A Homage to Vitalik Buterin



It has always surprised me how much Satoshi Nakamoto has become part of the meme culture even on Ethereum. Yet Vitalik Buterin, the architect of Ethereum and incredible thinker, seems to always be underrepresented. This is not meant to take away from Satoshi who basically created this new asset class/technology. If Satoshi made crypto go from 0 to 1, Vitalik accelerated crypto from 1 to 10.

In fact, I believe Satoshi Nakamoto and Vitalik Buterin will one day win the Nobel Prize🥇. So I decided that we needed a proper tribute to Vitalik. If we think of Satoshi, probably the most coveted NFT that exists is the Nakamoto Card. Just as Satoshi has his card on Bitcoin, we need a Buterin Card on Ethereum.

Nakamoto Card – Supply: 300


But I did not just want to do a regular lame NFT of Vitalik like the pfp’s that populate all over crypto🤮. In the spirit of Vitalik’s values the collection must be trustless, fair, permissionless and innovative.

With this in mind I designed a collection of 2015 Buterin Cards with the following characteristics

  1. Free to mint (except for gas of course)
  2. Trustless : Immutable contracts, verified on Etherscan
  3. Accessible to anyone with a wallet
  4. Non-ruggable : HTML/SVG/JPEG fully onchain
  5. Innovative: not just a regular NFT, it must push the boundary of NFT tech
  6. …and hopefully beautiful/fun?

I chose a supply of 2015 because it is the year Ethereum was launched. Here is a sample of what the cards may look like:

Example of Buterin Card faceside on the left, and backside on the right.

The cards are a not just a JPEG. All card have (A) parameters that are decided randomly, and (B) fixed parameters based on #. For instance, there is a 10% chance of mining a with one of the 8 special📷 quotes that modify the Vitalik JPEG like this card.

JPEG Mining

JPEG Mining⛏️ is a collaborative technique for uploading large JPEGs onchain. JPEG miners are just like NFT minters, but in addition they also upload the NFT onchain as part of the the minting transaction. To prevent JPEG miners from uploading arbitrary data, the smart contract verifies the data’s correctness by computing its hash and comparing it to a Merkle tree.

When the last card is mined, the Vitalik JPEG in the center of the card will be 10MB, and the overall card with HTML+SVG around 12MB. The largest JPEG ever on any chain. Even larger than the famous 4MB Taproot Wizard on Bitcoin.

In return for their work, miners receive a card featuring an image of Vitalik at varying quality levels. Thanks to progressive JPEG technology, the miners receive a Vitalik JPEG with partial quality because it only uses the data uploaded until the time of their mint. The last to mine uploads the last chunk of data and completes the image.

I have tuned the progressive JPEG of Vitalik to go through six different phases during the minting process:

✏️ Pencil Drawing: Miners upload the HTML and SVG, receiving a card with a hand-drawn, vectorized SVG version of the JPEG, as no JPEG data is available yet.

🔲 Black & White: The intensity component of the progressive JPEG is uploaded, rendering the image in pure black and white.

🌫️ Grey Shades: Additional bits for the intensity component reveal a range of grey tones.

🟦 Blue Chroma: The blue chroma is uploaded, introducing blue and green hues to the JPEG.

🟥 Red Chroma: The red chroma is added, infusing red and pink shades into the image.

🌄 In the final phase, the AC components are uploaded, enhancing the image resolution significantly.

Card samples for all phases except “Grey shades”

Link for Mining

If you would like to be part of this collective performance, you can mine at https://buterin.cards.

At the time of writing this post we are on phase 2 and 117 out of 2015 cards have been mined.

PS: I was lucky and early enough to inscribe on Bitcoin 5 inscriptions of Buterin Cards (alpha design). I will be giving away inscription #3045 to the top miner, i.e., mines the most amount of cards.

submitted by /u/Codonyat