Former Ethereum Devs Drawn to Build on Bitcoin with Ordinals

Former Ethereum Devs Drawn to Build on Bitcoin with Ordinals


Learn how Ethereum developers are drawn to Bitcoin by Ordinals, the protocol that’s taken Bitcoin by storm, sparking innovation and experimentation, and how startups like OrdinalSafe and Subjective Labs are making their mark in the Bitcoin community.

Among the crowds at the Bitcoin (BTC) 2023 conference in Miami past week were pockets of Ethereum (ETH) developers, drawn to the world’s largest and oldest digital currency by Ordinals.

Plenty of developers with roots in Web 3.0 attended Bitcoin (BTC) 2023 as a result of Ordinals, the protocol launched earlier this year that’s taken Bitcoin (BTC) by storm—sparking a wave of innovation, hype, and experimentation.

OrdinalSafe, a self-custodial Bitcoin (BTC) wallet built for Ordinals, was among the startups present with Ethereum (ETH) in its veins. The bulk of its development team has experience working with the second- largest crypto token by market cap.

The startup participated in Bitcoin (BTC) 2023’s “Pitch Day,” and it in the end won Second place in the competition’s infrastructure category. The endeavor was a notable achievement and memorable experience, stated OrdinalSafe CEO Esad Yusuf Atik.

“It’s your 1st time on that stage, and you’re attempting to sell the vision of your product to other people, so you want to do a good job,” he stated. “I was really nervous, but going to the stage for the prize, it felt great.”

Atik, a 22-year-old developer from Turkey, 1st caught the Web 3.0 bug when he attended a hackathon in 2020. He, along with a couple of other members from the OrdinalSafe team, previously developed a protocol was known Proof of Innocence under the company Chainway.

Built for Tornado Cash—an Ethereum (ETH) coin mixer sanctioned by the U.S. last summer—Proof of Innocence is designed to assist users prove they didn’t deposit funds into the privacy tool from a sanctioned wallet address.

The project “got really good attention,” Atik stated, adding he and developers that worked on the protocol recently got to meet Ethereum (ETH) co- founder Vitalik Buterin in Montenegro. He also mentioned that Buterin talked about Proof of Innocence on stage at the Community Ethereum (ETH) Development Conference.

On the other hand, in February, Atik learned about Ordinals on Twitter platform and became transfixed. And, he and his fellow developers dove head- 1st into creating OrdinalSafe, in the end leading the crew to Miami.

Ordinals: A Tale of Wizards and Maxis

Not all Bitcoiners see value in Ethereum—or any other coin, for that matter. At Bitcoin (BTC) 2023, several  vocal conference-goers booed BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes on stage when he informed author Michael Lewis he “absolutely” owns Ethereum (ETH) and other tokens.

“Come on, guys. Y’all know you trade some PepeCoin,” Hayes stated in response to the boos, referring to Ethereum’s amphibious meme cryptocurrency du jour. “ Do not sit here like that.”

Along similar lines, a company was known LayerTwo Labs invited attendees to smash piñatas resembling Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) symbols at its booth. People urged Bitcoiners to “smash a shitcoin” like carnival barkers. 

On the other hand, regardless of any sense of Bitcoin superiority permeating the air at Bitcoin (BTC) 2023, Atik stated that the conference’s crowd was welcoming.

“ Despite the fact that we came from an Ethereum (ETH) background, it felt like home,” Atik stated. “If you’re developing on Bitcoin, you’re part of the community, right?”

Whether Ordinals itself is accepted by the Bitcoin (BTC) community is entirely up for debate—as evidenced by tension on stage during “The Great Ordinal Debate.”

The conversation touched on whether Ordinals may be considered an attack on Bitcoin, as some critics say. Their argument: Experimental BRC-20 crypto tokens, built using Ordinals, have put an enormous strain on BTC’s network and driven up transaction fees. BRC-20 crypto tokens, pioneered in March, are fungible crypto tokens that exist on Bitcoin—comparable to ERC-20 crypto tokens on Ethereum (ETH), like PepeCoin.

There was likewise discussion about projects that could potentially be built on Bitcoin (BTC) using Ordinals, like a decentralized exchange. Matt Corallo, an Open Source Engineer at Spiral, expressed concerns during the panel that new innovations with Ordinals might propel Bitcoin (BTC) miners more toward MEV to stay competitive and introduce centralization or censorship issues if not managed effectively.

MEV, or maximal extractable value, refers to the value that miners or validators can derive from changing the sequence of transactions in a block as it’s being added to the ledger. Although while developers on Ethereum (ETH) and other chains have spent years figuring out how to mitigate MEV’s negative aspects, it’s potentially a new hurdle for cryptocurrencies  oldest coin, stated Corallo.

“The Ethereum (ETH) space has spent many of time doing this,” Corallo stated, in terms of addressing MEV. “We do must learn from that world, in so far as we’re building protocols that start to look more like that world. We definitely do.”

Udi Wertheimer of Bitcoin (BTC) Wizards stated it’s noteworthy that well- established Web 3.0 tech and concepts have worked their way into Bitcoin-related dialogue, contrasting it with events held by Bitcoin (BTC) Magazine in years past.

“ In the year, we’re on […] the main stage of Bitcoin (BTC) Magazine talking about rollups, we’re talking about MEV, we’re talking about decentralized exchanges on Bitcoin,” Wertheimer stated. “I do not have the answers […] but I think the culture is getting there.”

A cocktail party hosted by Trevor Owens in Miami. Image André Beganski/DecryptA cocktail party hosted by Trevor Owens in Miami. Image André Beganski/Decrypt

Overcoming a Learning Curve

Before Bitcoin (BTC) 2023, OrdinalSafe didn’t have any investors. On the other hand, after the team’s performance during Pitch Day, it’s already got whole lot of commitments from investors, CEO Atik said.

On the other hand, the OrdinalSafe team was not the only group represented by developers with an Ethereum (ETH) background, using Ordinals to find their footing in the Bitcoin (BTC) community.

Eril Ezerel is the founder of Subjective Labs. His team of crypto-natives has been building BestinSlot.xyz, an Ordinals explorer that lets people track inscriptions, NFT-like assets on Bitcoin, likewise as BRC-20 tokens.

The service as of now tracks over 1,100 Ordinals collections, with names like Bitcoin (BTC) Frogs, DogePunks, and Bitcoin Virus. It likewise collects data on the greater than 28,000 BRC-20 tokens.

Ezerel stated Ordinals as a horn—now that it’s been blown, people are coming back to cryptocurrencies  oldest coin en masse. Many of people in his project’s Discord server are approaching Bitcoin (BTC) with limited knowledge of how to use the network, he stated, but they’re still passionate about the prospect of digital art and collectibles.

“All day in Discord, we’re dealing with Non-Fungible Token (NFT) degens from Solana (SOL) and Ethereum,” Ezerel stated. There is been a bit of a learning curve, he stated: Numerous people have been asking for help buying Bitcoin (BTC) inscriptions.

Ordinals is in its infancy, and where the protocol goes is anybody’s guess, as people from throughout Web 3.0 enter the Bitcoin (BTC) fold. And even if Ordinals has its critics, numerous approve of the experimentation, Ezerel said.

He put forth the idea that Bitcoin (BTC) miners are on board with Ordinals as a result of the increased transaction charges they receive for validating transactions. There are likewise major developers and Bitcoin (BTC) owners that are supportive of the protocol, he noted.

“Everybody’s excited about it,” Ezerel stated. “The Bitcoin (BTC) maxi stuff, it’s mostly in our heads.”

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