This article is about Economic Grails – Historic NFTs that had their tokenomics set in stone already in 2014/15.
In 2014 Counterparty jumpstarted the p2p economy by introducing custom ‘crypto currencies’ – or ‘crypto assets’ – on the Bitcoion blockchain. Anyone could issue their own tokens with parameters such as name, supply (locked or open-ended), divisibility, and meta-data. The stage was set for endless experimentation!
Thousands of assets were created already the first year, but only a handful had a low token supply – which now is a self-evident characteristic of crypto-collectibles, aka NFTs.
It took more than a year until EverdreamSoft’s Spells of Genesis – as the first major project – offered limited edition crypto trading cards with the following properties:
- Indivisible tokens, meaning you can only collect entire tokens – not fractions as with cryptocurrencies.
- Low enough supply to create scarcity. SOG typically issued 300–2000, but the highest used was 3000.
- Locked supply to guarantee scarcity.
My ebook ‘The Economics of Bitcoin’ (JPJA) had already showcased this model one year earlier. With EverdreamSoft’s offering of crypto tokens to finance game development, the principle now got tested on a commercial scale.
Fast forward to 2022; curious to see who else may have issued low supply tokens, I wrote a script that went through all early assets. It turns out JPJA is predated only by my own JPGOLD and OLGA.
In fact, only a handful of other individuals made similar tokens on Bitcoin and Dogecoin before SOG popularized the concept.
|2||2014-06-12||OLGA||1||Моя Вечная One & Only|
|6||2014-08-06||BOOKBAG||2000||www.zigler.us/Bookbag/ crowdfunding books|
|7||2014-09-07||IAMRICH||10||I am rich and virtuous.|
|10||2014-09-20||THEADMIRAL||1||The very first FOUNDER|
|11||2014-09-22||CHIKUN||10||1% dividend from bit-chikun.com pcm, 2015|
|12||2014-10-24||ROMICOIN||18||Mazel Tov on your Bat Mitzvah Romi!!!!!|
|13||2014-10-26||INDYATM||325||1st BTC ATM in Indy! bit.ly/IndyBTCATM|
|17||2015-01-21||FOOS||100||Foosball token. +1 when win, -1 when lose|
|18||2015-01-27||A10000000009000000000||3||round 1 vote|
|23||2015-03-16||SCARABART||50||Official SCARAB Artwork|
|25||2015-06-01||YIBAILINGBA||108||Lucky 108 Coin|
|26||2015-06-09||SJCXCARD||1000||Moonga SOG Storj card|
|27||2015-06-23||A714159941780378900||100||Company A bond|
|28||2015-06-23||A16030064227483554000||100||Company A Pty Ltd working capital|
|29||2015-06-23||A1609761890111015700||100||Company A – working capital|
|30||2015-06-23||A719767273426932600||100||Company A – working capital|
|33||2015-08-06||SALVATION||7||SAVE UR SOUL FROM SIN & ITS CONSEQUENCES|
|35||2015-08-28||BLOCKSIZECD||300||Battle for blocksize SOG card|
I grouped 200 BNP[xx] into one record. This constitutes the first series of unique non-fungible tokens.
After KETF came 13 numeric names, each with a unique NFT representing an art piece. This is the first series of immutable art tokens.
Eighteen numeric registrations have been omitted. These are all without descriptions, and unlike regular named assets, no XCP fees were paid. These were likely done for testing. However, here’s the raw list for anyone interested.
JPGOLD is the first token I ever created. Although Counterparty was already half a year old and 1147 assets had already been issued, none had a low, locked supply. None were even close. The lowest by then was 100,000 tokens – one hundred times more! Sure, you may find collectibles with earlier initial issuance. But all of these have had some economic parameters changed later, meaning been locked and/or had tokens destroyed.
On the day of issuing JPGOLD I wrote a short notice in my blog. A few months later, in October 2014, I copied the blog into a pdf, and then embedded the file’s checksum in a bitcoin transaction. This could perhaps be interpreted as the first NFT with an immutable file reference?
OLGA is the first NFT in the sense of being a Non-Fungible Token. The initial art is a one-line poem; the monostich
Моя Вечная One & Only. It translates to My Eternal One & Only. In 2015 I broadcast the image entirely inside a bitcoin transaction. Here’s a screenshot of OLGA’s discovery in 2021:
1/1 NFT = Unique Non-Fungible Token.
1/N NFT = Supply of N Fungible Tokens.
If you’re interested only in 1/1 NFTs, you should view my timeline of non-fungible tokens.
JPJA is my third NFT. Its initial description was
JPJA Share. A few days later I updated it to explain that each of the 100 tokens represented a share in the ebook at jpja.net. Internet Archive verifies the authenticity of the pdf. The book itself was an economics experiment where a symbolic token offering raised ‘funding’ for me to write the book, and after half a year each holder received a dividend from the book’s revenues – with full transparency thanks to bitcoin. This could perhaps classify it as the first defi contract.
[B]itcoin is more than just a payment system. It is a financial platform of endless opportunities.
“The Economics of Bitcoin” (2014) p. 6
FFLTEAMA is the second 1/1 NFT and issued by Joe Looney who went on to create Rare Pepe.
TESTA – unknown story.
BOOKBAG is inspired by JPJA and also represents a book.
IAMRICH has description
I am rich and virtuous. With a supply of only 10, I wonder if the issuer predicted that by patiently waiting for a decade, his or her tokens may turn into valuable collectibles?
FOUNDER – see THEADMIRAL.
EARLY – token pioneer Adam B. Levine distributed these to Let’s Talk Bitcoin contributors. Shortly after locking the supply, the description got updated with the following link: ‘Token Controlled Viewpoint (TCV) Genesis, Characteristics and Early Use Cases‘.
THEADMIRAL is the third 1/1 NFT and with description
The very first FOUNDER.
CHIKUN, ROMICOIN, INDYATM, KLFX – unknown stories beyond descriptions.
BNP[xx] is a series of 200 unique 1/1 NFTs. These offered poker rakeback but the game was never launched.
FOOS – unknown story.
KETF [+Axx] is a series of unique bitcoin art pieces by David R. Sterry. Each is represented by a 1/1 NFT that proves legal ownership. The descriptions contain hashes of respective image files, making them immutable.
SCARABART, SHANDROS, YIBAILINGBA – unknown stories.
SJCXCARD is the first of many Spells of Genesis cards.
Please note that the very first SOG card – FDCARD – is divisible and therefore not on this list. The divisible token model is much less common for modern NFTs but has some upsides too. My own JPBULL, JPBEAR, CPNEWS and Dogeparty-OLGA are also divisible. I plan to write an article discussing the pros and cons of divisible tokens.
A[…] – Four numeric assets that represent Company A bonds and working capital.
FLDCVENDOR – unknown story but likely related to Folding Coin (FLDC).
SALVATION – A social experiment, launched by me anonymously, I was curious to see people’s reaction to this ultra rare 1/7 token. Discussed in a XCP Weekly podcast by Chris DeRose and Junseth. SALVATION was technically never locked, but had the issuance right transferred to a burn address instead. This is effectively the same, except the description field is locked as well.
CACCHOLD – unknown story.
BLOCKSIZECD – another Spells of Genesis card. After this there were more SOG cards before several other projects, like Rare Pepe, joined the party.
I understand that setting N at 3000 may seem arbitrary, but any number up to 99,999 would not have changed the top of the list.
Maybe 3000 is a bit too high. I chose this number to include all SOG cards, including BEARWHALECD. The creator of SOG, EverdreamSoft, has lately destroyed some supply of these high-issuance cards. For Rare Pepe cards the supply is often 100-300. Apparently the economic sweet spot is in the hundreds, not thousands.
|5||2014-08-14||THORSHAMMER||1||Thor’s motherfucking Hammer|
|9||2014-08-16||WYOMING||1||There is only one Wyoming.|
|13||2014-08-16||SPOON||100||Yes, people collect these.|
|17||2014-08-17||TALKINGSTICK||1||You are the curator of the list now|
|18||2014-08-18||A1159901218488330478||42||There are only 42|
|19||2014-08-18||PSTZ||100||Project Z Early Tokens|
|20||2014-08-23||BAECOIN||100||For your bae|
|32||2014-10-09||BADLUCK||13||BAD LUCK TOKEN|
|33||2014-12-17||OZCOIN||1000||Share of Celebrated Agricultural|
|34||2015-02-15||PAPAGRANDE||10||Award for papas who WOW!|
|35||2015-09-30||PLDDRT||50||for regression testing purposes|
This is the complete list of historic 1/N NFTs on Dogeparty. No more were issued until the 2021 reboot.
Almost all of these were issued on the first few days after launch. Since the costs were lower than on Bitcoin, these seem more impulsive. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
None feature a url or a hash, so there are no dead links or missing files to worry about. Many of these don’t even have a descriptive text, so the token is literally linked to a single word.
I don’t know the story of any of these more than a few hints from their descriptions. My few insights are:
THEONE and THEONERING are the two first 1/1 NFTs, both with description
"My precious…". I find this interesting for several reasons; 1) Precious implies value, 2) Ring is equivalent to token, and 3) Reference to Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
MONALISA is indisputably refers to Leonardo DaVinci’s art work. It also predates the first two with explicit url links – BACKPACK and JOLLYROGER.
Yes, people collect these. says it all.
View the full timeline of Dogeparty 1/N NFTs.
Tokens Not on the List
The tokens listed above is a complete set, meaning they include all assets on Counterparty and Dogeparty with the defined properties (except for a few explicitly mentioned).
Does this mean historical NFTs not listed are worse? No, not necessarily.
I’m merely categorizing tokens based on certain properties. This list of what I call Economic Grails were the first scarce tokens – a new medium then – and the cornerstone of the NFT economy today.
Most of these do not have any affiliated art, and many have an unknown story. If these things matter more to you, of course it may make more sense to collect tokens with those properties set in stone back then – even if the finishing economic touches were done lately.
It can also be that the original creator had reasons not to lock the supply early on, or it may not matter if most of the tokens just got destroyed. After all, if an otherwise grail from 2014 became provable scarce only in 2021 or 2022, this 2014 grail will remain scarce to the end of days.
Several of my own vintage tokens have been locked recently too.
- JPBULL and JPBEAR are bitcoin options created shortly after JPJA. Fully documented with onchain proof. Only 7 divisible tokens of each. These were locked in 2021 as I documented my vintage tokens. Scarcity was not a necessary property for this experiment – therefore unlocked. And divisibility means there are technically 700 million satoshi units of these, so any scarcity value would only come from the psychological threshold of owning one full token unit. The same applies to the first SOG card, FDCARD, and in a sense even to Bitcoin. I’m sure there are those who accumulate satoshis with the ultimate goal of reaching those 100 million units that make up a full coin.
- Olga on Dogeparty consists of 1000 divisible tokens, recently locked. Read the story.
- CPNEWS, the Counterparty News rewards program was discontinued after 200 divisible tokens were released. To keep the possibility of reopening the program, I did not lock the supply.
- The XCP Cards GENET, GRAYWOLF and LOCHNESS consist of 100 indivisible tokens each. This project was discontinued so I didn’t lock the supply. As the interest for historical NFTs emerged last year, I though these could be of interest as some of the first immutable NFTs. And so I locked them at their initial supply.
I even made crypto collectibles that have non of the economic properties. One XCP Card, CHURCHHILL, was announced and made immutable onchain in 2015, but the name remained unclaimed until 2021 when I issued 100 locked indivisible tokens.
And then there’s the list of 3096 asset names that I registered back in 2014–2017. These are not yet tokenized but ‘historic’ as far as the initial registration (and in some cases meta-data) goes. One example is ROGERFEDERER with
TENNIS CARD in the description. If I add an image and define a token supply today, can it be considered historical? The market would need to to decide on that.
To make it easier to verify a historical asset, I created the Timeline Tool.
Very few of the earliest crypto assets had a low, finite supply. The few that did, pioneered the economic properties of modern NFTs, and for this reasons should be labeled Economic Grails. Certainly, several Historic NFTs did not have all these properties set initially, but may still be very significant for other reasons.