Coinfeeds Daily → Bitcoin Devs: Bitcoin Ordinals & BRC-20 Could Be Stopped If Bug Is Patched

Bitcoin Devs: Bitcoin Ordinals & BRC-20 Could Be Stopped If Bug Is Patched

Published: Dec 06, 2023 | Last Updated: Mar 17, 2024
Howard Kane

Developers discuss Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens amid concerns over network congestion and rising transaction fees.

Recent developments in the Bitcoin network have sparked intense debate among developers and users, focusing on a new feature known as Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens. These features have been linked to increased network congestion and higher transaction fees, leading to concerns about their impact on the blockchain's functionality.

Understanding Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 Tokens

Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens represent a new way of utilizing the Bitcoin blockchain. Ordinals allow users to inscribe arbitrary data onto individual satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin, effectively creating digital artifacts that can be traded and owned. BRC-20 tokens are similar to Ethereum's ERC-20 tokens but are built on the Bitcoin network. Both have been gaining popularity, but their growth has not been without controversy.

The Bug and Its Implications

At the heart of the issue is a bug in the Bitcoin Core code that reportedly allows Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens to bypass the usual data size limits for transactions. This has led to what some developers describe as "spamming the blockchain," as these inscriptions and tokens take up more space than standard transactions. The bug was recently addressed in an update to Bitcoin Knots, an alternative version of Bitcoin Core, which could potentially end the creation of new inscriptions and tokens by enforcing the data size limits.

Developer Opposition and Network Congestion

Some Bitcoin Core developers, like Luke Dashjr, have been vocal about their opposition to Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens. They argue that these features have caused "irreversible damage" to Bitcoin by increasing network congestion and transaction costs. The average Bitcoin transaction fee has soared to $19.48, even surpassing Ethereum's fees, due to the heightened demand for block space caused by these inscriptions and token minting.

Impact on Bitcoin's Future

The potential patch to the Bitcoin Core could have significant implications for the future of Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens. While existing inscriptions would remain on the blockchain, the creation of new ones could be halted if the vulnerability is fully addressed in the main Bitcoin network. This has led to a broader discussion within the Bitcoin community about the direction of the network and the balance between innovation and preserving the blockchain's original purpose as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.

Practical Takeaways

For Bitcoin users and investors, these developments are a reminder of the evolving nature of blockchain technology and the importance of staying informed about changes to the network. Those interested in Bitcoin Ordinals or BRC-20 tokens should monitor the situation closely, as the proposed bug fix could alter the landscape for these features. Additionally, users should be aware of the potential for increased transaction fees and network congestion when planning their transactions.

Overall, the debate around Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens highlights the ongoing challenges faced by decentralized networks as they grow and adapt to new uses. The outcome of this issue will likely set a precedent for how the Bitcoin community addresses similar challenges in the future.

Receive a Custom Newsletter for the Coins You Follow

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.