Early Bitcoin Ordinals Art Sells for Record $450,000

Early Bitcoin Ordinals Art Sells for Record $450,000

With Ordinals inscription sales setting daily records, the controversial but buzzy tagalong on the Bitcoin blockchain hit another milestone Thursday. Ordinals inscription number eight from the Honey Badger collection sold for 10.4 BTC on Thursday on Magic Eden, the NFT marketplace said on Twitter.

According to Magic Eden, Honey Badger is a collection of 10K Ordinal Inscriptions ranging from 8 to 1029518.

The inscription was purchased by pseudonymous Twitter user “OG General,” Magic Eden said, tagging the account. Already the number one marketplace for NFTs on the Solana blockchain, Magic Eden launched an Ordinals NFT marketplace in March as the hype around Ordinals inscriptions took off.

“We love the energy across the Ordinals ecosystem right now, and seeing big marquee sales like Inscription #8 going for close to $460K really solidifies the value people see in digital artifacts that are permanently inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain,” General Manager of Bitcoin at Magic Eden, Chris Akhavan, told Decrypt.

The Magic Eden account on Twitter declared OG General a “legend.” OG General has not yet responded to a request for comment, but tweeted late Thursday, “Ordinals can not be stopped!”

🪖 Inscription #8 was inscribed when almost no one cared about inscriptions, on Jan 15 at 1 sat/vB. ” Ordinals Can not be stopped !! ” Back to work , I am just warming up. LFG !! Thanks to the legends @mfigge and @huuep for providing an early insight to me months ago about… pic.twitter.com/V6cOmY3sLF

— OG General (@TheOG_General) December 8, 2023

Magic Eden added support for BRC-20 tokens in June. The BRC-20 protocol lets Ordinals enthusiasts not only create inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain but also meme coins.

Ordinals inscriptions—similar to NFTs—are digital assets inscribed on a satoshi, the smallest denomination of a Bitcoin. Inscribing media, including artwork, text, videos, and even video games on satoshis, is possible thanks to the Taproot upgrade launched on the Bitcoin network in November 2021.

According to a Dune report, over 46 million Ordinals inscriptions have been created on the Bitcoin blockchain since Casey Rodarmor launched the Ordinals project in January.

Image: @dataalways

On Wednesday, famed auction house Sotheby’s announced the first sale of an Ordinals collection called “Bitcoin Shrooms” by pseudonymous artist Shroomtoshi. Shroomtoshi called the collection a “pixelated recap” of the 13-year history of Bitcoin.

According to Dune, over $106 million has been spent on fees related to Ordinals inscriptions. Similar projects have now popped up on other blockchains, like Ethscriptions on Ethereum and TON20 on the TON blockchain.

The popularity of Ordinals, however—coupled with the associated increase in network traffic and fees—has led to calls for their removal.

On Tuesday, Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr again decried Ordinals inscriptions, calling them spam on the Bitcoin network.

“‘Inscriptions’ are exploiting a vulnerability in Bitcoin Core to spam the blockchain,” Dashjr wrote on Twitter, adding that Bitcoin Core lets users limit the size of extra transaction data. “By obfuscating their data as program code, inscriptions bypass this limit.”

Bitcoin purists like Dashjr are clearly not fans of stunts like filling block space with the classic video game Doom, which is well outside their conception of the number one blockchain by market capitalization. Even so, miners are reaping the benefits of the increase in demand.

“I’m pro-use of block space, and Ordinals right now seemed like a very good way for you to get that block space utilization because that’s critical for my customers, who are miners,” Luxor Technology founder and CEO Nick Hansen told Decrypt.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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