XCP CARDS – My 2015 ‘NFT’ Project

From 2015 to 2017 I worked on a side-project, XCP CARDS, which aimed to be a crypto trading card platform. Although the website never grew beyond beta, it did leave some permanent records on the Bitcoin blockchain.

November 2015 Card Notarizations

The address 1CRDzy.. made 37 on-chain broadcasts with sha256 hashes of card images. From these, 26 were Spells of Genesis cards. For each card I made a broadcast like xcpcards.com/FDCARD qFEfPw9v where qFEfPw9v was the base64 representation of the image hash, truncated at 8 characters (48 bits).

This solved (what I considered to be) a problem; card designs had no blockchain references. By embedding a card’s hash in a Bitcoin transaction the image would be timestamped and remain forever indisputable – how all crypto cards should be!

Of course, this was unofficial. I was not affiliated with Spells of Genesis. But I did create cryptographic proofs of the designs existing at the time, and I did show which images I, as a fan, considered to represent those tokens.

SoG Summarized

The first card I attempted to notarize was CLEFCARD. Unfortunately the hashing algorithm was wrong. The first successful notarization was CNPCARD. I then went on and did FDCARD, GEMZCARD, GOXCARD, BAZAARCARD, ETHXCPCARD, LTBCARD, MINERCARD, RIPPLECARD, SHUMAICARD, SJCXCARD, SWARMCD, XAJIBESAAR, XCPCARD, ZAIFCARD, BEARWHALECD, BLOCKSIZECD, ETHEREUMCARD, GENESISCARD, SATOSHICARD, SHAPESHIFTCD, XAJIARKETAAR, XAJIBASILAAR, XAJIJASPAAR and XAJIYEREMAAR. Puffhh… a lot of manual work!

Empty Tests

The following five broadcasts were tests, e.g. xcpcards.com/TEST aA+AaZz12. Today when I rediscovered this, I initially thought I had accidentally NFT’ized the asset TEST – the now valuable first ever Counterparty asset – but no, these were dummy hashes not representing any real image file.

The CHURCHHILL Card

The next broadcast tested XCP Card’s upload algorithm. I used a random image. It was an image of Winston Churchill holding a Tommy Gun. For whatever reason the filename had a typo in it. When I discovered this now in 2021 I noticed the CHURCHHILL name was still available, and I issued 100 tokens under this name. I leave it to the community to decide on CHURCHHILL’s destiny. Is it a 2015 artifact or yet another 2021 hindsight (wannabe vintage) NFT?

Weird & Wild Creatures

Finally I uploaded four trading cards from a wiki with a CC license. First up was WOLVERINE whose name had already been claimed by Xchain’s J-Dog. The following three were LOCHNESS, GRAYWOLF and GENET. I simultaneously registered (back then in 2015) the names with 100 tokens each and description ‘TRADING CARD’.

Unique Names for Sale

In late 2017 I had to focus elsewhere and discontinued this side-project.

The website was updated with a list of 3096 names collected since 2014.

As described, the idea was that you could tokenize them and make your own cards.

Example of names with descriptions:

  • LOLA – Name Token
  • OSLO – Capital of Norway
  • GREENLAND – Geo Card For Sale
  • GRETZKY – Hockey Card For Sale
  • ROSIE – @}-‘–
  • SEASHELL – Colored Coin
  • NILSSON – Swedish Family Name
  • WOODPECKER – The Woody Woodpecker Token
  • CHAVEZ – Hugo Chavez Card * For Expropriation

Although Counterparty names are non-fungible collectables in and of themselves (the very definition of NFTs), I like to think of them as undeveloped land plots. If you own one, you can wait and hope it will appreciate in value, or you can develop it. In the latter case, of course, hopefully you make valuable art tokens but at the same time you destroy a pristine piece of namespace (once tokenized, you cannot un-tokenize, therefore the name loses its value).

And if there’s one lesson learned from the XCP Cards project; broadcast your image’s hash to the blockchain.

I made available a zip file with the original card images for you to verify. Relevant screenshots from Wayback Machine and Counterpartytalk are also included.

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