A new daily all-time high has been recorded for the number of Ordinals inscribed on the Bitcoin (BTC) network due to a recently launched “token standard” for the blockchain.
Bitcoin Ordinals reached 58,179 inscriptions on April 2, smashing the previous all-time high of 31,692 on March 9 by 83.5%, according to Dune Analytics data.
The surge is believed to be driven by the recent creation of “Bitcoin Request for Comment” (BRC-20) tokens on the Ordinals protocol by a pseudonymous on-chain analyst named Domo in early March.
While Ordinals are nonfungible token (NFT)-like “digital artifacts” which carry data in the form of text, JPEG images, PDFs, video and audio formats on the Bitcoin network, the BRC-20 token standard utilizes Ordinal inscriptions to deploy token contracts, mint tokens, and transfer tokens — similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard.
The arrival of Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens on Bitcoin were enabled by the Taproot soft fork, which took effect on Nov. 14, 2021.
Over 55,000 of the inscriptions on April 2 came in the form of text-based Ordinals, many of which were represented by BRC-20 tokens, according to “Leonidis.og,” the host of an Ordinals-focused podcast.
Leonidis explained in a tweet that the spike on April 2 came on the back of new tools used to interact with BRC-20 tokens launched in the last few days.
“There was a lot of excitement around BRC-20 when it launched a month ago but eventually the hyped died down. During the lull, devs built tools to make interacting with BRC-20 much easier and now we're seeing ATH interest. I've said it before and I will say it again. UX matters!”
Among those new tools include Ord.io, UniSat Wallet and BRC-20.io. According to BRC-20.io, 1,600 tokens have been created since the BRC-20 standard was created.
Among the most popular BRC-20 tokens include “pepe,” “ordi,” and “punk,” currently boasting respective market caps of $2.5 million, $2.1 million and $900,000.
Over 42,700 BRC–20 tokens have been minted in the last 24 hours, mostly coming from the tokens wzrd, domo, BAYC, meme and pups.
While the market cap of BRC-20 tokens currently sits at less than $10 million, digital asset investment firm Galaxy Digital believes the “Bitcoin NFT” market may reach $4.5 billion by 2025.
Members of the Bitcoin community are still split on whether Ordinals is a good fit for the Bitcoin ecosystem. Proponents such as Dan Held suggest it offers more financial use cases on Bitcoin, while others say it’s straying away from Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer cash system.