Bitcoin’s BRC-20 token standard has become the latest trend in the crypto ecosystem, especially after the Pepe (PEPE) memecoin rise in recent months. A total of 8,500 different tokens have been minted using the BRC-20 standard, with the majority of these BRC-20 tokens being memecoins, such as PEPE and Memetic (MEME).
BRC-20 is an experimental token standard on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain modeled on Ethereum’s ERC-20. It allows programmers to create and send fungible tokens via the Ordinals protocol.
Although modeled after ERC-20, the BRC-20 token standard fundamentally differs from its Ethereum-based counterpart. BRC-20 tokens don’t make use of smart contracts. The token standard also requires a Bitcoin wallet to mint and trade these tokens.
The BRC-20 token standard was created early in March by an anonymous on-chain analyst called Domo. The objective was to make it possible for fungible tokens to be issued and transferred on the Bitcoin blockchain. The market cap of BRC-20 tokens has exploded over the past month and currently sits at $120 million, a 600% rise in the past week.
The BRC-20 token frenzy has also dwarfed the blockchain’s original number of Bitcoin transactions. The number of BRC-20 transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain between April 29 and May 2 reached over 50%, outperforming regular BTC transactions.
The BRC-20 token volume peaked on May 1 at 366,000 transactions, with the total number of transactions on the network being 2.36 million.
Along with the rise in BRC-20 transactions, transaction fees have surged due to the new token activity. Since its inception in late April, the network has generated an additional 109.7 BTC in transaction fees for miners.
The memecoin frenzy has been a notable topic on the Ethereum blockchain, but with the rise of the BRC-20 standard, a similar trend is also observed on the Bitcoin blockchain. The memecoin craze has also led to a significant rise in Ethereum network gas fees, contributing to network congestion.