Are Bitcoin Ordinals Still a Thing?
The latest on BTC NFTs
It’s been about a minute since I wrote about Ordinals, a new protocol that’s reinvigorated NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain.
In early February, collectors went crazy for low-number inscriptions (Ordinals NFTs), even paying over 10 BTC for some of them. 😵💫
But since then, the bear market has reared its ugly head. Are people still building for Bitcoin NFTs? Is the excitement still around? What about the volume? Can people buy & sell without trusting an internet random?
Here’s an update on what you need to know about Ordinals since they flew onto the scene a few months ago.
NEW MARKETPLACES, WALLETS & ANALYTICS
As Ordinals volume has caught on (it’s still down bad in the last 30 days like the rest of the market), marketplaces sprung up which enabled users to do something that was previously impossible: buy and sell their BTC NFT trustlessly, without an escrow, without smart contracts. Can you believe?
Ordinals Wallet, Magic Eden, and Ordinals Market now have the most volume in terms of market share. They are all battling it out by adding new partnerships and features. Emblem Vault is still popular for those who are familiar with Ethereum but want to experiment with BTC NFTs.
Hiro, Xverse, Unisat and Ordinals Wallet are the current popular wallets for Ordinals. I feel like I’m in the stone age with my Sparrow and even Electrum wallets, which are so two months ago. I gotta get with the times and migrate some of my Ordinals over.
The top all-time volume projects are TwelveFold, Bitcoin Punks, DeGods III, Ordinal Punks, Bitcoin Rocks, and Bitcoin Apes. But you know there are still Google Docs out there tracking OG projects… so maybe I’m missing a few.
BRC-20s DRIVING INSCRIPTION VOLUME
“This is just a fun experimental standard demonstrating that you can create off-chain balance states with inscriptions,” the creator said. But these have still contributed massively to setting all-time daily volume records for inscriptions.
BRC-20s are an experiment with token creation on the base layer of Bitcoin. They are inscribed as text JSON data, which stores a script file. These files attribute tokens to Satoshis and then allow them to move from one user to another.
The creator domodata himself warned us:
These will be worthless. Please do not waste money mass minting.
But you know that’s never stopped degens from trying to create a market. So guess what… these odd little “tokens” now have a marketplace, through UniSat. 😂
That’s even too degen for me, so I’m out. But godspeed (and be extremely cautious). Don’t even get me started on .sats names…
girl i am lost.
YUGA GOES AFTER MARKETPLACES FOR IP
When NFTs pop up on a new blockchain, the first thing we see on it is copypasta NFT collections. They just copy and paste existing art from other blockchains. These are low-effort, but they already have built-in recognition as being important by others in the NFT space, so they can sometimes perform strangely well.
But as we know from their latest lawsuit win, Yuga Labs isn’t playing with their Bored Ape Yacht Club IP.
The company issued requests to popular Ordinals marketplaces to take down collections that copied apes, like Bit Apes and Bitcoin Apes.
Many ask: Why didn’t Yuga also request to take down CryptoPunk copies like Bitcoin Punks? This may be because the Yuga/BAYC logo isn’t shown on any Punks, but it is shown on many Ape clothes and hats.
But the debate rages on about what is enforceable IP and what isn’t, as copypasta collections are now par for the web3 course.
Yuga isn’t having it.
DO LOW-NUMBER INSCRIPTIONS STILL MATTER?
One of the most interesting things that are springing up is the low-number inscription clubs. These have similar vibes to .ENS domain maxis, who put emphasis on low-character number names that sell for a premium.
Early in Ordinals, many speculated by purchasing as many sub-10k inscriptions as they could, regardless of what the NFT art was. The gold rush was on.
There are now many Discord and Twitter communities for sub-100, 1k, 5k, 10k, 100k holders, and more, who connect about Ordinals projects and the latest news. Magic Eden has also launched “low inscription clubs” which help Ordinals collectors find low-inscription NFTs. Low-inscription “collections” still sell at a premium to many others.
But now that Ordinals have blown past 1.75 million (and are adding ~150k more each day), are low inscriptions still important or considered “historical?” Or will Ordinals at any inscription number become more about the art and the community around it? 🤔
Magic Eden’s low-inscription number filter
There may not be as much NFT volume as on other blockchains, but there’s never a dull moment in Ordinals land.
I own a few Ordinals, but once the boom came I couldn’t keep up with all the new projects, marketplaces, and wallet tech. The tight-knit community seems to be continuing to thrive within the nascent protocol, always hosting spaces and chatting about building.
Questions remain to be seen about the long-term popularity of Ordinals. Were Yuga Labs, Bugatti, DeGods & OnChainMonkey just experimenting or are they committed to more?
What I do know is that it’s all weird, strangely technical, and kinda fun to follow along with their journey. So I’ll be here, along with my other 8k total buyers of NFTs right now. 🥲🫂
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