A Potential End to Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 Tokens
A recent statement by a Bitcoin Core developer, Luke Dashjr, has stirred the cryptocurrency community. Dashjr claims that Bitcoin Ordinals, a popular method for inscribing data on the Bitcoin blockchain, along with BRC-20 tokens, might soon face extinction due to an upcoming bug fix.
Exploiting a Vulnerability in Bitcoin Core
Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens have reportedly been exploiting a vulnerability within Bitcoin Core. This loophole has allowed creators to bypass data size limits, leading to significant network congestion. Dashjr’s Twitter post on Dec. 6 highlighted that this exploitation is tantamount to “spamming the blockchain.”
The Role of Bitcoin Knots in Addressing the Issue
The latest update to Bitcoin Knots, a derivative of Bitcoin Core, has reportedly fixed this bug. This update could be a crucial step in preventing the misuse of the blockchain by inscriptions that exceed the data size limits.
Impact on the Bitcoin Network
The bug fix is expected to reduce network congestion significantly. However, Dashjr expressed concerns that Bitcoin Core’s upcoming v26 release is still vulnerable. The fix is anticipated to be part of the v27 release next year.
Reactions and Implications
Ocean, a decentralized mining protocol where Dashjr serves as the CTO, has endorsed the Bitcoin Knots upgrade, stating that it addresses a long-standing vulnerability exploited by inscriptions. This change is poised to increase the number of genuine transactions processed.
Controversy Surrounding Ordinals
Dashjr has been a vocal critic of Ordinal inscriptions, describing them as harmful to the Bitcoin ecosystem. He believes that these practices are akin to an attack on Bitcoin, causing irreversible damage.
The Genesis of Bitcoin Ordinals
Bitcoin Ordinals were introduced in January 2023 by Casey Rodarmor. They allow users to inscribe data and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) onto satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. However, this innovation has led to an increase in network congestion and higher transaction costs.
Current State of the Bitcoin Network
As a consequence of these inscriptions and BRC-20 token minting, the Bitcoin network has experienced a surge in congestion. Data from mempool.space indicates over 275,000 unconfirmed transactions, with average transaction costs escalating significantly.