Ordinals protocol sparks debate over the place for NFTs in the Bitcoin ecosystem

The recent launch of a nonfungible token (NFT) protocol on the Bitcoin mainnet has the crypto community divided over whether it’ll be good for the Bitcoin ecosystem. 

The protocol, referred to as “Ordinals,” was created by software engineer Casey Rodarmor, who officially launched the program on the Bitcoin mainnet following a Jan. 21 blog post.

The protocol essentially allows for the Bitcoin version of NFTs — described as “digital artifacts” on the Bitcoin network.

These “digital artifacts” can comprise of JPEG images, PDFs, o video or audio formats.

Meme-inspired, NFT-like “digital artifacts” are now being inscribed on the Bitcoin network. Source: Ordinals

The introduction of the protocol has the Bitcoin community divided, however, with some arguing that it offers more financial use cases for Bitcoin, while others say it’s straying away from Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer cash system.

Bitcoin bull Dan Held was one of those on board with the development, noting that it would drive demand for block space — and thus fees — while bringing more use cases to Bitcoin.

Why it’s good:
– Brings more financial use cases to Bitcoin
– Drives more demand for block space (aka fees)

My take:
– If you pay a tx fee, it’s not spam.
– Bitcoin is permissionless. Can’t stop anyone from building it anyway.

— Dan Held (@danheld) January 29, 2023

Some have pointed out that these NFT-like structures have taken up block space on the Bitcoin network, which could drive up transaction fees.


Ordinals are taking up most of the BLOCKSPACE pic.twitter.com/Gxwq4vV8MI

— Bitcoin News ⚡ (@BitcoinNewsCom) January 29, 2023

Among those include Twitter user “Bitcoin is Saving,” who argued to their 237,600 followers on Jan. 29 that “privileged wealthy whites” wanting to use JPEGs as status symbols may exclude marginalized people from participating in the Bitcoin network.

Cryptocurrency researcher Eric Wall disagreed, opining that Bitcoin’s built-in block size…


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