Bitcoin-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and meme tokens are experiencing a surge in popularity, with Ordinals inscriptions surpassing 9 million on the BTC blockchain. This staggering figure reflects a tripling of digital artifacts since May 1 when the count stood at just over 3 million, according to data from Dune, a public blockchain curator.
Bitcoin ordinal inscriptions hit 9 million
Ordinals, a protocol launched in January, enables users to “inscribe” various digital assets, including artwork, profile pictures, applications, and playable games, onto the BTC blockchain. Despite some critics questioning its use on the network due to rising congestion and transaction fees, supporters like Michael Saylor, founder of MicroStrategy, view Ordinals as a catalyst for BTC adoption.
Saylor expressed his belief in the protocol’s significance during an interview on the PBD Podcast, stating that applications such as Ordinals drive up transaction fees and contribute to BTC’s broader adoption. MicroStrategy, known for holding a substantial amount of Bitcoin, is exploring ways to utilize Ordinals for launching blockchain-based applications, as revealed by Saylor at the recent Bitcoin 2023 event.
While Bitcoin Ordinals initially gained attention after its launch by developer Casey Rodamor, it remained uncertain whether the initial excitement would persist. However, the popularity of Ordinals experienced a renewed surge when the BRC-20 token standard was implemented in March. This allowed for the creation of fungible tokens, including meme tokens, on the BTC blockchain using the Ordinals protocol. Currently, daily text-based inscriptions used to mint BRC-20 tokens far outnumber inscriptions for artwork and other media. As developers began loading the Bitcoin network with meme tokens through the BRC-20 standard, the cost of network transactions skyrocketed. On May 8, the daily fees paid for creating Ordinals reached a peak of 257 BTC, equivalent to around $6.7 million at that time.
Analysts earmark Bitcoin as a catalyst to adopt NFTs and memecoins
Despite concerns raised in certain Twitter communities about higher fees on Bitcoin, pseudonymous Ord.io founder Leonidas believes they are a positive sign. He stated that increased fees indicate strong demand for Bitcoin’s block space, which is crucial for the long-term success of the protocol. Recognizing the popularity of Ordinals, NFT marketplaces have started supporting the protocol. Magic Eden integrated Ordinals in April, followed by Binance adding support to its marketplace in May.
The influence of NFTs and meme tokens created through Ordinals has extended beyond BTC. The protocol has been adapted for use on other blockchains such as Litecoin and Dogecoin, which share code origins with BTC. This expansion has led to a surge in transactions across these networks as well. The remarkable growth of Ordinals inscriptions underscores the growing appeal of Bitcoin-based NFTs and meme tokens. As the market continues to evolve, it is evident that Ordinals has become a significant force within the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.