With the advent of the Ordinals protocol, Bitcoin users have recorded over 10 million inscriptions into the Bitcoin blockchain.
This achievement occurs following Ordinals creator Casey Rordamor’s Saturday resignation as the project’s primary maintainer.
Dune Analytics reports that as of this writing, there are precisely 10,018,046 Ordinals inscribed on Bitcoin, the great majority of which have been added in the last month.
While Bitcoin has always supported inscriptions, Ordinals expands its usefulness by letting users engrave information on a single, trackable satoshi.
In February, when Ordinals inscriptions first gained momentum, NFT production was their principal use case. According to CryptoSlam, this has propelled Bitcoin to the position of the second most popular network for trading NFTs, behind only Ethereum.
But in April, when users began using the technology to generate fungible crypto tokens, under the experimental BRC-20 token standard, the number of Ordinals inscriptions increased dramatically. Stably USD (USD), the first Bitcoin-based stablecoin, is hosted on the standard, which at first saw widespread usage for creating memecoins.
After BRC-20 was revealed in early March, a flood of fresh inscriptions began in late April and reached a climax in early May. On the blockchain, the shift from NFTs to BRC-20 tokens used by Ordinals is reflected in the prevalence of textual inscriptions over graphical ones.
Dune reports that as of April 20th, 1,193,102 people have signed up for Ordinals. By May 5 that figure had more than quadrupled to 3,776,366, resulting in a dramatic increase in the already high daily transaction costs. So far, Ordinals has brought in an extra $44 million in fees for Bitcoin miners, with 91% of inscriptions being text.
Ordinals have been criticised by some Bitcoiners, such as Blockstream CEO Adam Back, for ‘clogging’ the Bitcoin network and driving up transaction fees for legitimate users. Michael Saylor, a Bitcoin investor worth a billion dollars, thinks Ordinals could lay the groundwork for future innovation, such as the trading of digital securities on Bitcoin.
Ordinals proponents were eager to celebrate the protocol’s milestone on Monday. An ex-Kraken product manager, Dan Held, expressed his belief on Twitter that Ordinals is here to stay.