Jack Butcher presented his Checks project to NFT space with one sentence: “This artwork may/may not be noted.” It’s now clear that Checks are not only notable but also mark a significant shift in NFTs, for the first time in almost a year.
Even though it is still a complicated topic for some, Checks has emerged the leader of the new open edition (OE), craze. It also provides timely commentary and criticism on Twitter verification, which Elon Musk now owns. The unique project is now in its second phase. It continues to inspire community, discussions around social status, as well as countless derivatives.
Checks’ unique burn mechanism
After weeks of anticipation, and the introduction Checks migration, Butcher launched phase 2 of the project on February 12. He introduced a burn mechanism. Burning is a common feature of OEs. It involves the destruction or multiple NFTs. The user who burned the token receives a new token or a different incentive.
People who are unable to decide whether to burn or keep their NFTs safe and sound often have conflict with one another. The original Checks collection was over 16,000 pieces. It seemed that holders were happy to open phase 2. A significant fanfare was also generated by the fact that users could burn a Checks NFT to receive an exclusive on-chain piece artwork in return.
The key is to have multiple Checks edition holders. Butcher believed that collectors would hold six to eight NFTs depending on the supply and the number of owners. Each NFT could contain 80 Checks. He then devised a system that allowed the creation of an NFT with 40 checks by burning two 80-check pieces. Users could then create a 20-check item by simply burning two 40s. This would allow users to hit the lowest possible numbers of 10, five and four checks per NFT, respectively, and eventually result in a single colored check. Butcher explained the process in detail in a huge Twitter thread that preceded the burn.
There were only 250 single checks that could exist. Butcher did the math and added incentives to compensate for the additional burn. A holder who can burn 64 single checks can create a single black check artwork. Only three can ever exist. Some collectors with deep pockets may try to go down the rabbit hole, but this would only increase the scarcity and value of the original 80-check pieces.
Butcher also wants holders to retain significant agency during phase 2. This is done by allowing participants to burn their NFT’s token IDs and color palettes. Users can choose which token ID to keep and transfer to the new NFT on-chain when they burn two pieces. In the same way, the color of the new NFT will be affected by how tokens were burned. Holders are encouraged to plan according to their visual preferences, and to choose which pieces they want to collect or burn.
What’s the next step for Burning Checks?
The NFT industry is full of imitations, which often leads to poor quality copycat ventures. It’s happened many times since the popularity of CryptoPunks and Bored Apes, Loots, Azuki, Goblintown, Loot, Loot, Azuki, Loot… Strangely enough, while some cash-grabby derivatives did exist, knockoff checks have mainly been the product prominent Web3 builders and have been hailed later as successes.
This could be due to the importance of the themes Butcher has embedded in his project. They focus on the criticisms around social media verification. Maybe it’s due to the trust that Butcher and Visualize Value have earned over the years. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, it’s difficult to see Checks’ success, the subsequent OE boom and the corresponding rise of NFT sales through 2023 Q1 without Butcher.
It’s difficult to predict when Checks will lose its popularity, given the enduring awe around Checks. It’s possible that Butcher will continue to hold the NFT market for many months, if you consider the fact That Butcher seems to be committed to building in public. His lengthy and dense Twitter threads detailing every project development are a testament to this. This might not be a bad thing considering that Butcher, in addition to his well-publicized collections, has launched philanthropic NFT ventures, which are based on the success of Checks.
One thing that Checks has learned is that user engagement is key. Butcher’s lessons will be used to keep collectors informed about what is happening, encourage community building and promote collector agency as a way for forward development. Whether or not his complicated mechanics lead to collector feats of scale, Butcher has earned Web3 approval.
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