Did Satoshi Nakamoto support Bitcoin NFTs?

Ordinals supporters believe that an old conversation on the Bitcointalk forum proves that Satoshi Nakamoto wanted NFTs to be minted on the Bitcoin blockchain.

mature Japanese man holding a painting of a Bitcoin symbol
Crypto Twitter is abuzz over the potential first Bitcoin purchase and Satoshi's attitude towards Bitcoin NFTs.

Yesterday, crypto Twitter was startled by a fragment of a 2010 conversation between Bitcointalk forum users Sabunir and Satoshi, posted by NFT influencer Udi Wertheimer. Satoshi is believed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

The topic of their discussion was of particular interest to Bitcoiners, as it suggested that the very first purchase made in the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general, was not made by Laszlo Hanyecz on May 22, 2010, who spent 10,000 BTC worth $273,091,000 at press time on two pizzas. Although it is still disputed, there is a possibility that Sabunir was the first person to sell goods with cryptocurrency. Furthermore, the exact item sold was a digital image.

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"As a test, I want to see if I can make $1 from selling a picture," Sabunir wrote on the Bitcointalk forum on January 24, 2010, asking for 500 BTC, which was equivalent to the fiat price of the picture.

To enable the purchase of an image of their creation, Sabunir first wanted to attach the link to a downloadable file with the information of the return transaction of 0 BTC.

User RogerRabbit suggested selling the image for 501 BTC and sending the link to the file with the return transaction of 1 BTC, but forum user Sirius explained that this wasn't possible, "Unfortunately, you can't attach a message when you send to a Bitcoin address. It's possible only when sending to an IP. Sending 0 coins is also not possible."

That is when Satoshi shed more light on the transactions, with Bitcoin, explaining that "Sending by Bitcoin address enters the transaction into the network and the recipient discovers it from the network. You don't connect directly with them and they don't have to be online at the time."

The Bitcoin creator added, "I very much wanted to find some way to include a short message, but the problem is the whole world would be able to see the message. As much as you may keep reminding people that the message is completely non-private, it would be an accident waiting to happen."

Satoshi then recommended options for making a payment for an order on the Bitcoin blockchain, "the merchant has a static IP, the customer sends to it with a comment" and "the merchant creates a new Bitcoin address, gives it to the customer, the customer sends to that address."

Although many Twitter users became excited about the possibility of an even earlier Bitcoin purchase than it has been believed so far, Wertheimer added another tweet shortly after the original post warning that the previous one may be inaccurate, "While a JPEG was put on sale for 500 BTC, and while Satoshi was indeed helping the seller to work out the details of the sale, and while 500 BTC were indeed sent to that address a month later... it is possible that the 500 BTC was sent as a donation for a different interaction and that the JPEG sale was never executed."

The first NFT ever

Whether Sabunir was the first Bitcoin user to make a purchase with the oldest cryptocurrency or it was Hanyecz, a more interesting discussion concerns the fact that Nakamoto supported the transaction for selling a digital artwork on the Bitcoin network.

Needless to say, the Bitcoin creator's recommendations as well as Twitter user Mike McDonald's observation that Satoshi donated at least 100 BTC to Sabunir, have been interpreted by collectors and creators of Ordinals inscriptions as Nakamoto's support for Bitcoin NFTs.

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There has been a debate between Ordinals adepts and Bitcoin purists, particularly some of the network's core developers, including Luke Dashjr, over the Ordinals protocol, which allows users to inscribe data into satoshis.

One of the main concerns of the more conservative members of the crypto community was the prospect of a drastic increase in transaction fees on the network, which could make it more difficult for regular users to make Bitcoin money transfers. These fears came to life when the Ordinals protocol received the BRC-20 standard for minting tokens, leading to the rise of memecoins. During the spike in transactions, their cost surpassed even $30, making it challenging for many users who relied on Bitcoin for everyday money transfers to afford them.

In addition, conservative Bitcoin users also heavily criticize the use of Bitcoin for purposes other than money transfers. Obviously, Ordinals supporters see the new facts from Bitcoin's history as an argument in favor of their favorite technology.

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"Also I will add it's worth reading Satoshi's posts in all of these threads to see that (as mentioned on Udi's space) the most notable thing of all is that Satoshi treated this all like it was the most normal thing in the world. He'd have absolutely been pro Ordinals," McDonald tweeted, while user James Deane added, "Satoshi literally inscribed the headline of the London Times newspaper in the genesis block. Useless non-financial data on the chain, from the very first moment of the first day. LOL."

Meanwhile, some Twitter users, like Guich, wonder about the exact technology for transferring images Satoshi would have preferred, "It also was a link to a picture stored online, not an actual jpeg stored on the chain. Satoshi did support a transaction for something with BTC, not useless data storage on the chain. Or did he suggest the actual jpeg to be stored on the chain, like it is done today, and can you link to it?"

Whether Nakamoto really thought it was appropriate to use the Bitcoin blockchain to mint NFTs, or whether the cryptocurrency creator was just willing to support anyone enthusiastic about using the new technology, remains unknown.