Four specialists contrasted their views on Ordinals and BRC-20, phenomena that caused congestion in Bitcoin and divide its community.

As it could not be otherwise, the trending topics in the Bitcoin environment took place at the Bitcoin Conference 2023, an event that is taking place in Miami, Florida. A heated exchange of ideas centered on the Ordinals protocol and Bitcoin’s BRC-20 tokens on the main stage.

The panel was called The Great Ordinal Debate and featured Eric Wall and Udi Wertheimer, both founders of Taproot Wizards, an organization that promotes non-fungible tokens (NFT) Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens. Joining them were Shinobi Monkey, freelance writer and researcher, and Matt Corallo, developer of Spiral.

The dialogue began in earnest, with Shinobi Monkey saying that “in a way, Ordinals is an attack on Bitcoin” and commanding Taproot Wizards members to “behave like adults,” after they entered the stage dancing. “We broke Bitcoin,” was the response from the other side.

“All these things of proving ownership of something with NFT can be done much more efficiently with protocols like Counterparty,” Shinobi said, “but they are creating a protocol that is much less efficient intentionally,” he asserted.

Eric Wall took the floor and accused the anonymous speaker of being “a Karen of blockchain,” referring to the pejorative term “Karen” used to describe authoritarian people who tell others what to do. He also pointed out that protocols such as Counterparty are not as efficient, as they “resort to web 2 links to store files, many of which are down.”

For his part, Matt Corallo asserted that “Bitcoin is not there to prevent you from randomly throwing garbage onto the blockchain,” but noted that BRC-20 tokens have a “stupidly inefficient” way of doing what they are intended to do, unlike the Ordinals protocol. Shinobi seconded, adding that “BRC-20 is replicating Counterparty but three times more efficient for no reason.”

Wertheimer, known for his “improper” tweets in favor of the new tokens being generated in Bitcoin, sarcastically and facetiously thanked “all the laser eyes for saving our jpg’s on their nodes.”

Speaking a bit more seriously, he detailed two ways to approach token creation in Bitcoin: with an efficient protocol, “like Taproot Assets from Lightning Labs,” or use “something that works today” for users who want BRC-20s right now.

Bitcoin Rules, the Core of the Matter

Wall interjected that Segwit and Taproot allowed Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens to existing, “and all of you in this room supported” those protocol updates in 2017 and 2021, respectively. Shinobi Monkey replied that Segwit allowed the Lightning network to exist and that Taproot optimizes the use of multisig (multifirms) in Bitcoin “to lay the foundation for privacy in Lightning.”

On the other hand, Wall said, the information Ordinals stores in Bitcoin exists in the Witness segment, “which is the most leakable information” that is stored on the network. “If the blockchain is full of wizard images, it will be even easier to run a node. Otherwise, what are the protocol rules for?” he questioned.

By Marina Meza


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