Ordinals put digital graffiti on Bitcoin’s blockchain

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The Ordinals Protocol on the Bitcoin network has sparked extensive debate among enthusiasts and skeptics alike. At its core, the integration of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on Bitcoin — which the protocol facilitated — is out of alignment with Bitcoin’s original design and ethos. It represents a disruptive and unwelcome diversion.

Bitcoin (BTC) was conceived as a decentralized digital currency, primarily focused on facilitating financial transactions. Its design and architecture were meticulously crafted to serve this purpose, ensuring security, efficiency, and accessibility. The introduction of NFTs via Ordinals represents a significant departure from this foundational objective.

Its implementation raised concerns among some developers and users, who describe it as exploiting a vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol. This perspective suggests that the integration of Ordinals was not a planned or natural evolution of Bitcoin’s capabilities but rather a manipulation of its existing framework. Such a viewpoint casts doubt on the legitimacy and long-term viability of Ordinals within the Bitcoin ecosystem, which also risks diluting its original vision and confusing its user base about its primary function.

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More importantly though, the integration of Ordinals into Bitcoin’s ecosystem has introduced more than just digital collectibles; it has ushered in a wave of digital clutter, akin to spam, that contradicts the network’s original efficiency and purpose. This influx of non-essential data is not just an annoyance. It leads to tangible issues such as network congestion and inflated transaction fees, straying far from Bitcoin’s vision of a streamlined, financial blockchain.

PSA: “Inscriptions” are exploiting a vulnerability in #Bitcoin Core to spam the blockchain. Bitcoin Core has, since 2013, allowed users to set a limit on the size of extra data in transactions they relay or mine (`-datacarriersize`). By obfuscating their data as program code,…

— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) December 6, 2023

Faced with these challenges, it’s inevitable that the community will develop methods to filter out and eliminate these Ordinals from wallets and full nodes. Consequently, the perceived immutability of Ordinals is a fallacy. As participants in the network take active steps to remove these digital artifacts, the notion that Ordinals will exist eternally within the Bitcoin blockchain becomes increasingly untenable. This dynamic underscores a fundamental misalignment between the nature of Ordinals and the core principles of Bitcoin’s design, hinting at their eventual obsolescence in a system that was never meant to host them.

Ordinals firmly plan their roots on the NFT space, which is often criticized for its elitist and exclusive nature. This contrasts sharply with Bitcoin’s democratic and inclusive ethos. Bitcoin’s emergence was a response to the centralized control of traditional financial systems, offering an egalitarian alternative. The embrace of an arena known for its exclusivity and speculative tendencies could alienate a significant portion of Bitcoin’s community, who value its open and egalitarian principles.

Ordinals are a bug. The fix is coming. https://t.co/dZeDCiKrPQ

— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) December 9, 2023

Integrating Ordinals into Bitcoin can be likened to the act of spraying neon graffiti on revered ancient monuments like the colosseum or the pyramids. These structures stand as architectural marvels and testaments of historical significance. Imagine them suddenly covered in flashy, modern neon spray paint.

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That act, while undoubtedly modern and eye-catching, would egregiously clash with the monument’s historic essence. It transforms sites of cultural and historical reverence into jarring spectacles, undermining their dignity and distorting their original purposes. This kind of graffiti would not be celebrated. It would be seen as an act of vandalism, an affront to the integrity of these timeless structures.

In a similar vein, the introduction of Ordinals into Bitcoin feels like a significant misstep. It disrespects and distorts the foundational principles of Bitcoin, turning a groundbreaking financial innovation into a cluttered display of digital extravagance. This transformation not only undermines the original vision of Bitcoin but also challenges the very essence of what made it a monumental breakthrough in the digital world.

The Ordinals Protocol created several critical problems for Bitcoin: a shift away from its primary financial focus, questions about the permanence of digital assets, a clash with its democratic ethos, and concerns over protocol exploitation. As we navigate these complex waters, it is imperative we consider these problems carefully, ensuring that Bitcoin remains true to its foundational vision and continues to serve its intended purpose.

Daniele Servadei is the founder and CEO of Sellix, an Italian e-commerce platform that has processed more than $75 million in transactions for more than 2.3 million customers worldwide. He’s attending the University of Parma for a degree in computer science.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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