The BRC-20 token craze has fueled a staggering 92% increase in Ordinals inscriptions on the Bitcoin network in eight days. This meteoric rise saw the number of Ordinals inscriptions on the network almost double from 2.5 million to 4.78 million.
From NFTs to Fungible Tokens: The Evolution of Ordinals Protocol
The Ordinals protocol was initially employed to mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in images. However, users quickly discovered the potential for utilizing text-based inscriptions to generate fungible tokens, akin to the ERC-20 token standard on the Ethereum (ETH) network. This realization led to popularizing the BRC-20 token standard, which has since been the primary driver behind the massive surge in Ordinals inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Rafael Schultze-Kraft, co-founder and CTO of Glassnode, emphasized on Twitter that text-based inscriptions have now become the most prevalent form of Ordinals inscriptions, with over 2.8 million text-based inscriptions as of May 5th.
More recent data from renowned blockchain data provider Dune Analytics reveals that, since April 25th, an overwhelming 99% of all new Ordinals inscriptions have been text-based.
Tracking the Proliferation of BRC-20 Tokens
Brc-20.io, a novel tool that enables users to monitor BRC-20 tokens, reports that there are currently 14,200 new tokens hosted on the Bitcoin blockchain. Among the most popular Bitcoin-based tokens are “order,” “nails,” and a Bitcoin-based version of the infamous memecoin Pepe (PEPE), which ranks third by total market cap.
Although the total market cap of BRC-20 tokens hovers around the $700 million mark, digital asset investment firm Galaxy Digital projects that the market for “Bitcoin NFTs” could reach $4.5 billion by 2025.
The rapid ascent of Ordinals over recent months has ignited discussions about the impact of Ordinals on the Bitcoin ecosystem. Some Bitcoin advocates, such as Dan Held, argue that Ordinals expand the range of financial use cases for Bitcoin. However, staunch Bitcoiners maintain that Ordinals deviate from Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of an electronic, peer-to-peer cash system.
In the meantime, miners are reaping significant revenue from transaction fees associated with the explosion of new activity on the network.
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