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There is no Leather mobile app at this time. Please only install Leather from leather.io or the Chrome Web Store by Google.

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Celebrating Bitcoin’s Resilience with Bitcoin Burials

Celebrating Bitcoin’s Resilience with Bitcoin Burials

Celebrating Bitcoin’s Resilience with Bitcoin Burials

Mar 19, 2024

General Wallet Use

7 min

A little over a year after Ordinals burst onto the scene, creators are still developing collections that take advantage of the on-chain nature of inscriptions. These artists and builders have shaped the Ordinals ecosystem, growing it into the prominent community it is today.


The Bitcoin Burials project is one such collection that has captivated Ordinals enthusiasts. ​​Burials is a 10k Ordinal collection with on-chain metadata, inspired by the naysayers who declared Bitcoin dead at each roadblock that it has faced. At its core, the Burials project pays homage to Bitcoin’s resilience.


We spoke with Cadel about their builder process, the importance of trust minimization and what the collection represents to them. We also asked Cadel about Rune mining and what Runes could bring to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Celebrating Bitcoin — and Ordinals — with Bitcoin Burials


Leather: How did you get started as a creator, and how did you eventually decide to explore Web3?


Cadel: I mined my first bitcoin in February 2011 on an ATI Radeon 5770 on Slush Pool after reading about it in a technical publication. When the first payout settled and I could see the transaction and unspent output in my wallet, I was hooked. That chance encounter led to a lifelong passion for crypto, initially embodied solely by Bitcoin. Over time, my focus shifted toward Ethereum due to the myriad opportunities and possibilities offered by smart contracts.


After almost half a decade spent on ETH and its Layer 2s, I started to experience burnout from the complexities of its constantly evolving ecosystem. When I heard about Ordinals back in February 2023, I found them to be a breath of fresh air. And once I realized the on-chain nature of inscriptions, my love for Bitcoin was rekindled. I found it to be a kind of safe harbor. That’s how I ended up back on the mother-chain.


Leather: Tell us about the Bitcoin Burials project and the inspiration behind it.


Cadel: The impetus behind Burials was our desire to inscribe every time some clueless pundit, economist, politician, banker or the media at-large declared Bitcoin dead. We took all the obituaries curated over the years by 99bitcoins and put them on-chain inside EXIF data that’s embedded in the images themselves. Each headstone is carved with a date on which Bitcoin supposedly died and has the relevant obituary embedded inside. 


It’s just a testament to Bitcoin's resilience over the years, making fun of the naysayers. Our journey was guided from the start by a desire to shame for all eternity the no-coiners who – at every step – predicted and cheered for Bitcoin's demise. What better way to immortalize their word-salads and inane ramblings than storing them on the most decentralized and resilient data storage layer in the world? Bitcoin itself. 


It's a collection that is steeped in history and lore – one that even Laser Eyes who are now cautiously opening up to Ordinals would find appealing. Or, at least, it’s the one they would hate the least.


The sheer perseverance of public figures who are hellbent on declaring Bitcoin dead ensures we will be forever relevant. The fact that we documented all the obstacles and tumultuous periods Bitcoin had to navigate (and ultimately overcome) to become the battle-tested and hardened value and data storage network it is today makes us uniquely positioned in the Ordinal space.


Leather: What impact do you ultimately hope to have with the collection?


Cadel: By storing the metadata for the entire collection as EXIF (an open and interoperable standard with plenty of tooling available that caters to it), we underscored the importance of trust minimization in the role that creators play. Also the disproportionate amount of control that launchpads/marketplaces, explorers and aggregators play in the ecosystem to this day. No one should have to sling around a json off-chain to get trait-filtering. With our solution, relevant parties can collate it themselves from publicly available, on-chain data.


Leather: How do you think this collection pushes the envelope when it comes to exploring more use cases on Bitcoin?


Cadel: With Burials, we’ve come up with a unique and ingenious way to store metadata inside the image itself. We won’t claim we’re geniuses here as in the end, we just repurposed a very old and decidedly Web2 standard, EXIF. We used it to embed the metadata inside the asset itself in a way that is easy to parse and display (and human-readable, to boot). It may look like a small improvement, but it unleashes myriad use cases and strongly enhances our ability to fulfill what is ultimately the raison d'etre for NFTs. 


You don’t have to trust us in any way, shape or form. Heck, you don’t even need to rely on our continued existence. We can get hacked, we can stop paying bills for critical infrastructure or simply disappear – not that we ever would – and our collectors will still be able to fully enjoy the collection for as long as Bitcoin itself keeps ticking along.


Leather: You’ve also recently introduced a Rune mining initiative. What are your thoughts on Runes and why will Runes be so important for Bitcoin?


Cadel: We believe Runes will play a pivotal role in finally proving Bitcoin as a viable L1 protocol capable of supporting a thriving fungible tokens ecosystem comparable to that of EVM chains. Runes have significantly less overhead compared to currently deployed and widely used metaprotocols such a BRC-20 and eliminate a lot of the pain points leading to the high friction UX that has prevented Tokens from truly flourishing on BTC.

The credibility and the weight stemming from having Casey’s name attached to the project will almost certainly mean that the industry will converge into widely supporting Runes, and tooling for etching and transacting Runes is already being built even before the protocol is officially deployed. Another key differentiator that bodes well for Runes is that they also impose less strain on the mempool and limit the proliferation of UTXOs leading to a much healthier network.

We recognize how big of a game changer Runes are poised to become and as a such we plan to launch our very own Rune token that will play an integral part in the Burial ecosystem. Holders can already mine it by pairing up a Boney and a Burial from our two existing collections and inscribing a standalone miner generating runes that will be claimable as soon as the protocol goes live in late April.


Leather: What is one thing people often don’t know or realize about the Bitcoin Burials project?


Cadel: In addition to cosmetic traits, we also have more than 400 unique dates carved on the Burials. Many of these feature cameos and callbacks to notable events. Many people try to hunt for the right Burial, so to speak, that features a date they have a deep personal connection to. This could be due to a notable event in their life, be it a birthday, achievement or special memory. We also share the same artist as Bitcoin Frogs, so every Burial holder was able to mint the next PFP project from said artist for free on February 21.


Leather: In your opinion, what are the most important features and priorities for a Bitcoin wallet to have? 


Cadel: Security should definitely be paramount, followed closely by a frictionless UX. For an Ordinal-centric wallet like Leather, what I appreciate most is the ability to aggregate assets that are native to many different standards – such as Stamps – all together. One thing we would love to see is the ability to group or index assets together that belong to a single collection. This would ease the fruition process and make perusing one’s holdings more seamless for collectors with sprawling ordinal menageries.


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