In the fast-moving and developing crypto world, Bitcoin can seem slow and static. To a certain extent, that’s true. Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency, its slow and methodical development process is intentional. However, a new development has burst onto the scene in the past couple of months that has the Bitcoin community divided. Some think Ordinals are a waste of block space, and others think it's the most exciting development on Bitcoin since Segwit!
Ordinals are individual satoshis, the smallest denomination of bitcoin, that are inscribed with text, images, or HTML. Over the past 30 days, over 250,000 ordinals were “inscribed” or minted, and over 1 million dollars were paid as fees to bitcoin miners in the last month alone! Popular NFT collections like Punks and Apes have already launched on Ordinals. This week, Yuga Labs, the company behind the popular Bored Ape Yacht Collection (BAYC), auctioned its first set of Bitcoin Ordinals collectives. 288 Ordinals were auctioned for a total of 735 BTC ($16.4 million).
The pushback on ordinals comes from the angle that Bitcoin’s purpose is to be a neutral monetary network for the world, where any two people can freely exchange value over the internet. Therefore, Ordinal skeptics see inscriptions on satoshis as a distraction from Bitcoin’s core mission.
On the other hand, proponents of Ordinals see it as a product with market demand and do not see why the Bitcoin network should only be used to record financial transactions. In fact, they see inscriptions as a way to increase the economic density of each block, increase miner revenues, and spur Bitcoin’s application era!
The market for ordinals has exploded in the past month. One ordinal sold for 9.5 BTC! I personally wouldn't exchange 950 million satoshis for one satoshi with an Ape or a Punk on it, but that's just me! People’s desire to collect rare items is as old as time itself. Bitcoin NFTs are the latest digital collectible on the scene. Is it just a hype cycle? Or could it take off and rival networks like Ethereum for NFTs?