The brainchild of Casey Rodarmor, Bitcoin Ordinals allows for the numbering of digital artifacts on the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s a concept that has captured the imagination of collectors and crypto enthusiasts alike, but it could soon be undergoing a radical change.
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Changes to the numbering system
Since its inception, Bitcoin Ordinals has assigned unique inscription numbers to digital artifacts—akin to serial numbers, these numerics have become an integral part of a digital art piece’s identity. Lower numbers are often perceived as more valuable, with Rodarmor himself owning the highly coveted “Inscription 0.”
However, a recent tweet from Rodarmor suggests that this cherished aspect could be on the chopping block. He proposes deprioritizing the canonical numbering system, not to eliminate it, but to address what he perceives as development hindrances. According to Rodarmor, the need to keep the number of existing inscriptions stable has resulted in a cumbersome and challenging development process.
The problem with cursed inscriptions
To solve existing issues, previous attempts included adding negative numbered “cursed inscriptions.” These had a range of downsides, including complicating the logic required to keep track of which inscriptions are cursed. They also required community coordination to change the nature of the cursed inscriptions over time, an aspect Rodarmor describes as “permanently unstable.”
While some observers, like Luxor’s Charlie Spears, back Rodarmor’s proposed move—calling inscription numbers a “shitcoin”—the proposal is sure to ignite debate within the Ordinals community and among NFT collectors.
The market’s reaction could be significant given the historical perception of value associated with lower numbers.
Notably, this proposal comes at a time when Bitcoin Ordinals is making waves in the crypto sphere. The protocol recently saw record-breaking usage, accounting for over 62% of all Bitcoin transactions on a single day and hitting a milestone of 33 million total inscriptions.
Ordinals community: In favor or against?
Rodarmor’s announcement follows his unexpected appearance at the recent Ordinals Summit in Singapore, signaling he might be gearing up for a period of renewed activity and innovation. While some will undoubtedly question the wisdom of tampering with a key feature that has contributed to the protocol’s popularity, others might see it as necessary for future growth and stability.
Ultimately, the community’s reaction will be the most significant indicator of whether this change is an existential threat or a new beginning for Bitcoin Ordinals.