Bitcoin’s blockchain has recently witnessed a remarkable milestone as over 10 million inscriptions using the innovative Ordinals protocol have been registered by Bitcoin users. This achievement comes in the wake of Ordinals founder Casey Rordamor stepping down as the project’s lead maintainer, signaling a new chapter for this groundbreaking technology. With its blistering growth and diverse applications, Ordinals has transformed Bitcoin into a prominent platform for trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and issuing fungible crypto tokens.
Blistering Growth of Ordinals Inscriptions:
According to data from Dune Analytics, Bitcoin now hosts an impressive count of 10,018,046 Ordinals inscriptions, with the majority recorded within the last month alone. Ordinals enables users to embed data into a single identifiable satoshi within a Bitcoin transaction’s witness data, unlocking a multitude of potential applications. Initially, Ordinals inscriptions gained traction for producing NFTs, propelling Bitcoin to become the second most popular network for NFT trading, closely following Ethereum, as reported by CryptoSlam.
Transition to Fungible Tokens and Stablecoins:
In April, Ordinals inscriptions experienced a significant surge as users began leveraging the technology to issue fungible crypto tokens using the experimental BRC-20 token standard. Initially popular for memecoins, this standard has now paved the way for the introduction of the first Bitcoin-based stablecoin, Stably USD (USD). The unveiling of BRC-20 in March triggered a wave of new inscriptions, culminating in a shift from image-based to text-based inscriptions on the blockchain during late April and early May.
Roaring Inscriptions and Impact on Transaction Fees:
Data from Dune reveals that as of April 20, Ordinals inscriptions totaled 1,193,102, and this number tripled to 3,776,366 by May 5. Consequently, daily transaction fees generated by related transactions experienced a sharp increase during this period. Bitcoin miners have earned an additional $44 million in fees from Ordinals inscriptions, with 91% of them being text-based. Some Bitcoin enthusiasts, such as Blockstream CEO Adam Back, have expressed concerns about Ordinals potentially “clogging” the blockchain and increasing transaction costs, while others like billionaire investor Michael Saylor see it as a foundation for future innovation.
Ordinals’ Milestone and Leadership Transition:
Proponents of the Ordinals protocol were quick to celebrate this significant milestone on Monday. Former Kraken Product Manager Dan Held expressed confidence in Ordinals, emphasizing that it represents more than just a passing fad. Meanwhile, founder Casey Rodarmor handed over the lead maintainer position to @raphjaph on Twitter, acknowledging his inability to provide the attention the project deserves.
The achievement of over 10 million Ordinals inscriptions marks a groundbreaking development for Bitcoin’s blockchain. With its ability to enable various applications, from NFTs to fungible tokens and stablecoins, Ordinals has demonstrated its potential for driving future innovation within the cryptocurrency space. While debates surrounding transaction fees persist, the Ordinals protocol remains a testament to the constant evolution of the Bitcoin ecosystem and the ingenuity of its community.