1/ A brief history of tokenized domain names on ENS and Namecoin 🧵

Few know the real origin story of NFTs so let’s set the record straight.
2/ The first NFTs were neither profile pictures nor pieces of cryptoart. They were neither gaming assets nor sports cards. The first NFTs ever were domain names. 11 years ago, on April 21st, 2011 the first Namecoin domains were minted, and thus NFTs were born.
3/ Namecoin was an experimental technology that was attempting to bring human-readable domain names to the blockchain. In fact, Namecoin was the only other blockchain that Satoshi worked on (yes Satoshi helped create the first NFTs).
4/ Only a month in people began experimenting on Namecoin. Someone decided to use the Punycode standard to make ASCII art with their domain name and thus we got the first Art NFT.

xn--_-ncfb.bit converts to:


Yes, the first art NFT ever is exactly what you’re thinking it is.
5/ Fast forward several years after @Punycodes2011/@HistoricDomains and yet again a bunch of nerds like us did some more experimenting. They created a service called Onename that allowed you to tokenize your Twitter or GitHub profile picture onto Namecoin.
6/ The service took the URL of your current social media pfp and tacked it on as metadata to your Namecoin domain. Totally unintentionally the first pfp collections were born.
7/ The first collection is referred to as Blockheads by the historical community. It’s a set of less than 60 eightbit avatars tokenized on Namecoin in 2014. (interestingly @addison and @courtstarr, the artists behind these avatars, just released a new collection called @eightbit)
8/ After Blockheads the second pfp collection emerged. This time from Twitter users who had never bothered to change their default pfp which at the time was an egg. And thus these 277 lazy Onename users unintentionally created the @Eggs_Namecoin pfp collection.
9/ Also in 2014 a twenty-year-old named Vitalik released a whitepaper for his promising new general-purpose blockchain called Ethereum. On the first page of the Ethereum Whitepaper VB specifically called out Namecoin domains as important because they were “non-fungible”.
10/ A year later Ethereum would mine its genesis block and then two years after that on May 9th, 2017 the creator of ENS, @nicksdjohnson, would mint the first Ethereum based domain name, rilxxlir.eth, on a new dapp he built called the Ethereum Name Service.
11/ Many still think that CryptoPunks are the first NFTs on Ethereum, however along with several other projects, ENS domains actually came a month before.
12/ It’s likely no coincidence that the first pfps on Ethereum (CryptoPunks) and the first domain names on Ethereum (ENS) were both created at roughly the same moment in time.

IRL: We all have a name and a face.

Web2: We brought our identities into the digital world with usernames and pfps.

Web3: From the very start we desired to use blockchain technologies to tokenize and own our digital identities.
14/ None of this was an accident. In both the instance of ENS/CryptoPunks and the instance of Namecoin/Blockhead there was a clear emergent behavior and even a hunger to tear down the walled gardens of Web2 and take ownership of our digital selves.
15/ It may or may not be with ENS/CryptoPunks or Namecoin/Blockheads but over the coming decades, one by one, all eight billion people on this planet are going to take the same first step into the metaverse that these early pioneers by tokenizing their digital identities.
16/ The future is unknown but there is no question that the historical moments and assets from this story are culturally significant as our civilization journeys further into the digital frontier.

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More from @LeonidasNFT

Apr 20
1/ An update on @Crypto_Skulls 🧵

100 days ago when I decided to sweep the floor of a project called CryptoSkulls at 0.04Ξ I had no idea what was about to happen.
2/ I had no idea that GaryVee was going to DM me an hour later asking what they were. I had no idea that I was about to meet some of the most talented designers, OG artists, clever builders, hard-working moderators, and tenacious community members in the entire Web3 space.
3/ I had no idea that I was about to grow a sense of loyalty to all of these people. That loyalty is the reason that I’m still here today and why I haven’t sold a single skull since day one.
Read 31 tweets
Apr 17
1/ 1,711 days before Moonbirds came MoonCats 🧵 ImageImage
2/ These 8-bit collectible cats were the first cat NFTs on Ethereum and have a total supply of 25,440. Their creator, @ponderware, drew inspiration from CryptoPunks, however, they innovated in a major way that would change the NFT space forever.
3/ When you minted a CryptoPunk, you got to pick whichever one you wanted. All 10,000 had already been generated off-chain, so the first collectors to find the project quickly scooped up the rarest punks. This was not an optimal approach.
Read 7 tweets
Mar 19
1/ Here's the entire leaked @yugalabs pitch deck for those who haven't seen it 👇 Image
2/ Image
3/ Image
Read 90 tweets
Feb 22
1/ The 3-Layer Cake model for bringing Historical NFTs into the future 🧵
2/ This is meant to be a framework for thinking about Historical NFTs that communities from any early project can use as a template for growth.
3/ The first layer of the cake is the Historical NFT.

These tokens have an intrinsic, underlying historical value that can never be taken away. For the same reasons that collectors care about them today, collectors 100 years from now will also care about them.
Read 16 tweets
Feb 21
1/ Tbh I’m not really interested in @DooggiesNFT for the historical aspect. I have been pretty consistent about that from the start. Only when I started to see the side-by-side pics of the shared traits with BAYC did they pique my interest.
2/ In my experience it's actually quite rare for an artist to not have looked back at prior works to draw inspiration. It's not a bad thing at all. Some people seem really quick to dismiss even the possibility which I find a little silly. I've simply been asking questions.
3/ In my head the notion that zero of the five BAYC artists ever looked back at prior projects to draw inspiration from is kinda funny. Maybe that's the case but it seems a little weird that many people feel so confident about it and believe no one should even raise the question.
Read 8 tweets
Jan 19
17 Tenets of the Historical NFTs Thesis 🧵
Tenet I: There is no limit to the supply of NFTs that will emerge in the future, but there is an iron-clad hard cap on the scarcity of those in the past.

This @WRabbit1111 quote so perfectly encapsulates why historical NFTs make for such a good store of value.
Tenet II: Historical NFTs are fad-proof.

Because historical NFTs have an underlying historical value to collectors they become timeless. Whether it be 1 year, 10 years, or 100 years from now, collectors will still covet them for this intrinsic value.
Read 18 tweets

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