Bitcoin NFTs Protocol Ordinals Nears 50,000 Inscriptions

With the introduction of Ordinals, Bitcoiners have now inscripted more than 45,000 NFTs directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin is nearing 50,000 inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain. From Bitcoin Punks to audio recordings of farts, the ability to inscribe data directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain has taken the community by storm.

Inscriptions, through the Ordinal protocol, allow users to embed data, usually images, directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain, effectively enabling NFTs on Bitcoin.

The mempool, the collection of Bitcoin blocks waiting to be mined and added to the blockchain, has now filled at the time of writing as a result of the increase in block space usage that inscriptions has brought.


Debate has raged on in regards to the impacts of the introduction of Ordinals on Bitcoin. Bitcoin Magazine’s Mark Goodwin released a succinct exploration of the potential impacts that this project could have.

“Bitcoin is a database with a specified consensus, and there is nothing within Ordinal Theory nor Inscriptions that violate those rules,” Goodwin writes. “The point being that the mere fact something is a possible use case for bitcoin does not necessarily mean it is a net good for the users of the system. And yet Bitcoin is a system of rules, not biases, and the arbiter of validity must remain the code … The worst action to be taken would be one that hastily distorts the hard-fought conditions currently set. Someone could have always simply bought every block in perpetuity.”

Zack Voell, Bitcoin Magazine mining contributor, recently explored Ordinals’ potential impact for the future of the bitcoin mining industry in specific, saying “Ordinals are Bitcoin data inscriptions that give miners a glimpse at what the future of Bitcoin MEV could be … Ordinals gives a glimpse of a future where other Bitcoin users introduce creative reasons to demand the same space, which forces these competing users to meet in the fee market for the limited space inside of a block.”

All in all, the project could have major ramifications on mining and the development of Bitcoin. But what’s certain is that inscriptions are not slowing down — at least not yet, not in the current fee environment. This could change as the fee market reflects the dynamics of this increased block space demand, but for now, it seems we’re on a one-way track towards millions of inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain. 


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