Bitcoin Ordinals causes fees to spike
The Bitcoin (BTC)-native Ordinals protocol is taking up record-breaking space on the blockchain and in the process is hiking the transaction fees on the network.
The divisive newly launched protocol allows for nonfungible token (NFT)-esque assets on the Bitcoin mainnet by inscribing satoshis with content.
So far, inscriptions have included content such as images, documents including a PDF file of the Bitcoin whitepaper and even a fully playable clone of the video game DOOM.
The 31.2 kilobyte DOOM clone (pictured) will now forever be playable on Bitcoin. Image: Ordinals
On Feb. 2, independent developer, Udi Wertheimer, tweeted he had conducted the “largest transaction in Bitcoin’s history” after using the Ordinals protocol to inscribe a 3.94-megabyte image of a sunglass-wearing, bald, bearded wizard lauding “magic internet JPEGs.”
Last night, we made history
The gatekeepers tried to censor us
But we mined the LARGEST BLOCK and LARGEST TRANSACTION IN BITCOIN’S HISTORY
Special thanks to bitcoin full node operators for supporting our efforts and hosting our 4MB NFT for all eternity!
gm @TaprootWizards ♂️ pic.twitter.com/uKGG918af8
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) February 2, 2023
The data size of these inscribed transactions are much more than those typically conducted on the blockchain and as a result have driven up the fees associated with processing them.
Typical Bitcoin transactions can cost a few cents to a few dollars, but Ordinals can cost tens of dollars in comparison.
Figures from crypto-mining data provider Hashrate Index show over the past seven days fees as a percentage of the block reward are on the rise starting off the week at around 1% before jumping to a Feb. 1 weekly high of 6.74%.
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