”.
More specifically, it struck me that the little man could now mint tokens like companies could issues shares. These tokens could even mimic an IPO and be traded on a decentralized exchange. All for pennies! Compare this to the hundreds of thousands an IPO and stock market listing would cost in the old world of finance.
JPJA was the experiment which proved the point. Through a defined model of ownership, revenue and distribution – fully verifiable on the blockchain – a new financial reality was born.
After I made the announcement I listed some tokens on the decentralized exchange. At the same time I did not want to beg for money, so I put a symbolic price of $0.30.
I did make a few sales;
I am happy a few forum users joined the experiment, and especially that one managed to buy with BTC despite the horrible Counterwallet UX. If you are interested, you can find some frustrated posts in the bitcointalk thread. Today a similar sell can be done painlessly with a dispenser contract.
In total there were 100 locked and indivisible JPJA tokens;
- 15 sold on the DEX
- 11 gifted away to three separate addresses
- 74 still held by me
The second part of the experiment was to raise some revenue. I used a model to illustrate how bitcoin tipping could stimulate online content creation. I didn’t expect much tip, but hoped for a few dollars. Since the tip address was public, anyone could verify the amount received.
The third part was to pay out the dividend. As promised, all the received tip was paid out to the token holders. This was super easy since Counterparty tokens are held by Bitcoin addresses. I simply took the list of JPJA holders and paid them proportionally in a single bitcoin transaction.
Still, today. this is a mostly ignored but extremely useful feature of Counterparty tokens.
I held a micro scale IPO. The JPJA shares were traded on a decentralized stock exchange. The investors got their returns and everything is verifiable due-to the blockchain’s transparency.
* First Ever DeFi Contract?
One could argue that Counterparty itself is a set of DeFi contracts. In this sense, of course, JPJA is not first. This aside, there were also some earlier tokens linked to individual artists but I think neither of them specified what the link really involved. JPJA is likely the first with defined conditions.
First Ever ICO?
I think JPJA could be classified as an ICO although I want to stress that I only raised symbolic amounts. Mastercoin held a token offering a year earlier, in 2013, so JPJA is certainly not the first. It is likely the first Book ICO though.
First Ever NFT?
OLGA was issued a few weeks earlier and is considered the first true NFT.
In the loose sense that 1/N tokens representing a file can be considered NFT, it’s worth mentioning that JPJA predates Spells of Genesis and Rare Pepe.
JPJA is a very early pioneer of DeFi. It proved that Bitcoin could level the playing field of finance. Even now, in 2021, I believe JPJA is ahead of its time. I joined Counterparty with a hope, and belief, that crypto would empower the little man. I think we’re still early on the journey.
My Bitcointalk profile is hacked. Please ignore whatever project it advertises.
Wayback Machine authenticates the age of the pdf file: