Did Satoshi Nakamoto Envision the NFT Era? Early JPEG Sale Suggests So

Despite still being fairly new, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the art and digital collectables market by storm. However, according to a recent finding, it appears that Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto anticipated this trend long before NFTs became a household name.

The revelation came to light when Udi Wertheimer, a prominent figure in the crypto community, made an intriguing discovery in a post on the original Bitcointalk forum. On May 14, Wertheimer tweeted about finding evidence of the first-ever real-world Bitcoin payment made in 2010 to purchase an NFT.

The post in question was made by a pseudonymous user named “Sabunir” on the Bitcointalk forum on January 24, 2010. Sabunir announced plans to sell a JPEG image for $1 worth of Bitcoin, which amounted to a staggering 500 BTC at the time. He then posted his address, telling any interested buyer to send him a private message.

Interestingly, Satoshi Nakamoto responded to the post, giving recommendations on how the seller would execute the sale using Bitcoin. Satoshi suggested sending BTC to a merchant’s static IP address with a comment or creating a new BTC address for the transaction. He even mentioned that this method could become the “standard way” for website software to handle such transactions. 

And while the discussion lacks conclusive evidence of a sale, ZyCrypto conducted an inquiry into the address and discovered a transaction of 500 Bitcoin on 02/24/2010. This means that if this transaction is indeed connected to the image’s sale, it will precede the well-known first Bitcoin transaction of 10,000 for 2 pizzas, which took place on 05/22/2010.

However, the claim of the NFT sale has been disputed by various observers, with Wertheimer suggesting that the JPEG sale was never executed, despite 500 BTC being sent to that address a month after the sale offer was made.

“It is possible that the 500 BTC were sent as a donation for a different interaction and that the JPEG sale was never executed. Only one way to know for sure… maybe one day Sabunir comes back and tells us what really happened,” Wertheimer tweeted on Sunday, May 14.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the specific transaction, some believe that Satoshi Nakamoto’s assistance and guidance in executing the potential sale implies his support for the concept of NFTs.

“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,” Mike McDonald tweeted, responding to Wertheimer’s post.

Notably, Satoshi’s actions align with the actions of early Bitcoin developer Hal Finney, who received the first Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi and expressed interest in “Crypto trading cards” in a 1993 email.

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