The rise of ordinals on Bitcoin (BTC) has opened many doors for developers and users. By permanently inscribing data on the Bitcoin blockchain, digital objects like art can have verifiable ownership. However, not only digital art objects can benefit from this development. Domain addresses are also possible using this technology.
Untangling public wallet keys
Sending and receiving transactions over the blockchain has many advantages. Some of these include the verifiability of transactions and the immutability of the blockchain. Thanks to the blockchain, digital value can be transacted in perpetuity, like a person handing over a physical dollar bill to someone else.
However, using the technology is not so simple for everyone. Users need a certain amount of knowledge about how blockchain and their wallets work, and they also need to know how to securely send crypto to a wallet.
One of the difficulties users might experience is that public keys can be quite intimidating. They are long strings of seemingly random numbers and letters. One mistake and the crypto is either lost or ends up in the wrong wallet. And with the immutability of the blockchain, there is no way to get it back.
Where there is a need, developers get to work. One of the popular projects that aim to make crypto transactions more user-friendly is Ethereum Name Service (ENS). This platform turns these complicated wallet addresses on Ethereum into easily readable domain names, just like any website.
For a long time, however, it was impossible to integrate a comparable solution for the Bitcoin network.
A step toward ‘smart’ Bitcoin
This all changes with BTCDomain. The platform uses ordinals and zk-STARKs, short for “zero-knowledge Succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge,” to generate unique domain addresses that can be used on the Bitcoin network. But how does it work under the hood?
In essence, ordinals are unique inscriptions in transactions on the Bitcoin network. In this way, ordinals are verifiable using a blockchain explorer. BTCDomain uses this approach to associate Bitcoin domain addresses. The platform contains all the necessary metadata within a Bitcoin transaction. When a user sends BTC to one of the registered domains, for example, “satoshi.btc,” the platform resolves the underlying public key so that the BTC ends up at the correct address.
To ensure that this happens correctly, users should be able to trust that the system is resolving the transaction correctly. This is where the zk-STARK technology comes in.
One of the options is for users to run a full Bitcoin node in combination with an ordinal database on their own machine. While this is possible, it requires some technical skills and time. BTCDomain solves this problem by resolving a transaction using the resources of the platform. It inspects each Bitcoin transaction and generates a zero-knowledge proof. Users can then confirm that the domain address holds the underlying public key they are sending BTC to.
What’s more, with the latest Miami update, BTCDomain now allows users to inscribe their own website on the Bitcoin network. Thanks to the update the platform can automatically resolve domain names to the dedicated web2 website. For example, if a user owns ordinal.btc and builds an html file and inscribes it on the Bitcoin network, BTCdomain can automatically show this website on ordinal.btc.page.
Criticism against ordinals
However, the use of ordinals on Bitcoin has drawn criticism. Due to its growing popularity, the network’s activity increased significantly. In turn, this led to higher transaction fees, leading critics to oppose the use of the Bitcoin network for anything other than financial transactions. Founder of BTCDomain Jay Lee is a firm believer that it is everyone’s own choice what they do with Bitcoin: “Everyone could always use Bitcoin as a financial transaction chain. We (who believe in ‘smart’ Bitcoin) don’t affect any original use of Bitcoin. Someone might argue ordinals have pushed transaction fees higher. But we are in a free market. Whoever pays the highest gas fee rate gets included in a block. It is fair.”
According to Lee, BTCDomain brings “smart Bitcoin” closer by showing developers that it is possible to build trustless applications that rely only on Bitcoin. This could lead to a thriving decentralized finance sector built on the Bitcoin blockchain in the future.
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