Ordinals have continued to surge in popularity on the bitcoin blockchain in recent month. With over 520,000 inscriptions recorded as of March 21, 2023, the trend continues growing. Ordinal inscriptions enable the embedding of arbitrary data onto the blockchain, such as text, photos, music, video, and applications.
Ordinals: The Original NFT
Unbeknownst to many, Bitcoin ordinals are as old as the Bitcoin blockchain. Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, included a message in the coinbase parameter of the first-ever Bitcoin block (the “Genesis” block). The message read, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
Ordinals are the original NFTs and they will emerge as a leading factor in increasing the amount of volume procured on the Bitcoin network. Ordinal inscriptions basically enable anyone to put any form of information onto the Bitcoin blockchain. Text, photos, music, video, and apps are all examples of Bitcoin ordinal inscriptions.
Increased Ordinals Volume Key Indicator to Bull Market
Bitcoin ordinals are a key indicator that we are heading into a new bitcoin bull market. On February 4, 2023, the total number of Bitcoin ordinals created on the blockchain was a mere 2,512. As of March 21, 2023, the total number of bitcoin inscriptions was about 565,686. An increase in the total number of inscriptions by over 22,000% in a little over 45 days.
At present, text-based inscriptions account for over 40% of all Ordinal inscriptions, while PNG-based inscriptions make up 31.1%, with approximately 162,615 inscriptions in this format.
Ordinal transaction fees have also increased by a significant amount. On January 16th, 2023, Ordinal fees accounted for just $17 on the Bitcoin blockchain. Just two months later, on March 16th, 2023 Ordinal fees amounted to $91,700 and accounted for 11% of all daily transactions fees on the network — a 539,000% increase in Ordinal transaction fees.
Ordinals Could Enhance the Value of Bitcoin
While Ordinal skeptics fear that putting images on the blockchain have a number of downsides, the popularity of Ordinal inscriptions seems unstoppable. Galaxy Digital forecasts that Bitcoin-based non-fungible token assets using Ordinal inscription technology could reach a $4.5 billion market by 2025.
The massive increase of Bitcoin inscriptions are certainly based on market demand, though the question remains how sustainable it is. For many, the increase in inscription volume is seen as an additional layer of usefulness for people who are interested in leaving their mark on the Bitcoin timechain.