Taproot Wizards, a Bitcoin-focused Ordinals project, has successfully raised $7.5 million in seed funding. This ambitious effort aims to rekindle the magic in Bitcoin, harking back to its early experimental days.
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Taproot Wizards’ substantial backing
Taproot Wizards, self-described as “magic internet JPEGs”, is offering a unique collection of Microsoft Paint images of wizards. These images serve as a nostalgic tribute to the 2013 Bitcoin meme, “magic internet money.”
The funding round was led by Standard Crypto, a prominent crypto-focused venture capital firm, with substantial contributions from various entities, including Geometry, Collider Ventures, StarkWare, UTXO Management, Bitcoin Frontier Fund, Masterkey, and Newman Capital.
Milestone for Bitcoin Ordinals
The co-founder of Taproot Wizards, Udi Wertheimer, claimed a major milestone in the Bitcoin world by mining “the largest block and largest transaction in Bitcoin history” with the minting of such an image in February. This achievement underscores the technical prowess and ambition driving the Taproot Wizards project.
At the core of this endeavor is the Ordinals protocol, which enables users to inscribe data into satoshis, the smallest units of Bitcoin. This effectively allows for the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin network. Since its debut earlier this year, the protocol has been a source of contention within the Bitcoin community, with some arguing that it unnecessarily congests the network.
Despite the controversy, Ordinals have seen widespread use, with nearly 1.9 million inscriptions uploaded to the blockchain in just two weeks at the end of October and the start of November. This surge in activity drove network fees to nearly $7, marking a staggering 970% increase from early August.
Funds used to create a “Wizard Village”
The recent funding round for Taproot Wizards highlights the divided opinion within the Bitcoin community. While there are countless detractors among Bitcoin maximalists who feel that the network is being misused to transfer JPEGs, the substantial investment indicates a strong base of support for such innovative endeavors.
The funds will be channeled towards rebuilding Bitcoin’s “wizard village,” symbolizing the ecosystem’s ambition to compete with other major blockchains like Ethereum and Solana. According to Wall, the goal is to present a new dimension of being a Bitcoiner, changing the existing narrative and approach.
Bringing magic to Bitcoin
Taproot Wizards draws inspiration from the original Bitcoin wizard Reddit meme, aiming to change how the blockchain is perceived. Co-founders Udi Wertheimer and Eric Wall, in an exclusive share with TechCrunch+, emphasized their desire to bring back the culture of building on Bitcoin and infuse it with a sense of magic.
Comparing this investment to the one made by Yuga Labs in Bored Ape Yacht Club, Alex Vasudev of Standard Crypto sees great potential. He believes Taproot Wizards can not only build its brand but also explore infrastructure opportunities for a more dynamic Bitcoin ecosystem.
With a limited mint of 2,121 wizards, Taproot Wizards pays homage to the total supply of Bitcoin, which is 21 million. To date, less than 1% of Taproot Wizards’ Ordinals have been inscribed. Wertheimer explained that the pacing of releases is not being disclosed to avoid a quick burnout of hype, aiming instead to attract a community focused on the mission, not just the JPEGs.
Ordinals have been awarded to active community members who participated in Taproot Wizards’ “wizard school” or demonstrated their fandom through unique actions, like getting tattoos or creating videos in wizard outfits. This approach seeks to cultivate a dedicated and passionate community around the project.