Token Factory: Build tokens & pop-up economies with the Burner Factory

David Mihal
Jan 16 · 3 min read

This past summer, the Burner Factory was released, drawing inspiration from the success of Austin Griffith’s Burner Wallet events like ETHDenver and EtherealNYC. The goal was to allow anyone to run their own Burner Wallet event without writing any code

While the site made launching a Burner Wallet easy, the wallet interface is only one part of a successful event. ETHDenver was remembered for using “BuffiDai”: a permissioned, Dai-backed token that powered Denver’s pop-up economy.

So while event organizers could easily create a Burner Wallet, they were still required to code and deploy their own ERC20 token. 🙁

The Token Factory 🏭

The Burner Factory now makes it just as easy to launch a new wallet as a new token. When creating a wallet, you now have the option to “create a new token”.

You can customize the name, symbol and icon for each token, and chose which chain the token should be deployed to (we currently support xDai, Kovan and Goerli).

The editor form for creating a new token

Backed vs. Unbacked Tokens

There are two types of tokens that can currently be created by the Burner Factory: backed and unbacked tokens.

An unbacked token is a simple ERC20 token contract that can be minted at will. The “Token” page in the Burner Factory provides a simple form where unlimited tokens can be minted to any recipient.

Backed tokens, on the other hand, can only be minted by locking up a collateral (typically xDai). Since these tokens are backed by xDai, each token will be worth $1 USD.

Users can mint backed tokens inside the Burner Wallet using the Exchange feature, while wallet creators can mint backed tokens in the “Distribution” section of the Burner Factory (which will be covered more in a future post).

Token Recovery

Creating xDai backed tokens lets users experience a true pop-up economy, as well as learning about Dai. However, event organizers will want to ensure that unused funds don’t end up getting lost.

In the past, we’ve addressed this by saving a copy of all paper wallets, allowing us to recover funds directly from users’ private keys. However, adding a “recovery period” to a token makes this unnecessary.

Setting a token recovery period (for example, 2 days) lets the token creator “sweep” tokens from any account that has been inactive in that period of time.

“Gasless transfers” with Gas Station Network ⛽️

One pain point with “pop-up economies” is the requirement for users to keep small amounts of ETH/xDai for paying gas fees. This was handled at previous events by airdropping gas money to all accounts, however the Gas Station Network provides a much easier.

All tokens created by the Burner Factory will receive a small amount of gas money for free. This should be sufficient to cover gas fees for most events, however the factory also displays a “reload address” where xDai can be sent to reload the gas balance.

On the Token page, the current gas balance is displayed (GSN Relay balance), as well as an address that funds can be sent to to top off the balance (GSN Relay reload address).

My hope is that the Burner Factory now has all the major features needed to organize a Burner Wallet event.

So if you want to teach your friends about crypto: mint some coins, build a wallet, and go sell your friends some beers with it! 🍻


Questions? Contact me on Twitter at @dmihal, or join our Telegram group.

If you’d like to support this project, please consider making a contribution on Gitcoin grants. Gitcoin CLR Matching runs until January 21st, so every contribution can have a big impact!

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