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Someone Just Minted an NFT of Ethereum's Last Proof-of-Work Block

7 d ago3 min readNFT
Someone Just Minted an NFT of Ethereum's Last Proof-of-Work Block

Ethereum’s final proof-of-work (PoW) block was turned into art this morning.

According to Etherscan, the closing chapter in the network's PoW ledger comprises just one transaction: a VanityBlock NFT.

The NFT’s creators paid 30 Ethereum (roughly $50,000) to mint the NFT in the early hours of Thursday, after raising funds from investors. The price is Ethereum’s block gas limit or maximum block size, meaning no other transactions can fit in the block, which is number 15537393.

This ACTUALLY happened!😱Someone filled the final PoW block by minting a VanityBlock NFT!They paid 30.2 ETH with a 1.3 ETH TX fee for the privilege of capping out the 30 million gas limit and creating the final transaction!Legend🤝 — DeFiyst (@DeFiyst) September 15, 2022

“The Last POW Block” NFT is being auctioned on OpenSea, where it has already attracted a bid of 10 ETH, or $16,118.10 at today’s price.

The last eth pow block is a vanity block nft.The entire block contains a single transaction that is used to mint an NFT:The tx cost 30eth in gas which is $50,000.— Elie Steinbock 🔮 ERC721R (@elie2222) September 15, 2022

The final block also includes a message: "You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick."

VanityBlocks founder MonkeyOnTheLoose told Decrypt that they initially reached out to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin to provide the quote because “he sometimes answers [...] but ghosted on this one."

Not only does block 15537393 represent a real piece of blockchain history, but today is a historic day for Ethereum. Today the network underwent a general overhaul called the merge. The upgraded network will ditch the PoW consensus mechanism in favor of proof-of-stake (PoS).

The second iteration of Ethereum is expected to address several key issues, including energy consumption, as well as lay the groundwork for continued scalability improvements.

VanityBlocks: A Short Primer

VanityBlocks started about a year ago, according to MonkeyOnTheLoose, who told Decrypt over Telegram that the project materialized through “smoking weed and chatting with friends on Whatsapp.”

According to the website, there were supposed to be many more VanityBlocks. The initial aim was to put out the first collection of 50 to 100 pieces and then about 200 NFTs a year. In the end, they managed 17 blocks before 15537393, according to the founder.

In addition to spending so much on gas, VanityBlocks also targeted blocks with “pretty numbers” at first, like blocks 14114114, 14360063, and 14401440.

However, getting 15537393 was a more grueling process. “We worked day and night for around a month just to get this specific block. We had a 15% chance of getting it.”

“We had to write custom code, tried to collaborate with the big miners,” he elaborates. “Our most important collaboration was with bloXroute (they let us use their systems) and raise funds to mint it.”

The VanityBlocks plans to improve over time too. The current artwork seen on the website and OpenSea pages are “pre-reveal” images, but the team is looking for artists to go over the images and turn them into visually arresting metaverse-compatible artworks.

When asked who they’ve got their eyes on, MonkeyOnTheLoose named NFT stars Pak or mbsjq and added, “maybe they'll stop ghosting now we did something big.”

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