• BitMEX Research has identified over 13,000 Ordinals NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain.
• These transactions have consumed 526MB of block space and cost creators 6.77BTC.
• The popularity of Ordinals has drawn criticism from prominent Bitcoiners for spamming the blockchain with oversized JPEGs.
Explosion in Popularity of Bitcoin NFTs
Interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin blockchain has skyrocketed since their debut on Dec 14th, according to research from crypto derivatives firm BitMEX.
BitMEX’s research arm published a blog post showing that 13,000 Ordinals have been minted or “inscribed” between their debut and Feb 7th. This influx of JPEGs and other media files onto Bitcoin has consumed 526 megabytes (MB) of block space and cost creators 6.77 bitcoin (roughly $155,000 at the time of publication). When plotted out graphically, the total number of Ordinals transactions shows a steep “hockey stick” curve, indicating exponential growth in NFT activity on Bitcoin.
The surge in popularity for Ordinals has sparked criticism from prominent Bitcoiners such as Rene Pickhardt who accused them of “spamming” the most dominant blockchain with oversized JPEGs. Although Ordinals only account for around 3% of total Bitcoin transactions they have already consumed nearly 70% of its blockspace usage.
The Benefits Of NFTs On The Blockchain
Despite this criticism there are clear benefits to using the blockchain to store digital assets such as artworks or collectibles as an immutable record can be maintained without resorting to a third party custodian or intermediary. Moreover, storing assets on a public ledger such as Bitcoin allows them to be traded almost instantaneously with minimal transaction fees providing an attractive alternative to traditional asset trading platforms which can often be slow and expensive.
Overall it is clear that demand for NFTs is growing rapidly and although there is some controversy surrounding their use it appears that they are here to stay as more people become aware of their potential applications within the cryptocurrency space.