FAQs

Information about the assets

Punycode is an encoding language primarily used to encode Unicode characters to represent them in ASCII. The main purpose of the Punycode encoding language has been for internationalized domain names (IDN), however in practice very few top-level domains adopted the usage.

IDN installation in the DNS root zone was done in 2010 but Punycode encoding was not automatically activated in browsers until 2018.

Punycode: Encoding language
A Punycode: A Namecoin asset that uses Punycode encoding language within the historical NFT period of 2011-2017.
Punycodes: Community curated collection with historical blockchain collectibles.

Any asset on the Namecoin blockchain that follows the xn-- structure & was minted between 2011-2017
Example: d/xn--abc

About Namecoin

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Due to the nature of the protocol design, Namecoin NFTs need renewing every 36,000 blocks (~9 months). This limitation is mostly overcome by cheap auto-renewal services. It's still worth pointing out: While some Namecoin names have never expired since their birth, others did and got renewed afterwards.

There is an ongoing debate about whether the renewed names are the old tokens (2011-2017) or they are new tokens (2022) that provide ownership to the old blockchain collectibles (2011-2017).

There are convincing arguments from all sides, but make no mistake: All Namecoin assets have a birthdate with their first registration recorded on the chain. The distinction here is mostly due to the semantics of the term "NFT". This article goes into this semantic debate in detail.

Art of Punycodes

“Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas” - Wikipedia.

We understand that art definition is subjective. The fact is, there is no proper definition of what constitutes to art, but some things are certain.
• For anything to be called art, it needs to have a creative or a novel process in its creation.
• Something that pushes the boundaries of the human psyche, is art.

Artistic intent behind ~1,000 Punycodes was confirmed by halluciphile, an actual crypto-artist who created these ~1,000 Punycodes, along with dozens of other crypto-art works such as multiple Rare Pepes, Mafia Wars, Bitcorns and more.

Artistic intent behind other Punycodes is not confirmed, but the logic tells us that there is a strong likelihood.

While some Punycodes demonstrate clear aesthetic creativity, others point to a more conceptual art thought process. For example, Namecoin was designed as a DNS; however the intention of storing these ASCIIs, symbols etc was likely for people to do something novel. You see, a domain's main purpose is to be accessible. However characters like Ͼ, Ͽ, ∞ in ϾϿ.bit or ∞.bit are not even accessible in any human keyboards. Further, browsers did not even have default / automatic Punycode encoding resolution until 2018.

Even if some Punycodes may not have had aesthetic or conceptual intent, they still employ technical creativity as they are done by people who managed to store "non-storable" characters on the blockchain without breaking the DNS system.

Thus, all Punycodes can be considered art, because of the clear technical creativity and out-of-the-box studiousness. Of course the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While many artists, curators and collectors agree with this view and therefore hold Punycodes, there are also collectors who do not think all Punycodes are artistic. Punycodes DAO welcomes both interpretations.

Punycodes were not "launched" as an official art project in 2011. Punycodes were decentralized efforts of independent people who minted NFTs on the same chain, in the same blockchain era (pre-ERC721), using the same technical method (Punycode encoding language), with likely the same or similar intent.

These common features are why the Punycodes community voted to retroactively curate these old assets as a collection in 2022.

Note that the community curated the collection to have a cutoff, finishing in the end of 2017, because ERC721 was introduced in early 2018. This is a decentralized community, thereffore there is no "official" project cutoff, however the assets within the Punycodes collection tend to have a value for collectors due to their historical scarcity and attachment to a large community .

NFTs on bitcoin were not possible until 2014 (the op_return function was introduced in 2014). Namecoin is the first altcoin that launched in April 2011.

The first asset on the Namecoin chain was on the 21st of April, 2011 (about 20 days before the first Punycode).

Given that now all 2011 Namecoin assets have already been scraped, it is extremely unlikely to find art NFTs before Punycodes (but we are open to art interpretations for other NFTs!).

Punycodes were decentralized efforts of independent people who minted NFTs on the same chain. Most of the Punycodes creators are not known.

However one of them (possibly the one with the most mints) is halluciphile, who minted ~1000 Punycodes in 2014 and 2015. halluciphile is a crypto-artist who also produced multiple Rare Pepes, Bitcorns, Mafia Wars, and more.

Upon discovery, Punycodes DAO immediately made halluciphile a DAO member and gifted several Punycodes from treasury. Further, it promised to allocate royalties when the individual vault contract launches on Ethereum (dependent on a 3rd party service called Emblem Vault).

Yes! While the creators of the Punycodes let their assets' ownerships expire on the chain, Punycodes community who found these assets and marketed them recognize the creators' efforts and creativity at the time of this early blockchain era.

This is why Punycodes DAO published its manifesto and honored it so far both by including this critical point in individual vault smart contract conversations and by directly transferring multiple Punycodes to its only known artist, halluciphile.

Punycodes DAO

Punycodes DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization governing the Punycodes collection decisions. The DAO is formed with the purpose to bring awareness to the significance of Punycodes collection.

Three ways to become a DAO member:
1. Donate a Punycode to DAO treasury (does not require DAO vote)
2. Donate ETH with the value of a floor Punycode to DAO treasury (does not require DAO vote)
3. Propose and accomplish a way to contribute to Punycodes collection in a material way with your efforts (requires DAO vote). Examples include: Successful merchandising, successful content creation, successful technical contributions, etc.

If you want to become a DAO member, please raise it in the relevant channel in Punycodes discord.

1. The contributors' donations are used to bring awareness to the entire Punycodes collection, which brings value to the contributors' own Punycodes.

2. Each contributor gets to govern the collection that includes the first art NFTs in the history of blockchain collectibles

3. Punycodes DAO consists of artists, curators and well-connected collectors. Being a part of this team creates invaluable network opportunities and exposure to new investment opportunities.

4. Punycodes consistently made collaborations that brought opportunities to DAO members. Examples include discounted mint price for Pride Punks relaunch, airdrops from The Puny Factory, as well as airdrops from other DAO members' projects.

Other Questions

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