NFTs Join Bitcoin: Community Debates New Use Case for Blockchain
• Ordinals, a protocol that stores non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin blockchain, has sparked a debate in the crypto community
• Bitcoin purists believe that the blockchain should be restricted to financial transactions only
• Others argue that it is large and versatile enough to host a range of use cases, like meme-themed art
What is Ordinals?
Ordinals is a new protocol that stores non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin blockchain. It uses „inscriptions,“ or arbitrary content like text or images that can be added to sequentially numbered satoshis or „sats“ – the smallest units in Bitcoin – to create unique „digital artifacts“ that can be held and transferred across the Bitcoin network like any other sats. Inscriptions are finally ready for Bitcoin mainnet.
Debate Over NFT Project Ordinals
The debut of Ordinals has driven a wedge between those who want to restrict blockchains to financial transactions only and those who think they should also support other use cases such as meme-themed art. Some see this as an attack on the original mission of bitcoin while others embrace it as part of its evolution.
Technological Requirements for NFTs
In order for NFTs to work on Bitcoin’s blockchain, two technical upgrades were required: Segregated Witness (SegWit) and Taproot. SegWit helped scale Bitcoin by introducing a block field for witness data – signatures and public keys for Bitcoin transactions. Taproot then resolved any security concerns allowing old SegWit restrictions to be removed and allowing large chunks of NFT data to be stored on-chain. This paved the way for Ordinals which leverages these technologies.
Existential Debate Among Crypto Community
The launch of Ordinals has sparked an existential debate among members of the cryptocurrency community about what purpose blockchains should serve, with some arguing they should remain focused purely on financial transactions while others advocating they can host a range of different use cases including NFT projects like Ordinals.
Ordinals offers an exciting new opportunity for developers and users alike with its ability to store digital assets natively on the Bitcoin network, but not everyone is convinced it’s right fit for bitcoin’s mission which could lead further divisions within the cryptocurrency community going forward.