Bitcoin Ordinal Inscriptions Reach New Milestone – Is it a Passing Fad?

Bitcoin Ordinal Inscriptions Reach New Milestone - Is it a Passing Fad?


Bitcoin-based NFTs and meme tokens continue to gain popularity, with the Ordinals protocol seeing a tripling of inscriptions on the blockchain since May 1st, reaching over 9 million, and drawing interest from NFT marketplaces and companies like MicroStrategy.

Bitcoin-based Non-Fungible Token (NFTs) and Meme Coin crypto tokens aren’t losing steam. Far from it—Ordinals inscriptions topped 9 Million on Thursday, tripling the total of digital artifacts on the blockchain tech since May 1, when the number was just over 3 Million, per public blockchain tech data curated by Dune.

Ordinals is a protocol for “inscribing” things like artwork, profile pictures, and even applications and playable games on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain tech. It launched in January and quickly became a phenomenon as users etched media onto the blockchain.

Although while some detractors continue to call Ordinals a misuse of the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain tech that should be blocked on the network—amid growing network congestion and transaction fees—other Bitcoin (BTC) advocates like MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor call the protocol a “catalyst” for Bitcoin (BTC) adoption.

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“ Each time someone builds an app  that’s cool on Bitcoin, like all the Ordinals and inscriptions and whatever that are driving up transaction charges, it’s a catalyst,” Saylor said on the PBD Podcast earlier this month.

Saylor further stated at last week’s Bitcoin (BTC) 2023 event that MicroStrategy—the public company with the largest stockpile of Bitcoin (BTC) on its balance sheet—is looking into how to use Ordinals to launch applications that run on the blockchain.

Bitcoin (BTC) Ordinals were already a hot topic after Bitcoin (BTC) developer Casey Rodamor launched the protocol in January, but it wasn’t instantly clear whether the short-term buzz would hold.

Ordinals’ popularity surged once more after the BRC-20 crypto token standard was implemented in March, allowing for the creation of fungible crypto tokens (including Meme Coin tokens) on Bitcoin (BTC) using the same protocol. Nowadays, daily text-based inscriptions used to mint BRC-20 crypto tokens vastly outnumber inscriptions for artwork and other media.

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With BRC-20, creative developers began loading the Bitcoin (BTC) network with Meme Coin crypto tokens that sent the expense of network transactions skyrocketing. On May 8, the daily charges paid to create Bitcoin (BTC) Ordinals hit a high of 257 BTC, around $6.7 Million at the time.

“Contrary to what you can potentially see in certain filter bubbles on Twitter platform, higher charges on Bitcoin (BTC) are a very good thing,” pseudonymous Ord.io founder Leonidas informed Decrypt after the Ordinals tally hit 3 Million. “It signifies strong demand for Bitcoin’s block space, which is critical for the longstanding success of the protocol.”

Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplaces have taken notice of the popularity of Ordinals. In April, Magic Eden added support for Ordinals, with Binance Crypto exchange adding support to its marketplace in May.

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And the boost of Non-Fungible Token (NFTs) and Meme Coin crypto tokens via Ordinals has spread beyond Bitcoin (BTC) too: Ordinals has been ported over to both Litecoin and Dogecoin (DOGE), which share origins in BTC’s code, leading to surging transactions across those chains as well.

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