The last Ethereum block mined before the network switched from proof-of-work (POW) consensus was used to mint a single NFT – at a cost of around $50,000.
The NFT is what is called a vanity block and was created by the VanityBlocks team, according to VanityBlocks founder MonkeyOnTheLoose. A vanity block contains a transaction so large that it intentionally fills the entire block, leaving no room for other transactions.
The NFT is called “The Last POW Block” and, like all VanityBlocks, shows a pair of eyes on a black background.
Founder of VanityBlocks MonkeyOnTheLoose told The Block on Thursday that they had been working on this final block project for about a month – although they were aware that it had a slim chance of success.
“I guess it’s a bit of an artistic meditation thing,” MonkeyOnTheLoose said via Telegram. “I worked on [VanityBlocks] for a year now. go against everything [odds]. We had about a 15% chance of getting it.”
The final proof-of-work block also contained the text: “You pledge yourself, and nature will respond to that pledge by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world won’t crush you, it will uplift you. is the trick.”
VanityBlocks are an expensive way to hit an NFT. VanityBlocks paid 31 ETH ($49,600) directly to the F2Pool mining pool to mint the NFT and spent 1.3 ETH in transaction fees (part burned and part sent to f2Pool). MonkeyOnTheLoose said they raised 70 ETH from investors in three days to make this happen.
VanityBlocks’ method of grabbing entire Ethereum blocks caught the eye in February. This has caused some controversy as the method slows down the network for everyone.
The merger took place at 06:44 UTC today as Ethereum transitioned from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. This reduced the environmental impact of the network and made several changes to its tokenomics.
After the merger
In an act of symmetry, not only was the last POW block dedicated to minting an NFT, but the first proof-of-stake block was also used to mint one.
The first POS block was used to create an NFT of a panda, including some key block details. A person using the name The Transition — who has just created a new Twitter account and website – claimed to have created it. The collection appears to be a limited run of 100 NFTs, which are auctioned off on the website.
For the latest news and updates on The Merge, be sure to check out our live.
© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended for use as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.