One of my favourite artists was offering art in exchange for “burnt” NFTs and I wondered what the hell that was and how it even worked. So I looked it up and apparently it’s a thing that a lot of brands are doing, according to Vogue:
Burning is not a straightforward process, because there is no established, formal definition of a “burn,” says Victor Zhang, co-founder and CEO of Smart Token Labs, which enables NFTs to have more utility, adding that people may refer to a range of scenarios as a burn.
The most simple method for burning is by transferring ownership of an item from the blockchain to a general, null address that no one owns or has access to. Although it doesn’t destroy the token, the token is now owned by the “digital rubbish bin”, Zhang says. Another scenario is if the original creator of the item revokes the rights — but this can only be done if the creator still owns the rights. If not, the original creator could cut off the server, remove the picture and say that the owner can no longer use anything related to the picture. Although the NFT owner might still own a token, it does not represent any usable rights, Zhang says.
Finally, some might refer to a “burn” event when the ownership record is not changed, but there is a status change recorded on the blockchain. To do this, a brand or platform could change the URL to which the token is pointing inside their game or platform; the token is not affected at all, says Ty Duperron, COO of Daz 3D.
I kinda get it but I’m so wary of these things that I can see someone finding a way to take these burnt NFTs out of the “digital rubbish bin” and making money off them. Folks still eat burnt toast, don’t they?