Within fewer than six months, the population of Ordinals has experienced an exponential surge, escalating from a solitary unit to an impressive 10 million. This striking development in the Bitcoin network landscape occurred shortly after the project’s original creator and overseer resigned.
The Shift in Leadership: Casey Rodarmor Hands Over the Reigns
On May 28th, Casey Rodarmor took to Twitter to announce his departure from his role as the chief maintainer of the Ordinals project. Rodarmor cited his inability to devote the requisite attention to the flourishing Ordinals initiative as the main reason behind this decision. Surprisingly, he relinquished his position to Raphjaph, a coder known only by his pseudonym.
Since its inception in January, the Ordinals protocol has firmly established itself as the preferred route for creating new assets within the Bitcoin blockchain ecosystem. Initially designed to inscribe data within the witness portion of Bitcoin transactions, Ordinals swiftly evolved to incorporate individual satoshis – the smallest unit of BTC in existence.
The BRC-20 Token Standard: A Game Changer in Bitcoin Transactions
The substantial acceleration in the number of Ordinals inscriptions can be largely attributed to introducing the BRC-20 token standard in early March. This pioneering token standard, introduced by the anonymous developer known as Domo, marked a historic moment as it enabled users to generate completely new tokens on Bitcoin for the first time.
As a result, the quantity of Bitcoin-based tokens surged from mere hundreds in the initial week to a whopping 25,000, as reported by BRC-20.io data.
The Controversial Emergence of Ordinals
Despite its popularity, the rise of Ordinals has been a hotbed for debate. Critics from the Bitcoin fraternity have condemned the method of inscribing assets onto the network, primarily for its perceived inefficiency and wastefulness regarding block space utilization and transaction fees.
Consequently, several developers have started exploring alternatives, such as using smart contracts to mint assets and NFTs on Bitcoin.
Conversely, many Bitcoin supporters have lauded Ordinals’ efficacy in integrating new users into the broader network. In a notable incident, Peter Schiff, a notorious anti-Bitcoin advocate, utilized the Ordinals protocol to mint a small number of NFTs on Bitcoin. That marked the first-ever instance of Schiff, a staunch supporter of gold, interacting with Bitcoin beyond merely criticizing it.
Though it’s undeniable that the Ordinals boom has triggered a surge in Bitcoin transaction fees, this uptick in network activity has been highly beneficial for miners. Data from Dune Analytics reveals miners have reaped over $44 million in fees associated with Ordinals transactions.
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