A Conversation with Burnchainers
A Conversation with Burnchainers

A Conversation with Burnchainers

“Lost Coins Only Make Everyone Else’s Coins Worth Slightly More – Think Of It As Donation To Everyone”: A conversation between Stackchain Magazine and Burnchainers/ Stackchainers Burntoshi, Clyde, Gyp, Waldo, FalseFaucet, and BTCFakDaBanks on Burning Bitcoin and #Burnchain

SCM: Tell us about burning Bitcoin?

Burntoshi: Reasons to burn Bitcoin.

1. Stay humble

2. Work for a cause you believe in

3. Daily discipline of surrender

4. Amazing community

5. Fire burn memes

6. It changes you

7. Anyone can do it, it’s as accessible as Bitcoin itself.

Matthew 6:21

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Man can move and prune his own heart by consciously deciding what to do with his Bitcoin each day. It says “not my will, but yours.” It’s a commitment to saying I’m here, and I’m not leaving.

Love will grow if you make it a practice.  It can be argued that burning Bitcoin is an act of love.  It has no expectation of return. The energy goes from the individual to the collective, voluntarily.

Love is a powerful force.  It’s powerful to love everyone, even in the face of persecution and being misunderstood or cast as a villain or fool. This love will spread, and make more sense as it becomes commonplace.

The guy who created Bitcoin decided the best use for his bitcoin was to donate it to everyone.  He didn’t set up a trust or charity or anything like that. He just died with his keys. He burned his Bitcoin.  Thank you, Satoshi, for creating the #burnchain.  #Bitcoin is a byproduct.

My goal is to flesh out this practice and make it more accessible to all who are called to burn.  Also, to create a place where people who do this can find others if they choose to do that.  That’s why I am counting up sats burned on the #burnchain thread and planning to put them on the #stackchain as a block. So, if you would like to participate and have your sats tallied toward that, I invite you to proxy or post on the #burnchaintip. I know many people will prefer to only burn secretly and not disclose how much and I don’t want to ever pressure anyone to disclose info.

SCM: What is the history of burning bitcoin?

Clyde: Deliberately burning bitcoin has a history that long predates #burnchain.  The earliest deliberate burn we found was in August 2010 when Satoshi was still active.  1m sats were sent to each of 2 eater addresses, 1111111111111111111114oLvT2 representing the lowest possible Hash160 and 1QLbz7JHiBTspS962RLKV8GndWFwi5j6Qr representing the highest possible Hash160.  The change of 149.03btc held by the address that did the burning remains unspent to this day.  It realistically could have been Satoshi trying it out.

Just over 40 btc have been burned by sending sats to OP_RETURN since its inception.  The largest single burn recorded using OP_RETURN is 1.888 BTC.

The largest accidental burn was done by Mt. Gox in 2011.  A bug in their own software resulted in many transactions sent to unspendable scripts totalling 2,609 btc in block 150951.  It sounds like a fortune, but at the time it was worth around ~$8,000.

The largest deliberate burns have been to the address Satoshi put in the genesis block, aka the Genesis Address.  In what appears to be a tradition, someone sent 4btc to the Genesis Address in January 2013 worth $96 at the time, and then likely that same person sent another 4btc to the Genesis Address almost exactly 10 years later in January 2023 worth $69,000 at the time.  This may be someone who had communicated with Satoshi and decided to send a regular tribute.  

Will they send 4btc again in January 2033 worth $8,000,000?  #burnchain will be watching.

SCM: What is your point of view on burning Bitcoin?

Burntoshi: If you can’t burn it, you don’t own it. 

I’ve been playing with my own formula:

If stack purchasing power covers > 8 years expenses, burn as much of the excess as you desire.

This is in a way asking for not more than you need. Wealth is deceptive.

Monetization of Bitcoin will make many wealthy that will be lost to vices.

It’s an unfortunate truth that many people will just coast and waste their Bitcoin.  But they only get to waste it so many times and then it moves to stronger hands. 

Burning Bitcoin is a way to permanently change Bitcoin’s spendable supply. It’s a profound act with profound effect.

Waldo: In the words of midnightmagic back in 2011, “I view this [burning] as a freedom in the protocol, and not a drawback.”

Some people convert fiat to cheeseburgers. Others convert it to donations to NGOs, or even to Satoshi himself. And still others convert it to sats to hodl. I like all 3 so I do all 3 GFY. 

I burn “as a tribute to our missing Satoshi: we are missing Satoshi, and now the blockchain is missing 1 Satoshi too, for all time.” -midnightmagic

Clyde: I find it interesting that people are totally fine with someone deciding to die with their keys deliberately, but have a violent emotional reaction to deliberate burns in the present.  Something about burning really upsets some people though it’s equivalent to other reductions in supply that don’t seem to bother anyone.

The hate on #burnchain has been strong and vocal.  Very few people will keep doing something while others hate on it heavily and irately, even when they believe it’s something good. I guess the tradeoff isn’t worth it for them.  But the #burnchain participants are a new level of DGAF.  They have kept going, and I suspect #burnchain may slow but will never die, in a sort of stubborn immortality like the #stackchain that inspired it.

BTCFakDaBanks:  Satoshi made the genesis coinbase unspendable. Whether on purpose or accident, Bitcoin was started with a burn.  It is a key part of Bitcoin’s fair launch.  

SCM: What is Burnchain?

Burntoshi: It’s burning Bitcoin.

I came up with burnchain a while ago. The timing was right. But I realized that no way I could do this alone – I couldn’t have this happen without the support of other burners.

The bitcoin is fierce prey. Few can claim the trophy of having slain bitcoin.

The UTXO set is our hunting grounds. The #burnchain is our trophy room.

This is a battle for the heart of Stackchain. 

The uniformity is a double-edged sword because it can become a march off a cliff.

I saw the main chain did not represent what I meant for Stackchain to be. I created burnchain with the intention of making it part of Stackchain.

Just because someone says “this is Stackchain” doesn’t mean that all other people have to agree. Is a magazine Stackchain? A podcast? A sovereign chain that never makes it to the tip? Is my morning dump Stackchain? Social consensus is one part of it, but also social consensus gfy.

Stackchain was for me about pushing hyperbitcoinization and getting people on a Bitcoin standard.

This is one reason I created #burnchain. Scammers and charlatans are allergic to honesty and can’t stand up to scrutiny.

False: There’s the broader Stackchain idea, collective action in regards to bitcoin, and the mainchain ‘Stackchain’. Burnchain is almost antithetical to Stackchain mainchain, let’s be real, that is all about acquiring sats. Burnchain definitely falls into the broader Stackchain idea though, imo. The idea of collectively burning what we consider our most precious asset for the enrichment of all. It’s about community.

When the miner block happened it could have been a turning point where Stackchain broadened its scope from just buying bitcoin, to just acquiring bitcoin. But then again, ‘validation’ becomes a problem.  I can just send sats to myself, and I got ‘paid’. People have proved this game was always easy to spoof, but in the end, they just raised block height, which means we stacked more sats.

Burntoshi:  That’s where burnchain shines. Can’t be spoofed.

False: Only burning can provide zero trust proof of sats acquired and not washed.

Burntoshi:  Imagine if everyone burned just a little sats to get into a block.  The proof of work on blocks goes way up and signals to everyone that the incentives are aligned to honesty.

Bitcoin all comes from somewhere.  Every time someone smash buys, someone else is selling. What distinguished Stackchain was that we are the buyers not the sellers and we egg each other on. It has to evolve though or it will die, imo. Because it’s fiat focused, but also, it’s many strands.  So, weaving in different threads keeps it going and keeps it honest, I think.

Blocks with a burn accompanied would be easier to trust and would win block wars. This is guided evolution, kinda. But I’m just pushing buttons and people decide what’s best for them. But in order to get there, people have to get more comfortable with the topic.

I’ve been watching Stackchain and they adopt new ideas over time. Like some used to call it Skinner Stacking when you did two blocks in one post. But who wants to have their stack named after someone else?  So as the idea was separated from the person it got more palatable.

The win is people are definitely wrestling with the idea of burning on their own.

I want to do a community burn event on the halving.  Time locking the transaction to try and aim for the halving block and doing a big burn. I think a peak of burns on halvings would be interesting.  I want to track the spendable supply and highlight blocks where it went down. It will be very few early on but more common later. And once it’s visible it might be attractive to create these negative supply blocks for some.

SCM: Are sats bought and stacked on the main chain and then burned and stacked in a burnchain block a double spend?

Burntoshi: Why burnchain can use the same sats as Stackchain: it decouples the demand for burning from the demand for stacking, so that burnchain remains a completely optional and unobtrusive side chain.

People put the onus on burners to show receipts, but that creates conflict. Do you really want people to now have to think about whether or not they will burn before they stack on the Stackchain? By bringing burnchain to the tip, I’ve brought this proof of work to everyone to keep this experiment fresh. People must stack before the burn.

I’m going to argue that any Bitcoin is burnable, even if it was bought on the Stackchain. Otherwise what, is it expected to spend it?

I’ve done multiple donation blocks as a part of Stackchain. Some were new sats – some were old stack. I’m going to push that burnchain does not require anything but the UTXO.

It doesn’t have to pretend to be a stack. It can just be what it is. It’s semantics – donation blocks are there. I wanted to express how I felt a burn carried a different quality than a stack, and that a fork block in kind would be appreciated. A fork war is always good. And the block makes it to the tip even if it loses a fork war.

If I made a company, paid taxes, sold my old Bitcoin and had a fiat flow for this, it would please the crowd. That is why I personally stand for burns being valid without the source stack. I’m on a Bitcoin standard and leading by example.  That’s my stance. 

I think proposing non-hash memorial blocks is the way because it recognizes the hashless nature of burning. I hope it is accepted.  This also solves the double hash complaint. So, there is no onus at all ever to provide hash for burnchain because we don’t claim a block #, just propose a memorial block when we match block height.

It would be an honor to have burnchain sidechain represented in the chain as a memorial block(s).  It doesn’t make stack height go up, but still brings the proof of work and signal.  It’s part of the game. Burnchain is uncontestable generosity, so not claiming a block # is #burnchain.

SCM: There are some significant and historical events represented on the #burnchain.

For example, Cypherpunk Len Sassaman’s obituary, embedded on every node of the Bitcoin network, burned sats.

Clyde: The tribute to Len Sassaman in July 2011 burned at least 75m sats–1m to each Hash160 data representing a line of the ascii art and text.  This was before OP_RETURN so it was a clever way of inscribing text on the timechain using that data field.

Dan Kaminsky, who inscribed the tribute, called the burning of bitcoin to accomplish it a form of “pouring one out for your homies”.  I can’t think of a pithier description of #burnchain.

More info on the tribute here:

SCM: How do you burn bitcoin?

Clyde: In Electrum wallet, in the “Pay to” field, instead of sending to an address as you usually would, just put “OP_RETURN <your message in hex>” In the Amount field, put the amount of bitcoin you wish to burn forever.

Then simply send your transaction with an appropriate fee rate.  Once confirmed in the time chain, your message, if any, is forever stored on full archival nodes and any bitcoin you sent to OP_RETURN is a donation to everyone.

Including a message in OP_RETURN is optional and controversial.  For messages in OP_RETURN, unless you coordinate with a miner, it is in practice limited to 80 bytes, so keep your message 80 characters or less including spaces.

Construct your message, and then convert from ascii to hex using any online tool, e.g., onlinehextools dot com. Select no delimiters, no 0x prefix, and no extra spaces.

Also be aware that if you’re connected to an electrum server using Bitcoin Core 25.0 behind it, any burn to OP_RETURN will be rejected. You can connect to various public servers to find one on an older version. The majority are not on 25.0 yet so it shouldn’t take many tries to find one. Also, if you’re doing an entire UTXO (i.e. no change output), it’ll require putting some message in the OP_RETURN to meet the minimum tx data requirement.

There are more and more restrictions in core that are NOT consensus restrictions. The biggest example that affects us is the maxburnamount set to 0 by default in v25. Sendrawtransaction has a new, optional argument, maxburnamount with a default value of 0.  Any transaction containing an unspendable output with a value greater than maxburnamount will not be submitted. The change was proposed in August 2022 so before burnchain.

Burning Bitcoin can also be achieved by sending sats to burner addresses: we recommend 1BurnchainBurnchainBurnchain6cU7ZK

SCM: What last words do you have for readers?

Burntoshi: As CEO of Bitcoin and supreme emperor here is my decree:

1. Stack your ass off on the #Stackchain in your own way. Don’t listen to the peanut gallery.

2. Burn a nonzero amount of sats to  burn on the #burnchain

This is the way. These are the rules.

Stack and burn UTXOs.

Don’t try to convince the sheep–instead wake the sleeping lions.

Note from Stackchain Magazine: No Bitcoin (or inferior monies) were exchanged for this article. This article how ever was built by the raging inferno of millions of burned sats. There is only two kinds of sats in the world, those burned on burnchain, and those that have yet to be burned on burnchain. Everything is Burnchain…. few. If you’d like to burn some sats you can do so here 1BurnchainBurnchainBurnchain6cU7ZK

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