Ethereum CryptoPunks NFT burned and reborn on Bitcoin network

Quick Take

  • CryptoPunk #8611, worth around $95,000, was burned on Ethereum and symbolically tied to an Ordinals inscription on Bitcoin.
  • The burning of the NFT was a community-led effort to create a series of Ordinals inscriptions representing fractional ownership in the CryptoPunk.

An Ethereum-based CryptoPunks NFT has been "migrated" to Bitcoin, the first time this has happened intentionally. This means it was removed from circulation on Ethereum and linked to a newly created Ordinals inscription on Bitcoin. 

CryptoPunk #8611 sold for approximately 55 ETH ($95,000) over the weekend. Shortly after, it was burned and recreated as Ordinals inscription 12,456,749 on Bitcoin, mirroring the image of the original Ethereum CryptoPunk. Ordinals launched earlier this year to create NFT-type assets on Bitcoin despite its lack of native support for tokens and NFTs. 

The BRC-721E token standard, unveiled in May, enabled a “bridge” for users to move NFTs from Ethereum to Bitcoin Ordinals via “teleburning.” It’s a one-way move, so there’s no turning back, and the NFT cannot now return to Ethereum ecosystem. Plus, when this happens the new token won't have the same privileges as those in the original collection.

The idea behind the move was a collaborative initiative led by Nathan Stein, a Wolf Capital developer supported by the Bitcoin Bandits NFT collection community, Decrypt first reported. Around 150 individuals pooled their funds together for the cause, which aimed to demonstrate the symbolic transition of valuable assets from Ethereum to Bitcoin. The goal is to create a series of Ordinals inscriptions that represent fractional ownership in the CryptoPunk, even though the NFT itself is no longer owned on its original chain.

When an asset is burned, it is permanently stored in an address beyond anyone's control. CryptoPunk #8611 was sent to one such burn address, which also contains over $50 million worth of ether and other tokens — that can no longer be spent.


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While it appears to be the first-ever CryptoPunk to have migrated from Ethereum to Bitcoin intentionally, this transition has happened before. In March, CryptoPunk #685, which was owned by Brandon Riley and worth 77 ETH ($129,000), was mistakenly sent to a burn address, causing significant loss for the trader. 

In response, community member Olliesblog resurrected the NFT on Bitcoin to become the first CryptoPunk Ordinal. “Huge thanks to @olliesblog for being so kind and selfless in resurrecting Punk 685 for me. He now lives on the Bitcoin blockchain as an ordinal, inscribed on a satoshi from over a decade ago,” Riley said at the time.

In February, Bitcoin-focused investor Jason Williams burned Bored Ape #1626 from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection for an Ordinals inscription. “The NFT community is moving to BTC, where Ordinals have brought true scarcity to collectibles. I forever inscribed 'The Blonde Don' BAYC #1626 on the world's scarcest and most secure chain burning him off ETH forever using teleburn. It's done. Over. Not coming back to ETH,” Williams said.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

James Hunt is a reporter at The Block, based in the UK. As the writer behind The Daily newsletter, James also keeps you up to speed on the latest crypto news every weekday. Prior to joining The Block in 2022, James spent four years as a freelance writer in the industry, contributing to both publications and crypto project content. James’ coverage spans everything from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Layer 2 scaling solutions, avant-garde DeFi protocols, evolving DAO governance structures, trending NFTs and memecoins, regulatory landscapes, crypto company deals and the immersive metaverse. You can get in touch with James on Twitter or Telegram via @humanjets or email him at [email protected].


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