Non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has burned hundreds of themed collectible “cards” from the blockchain-based mobile game Spells of Genesis. The team said that the remaining cards in its possession will be placed under the control of its new decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, and unlocked in limited tranches over the coming two years.
According to on-chain data, parties including ShapeShift have burned at least 817 of the digital cards titled “ShapeShift the Wanderer” — originally minted in June 2015. This news followed an Oct. 12 announcement that the exchange intended to destroy 649 cards to make those in circulation “among the most rare [Spells of Genesis] cards in existence and among the oldest NFTs in existence.” Other parties appear to have burned an additional 168 cards at some point in the past as well, leaving less than 200 cards distributable on-chain.
“These are some of the earliest NFTs (circa 2015) that were minted by Spells of Genesis and given to ShapeShift as part of our partnership supporting their early blockchain-based game development,” said ShapeShift:
“These could end up being some of the rarest and most historical NFTs ever.”
In total, there now appear to be a mere 183 editions of the asset, also known as SHAPESHIFTCD, in circulation. Many of these are too believed to be lost, with the actual number of remaining cards unknown.
According to the exchange, it plans to move 32 cards from the Counterparty blockchain to the Ethereum blockchain using the Emblem Vault bridge — a service which allows crypto users to wrap Counterparty tokens as ERC-721 assets and trade them using both Polygon and Ethereum via platforms such as OpenSea.
ShapeShift stated that they will retain 16 cards to sell before 2022, before awarding the final 16 to its DAO treasury. The DAO will unlock these remnant cards in stages over the next two years, though FOX token holders will need to vote on whether to sell the NFTs, or HODL.
“Whether the DAO sells these NFTs for ETH, holds them for the long term, or some combination thereof they will become a valuable and important asset in the ShapeShift DAO treasury,” said the exchange. “There is some chance the NFTs do not end up being valuable and become a non-useful asset, but even in that case no harm is done to the DAO.”
The move seems to be an attempt to drive additional interest in the crypto collectible cards, which predate CryptoPunks and all other major NFT offerings. Shaban Shaame, a blockchain pioneer and the CEO of software company EverdreamSoft, recently told Cointelegraph that Spells of Genesis cards are “not particularly easy to acquire,” given their location on the Counterparty blockchain. However, the Emblem Vault bridge has provided users with a way to trade the tokens on Ethereum, leading to a new frenzy in trading activity for the once all-but-forgotten assets.