Bitcoin-based NFT sparks controversy 

Bitcoin-based NFT sparks controversy 

Bitcoin sees its biggest block ever minted. With almost 4 MB, the recent block featured a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) image that sparked controversy in the community.

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Bitcoin has hit a new record with its biggest ever mined block, reaching a size close to 4 MB and featuring 63 transactions. One of these transactions sparked discussion and concern among small-block supporters, as it was a 3.94 MB Ordinal inscription that contained an NFT image of a wizard.

Luxor, a mining pool, is credited with mining the block #774,628 on the 1st of February, which set a new record. The pool used Twitter to announce the discovery to the public and explained the block’s significant size was a result of the implementation of Taproot. 

Taproot is a feature that, combined with the Segregated Witness (SegWit) update, allows multiple participants in a transaction to create a single combined digital signature and bypass the 4 MB block size.

The record-breaking block size was received with mixed reactions, with many considering it to be “spam.” Others expressed worries over the inflexible nature of Bitcoin and its potential dangers of forever preserving anything on a globally accessible and untouchable database. Some members of the community expressed dissatisfaction with Luxor, arguing that the artwork in this Bitcoin-based NFT was rather distasteful and a wasteful endeavor.

The controversy surrounding the Ordinals project and the debate over what types of data should be stored on the Bitcoin blockchain continues. The record-breaking 4 MB block with the NFT inscription has generated unease and concern among small-block supporters and highlights the challenges faced by the Bitcoin community in balancing efficiency and privacy with the need to maintain a secure and decentralized network.

Bitcoin NFTs are not new

Despite the recent controversy surrounding the 4 MB block mined on the Bitcoin blockchain, NFTs on the Bitcoin network are far from being a new concept. In fact, the use of NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain dates back several years, with numerous blockchain-based games and collectible assets being minted on the network.

Founded in 2014, Counterparty is the pioneer in offering a layer-2 solution for digital assets built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. The platform provides the necessary infrastructure for users to create unique tokens on the Bitcoin network.

Despite being overshadowed by Ethereum and other popular NFT chains in recent times, Counterparty still has a dedicated group of followers, and its assets can be connected to Ethereum. It is particularly recognized for being the birthplace of historical assets such as Rare Pepes, which continue to command high prices in secondary markets.

One example of such a historical asset is Spells of Genesis, which was introduced in 2015 and was one of the earliest blockchain-based games leveraging NFTs. The first card collections for this game were minted in 2015 using the Counterparty protocol on the Bitcoin blockchain. In 2020, the game and its NFTs underwent an upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain, resulting in a resurgence in popularity.

Another noteworthy event was the minting of an NFT containing the opening theme to Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in April 2022, which was done using the Counterparty protocol.

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