Past the 1 million Inscriptions milestone, what’s next for Ordinals?
Platform’s rapid growth suggests a bright future, but what will it look like?
Yesterday, the number of digital assets permanently linked to Bitcoin’s blockchain passed the 1 million Inscriptions mark. The following Dune dashboard shows the total and daily counts for Inscriptions and their associated fees:
and the same data in chart form to show activity over time:
The Ordinals protocol is also demonstrating surprising growth beyond its Inscription count, with various marketplaces generating substantial trading volumes and establishing high floor prices for certain works. A supporting ecosystem is growing just as rapidly, to offer Ordinals-compatible wallets, inscription services, data explorers, and many more useful services. As for the Ordinals community, it’s fair to say that it’s exploding across Twitter and Discord. It’s even starting to exert its influence over the web3 space, as popular NFTs (such asApes and Nakamigos) are cloned by Ordinals communities. And while the Ordinal community’s celebration of the 1 million milestone wasn’t quite as wild as some of the Bitcoin halving parties, that might only be a matter of time…
Continued growth in Ordinals is not only expected but it may well trigger – or at least enter positive feedback with – a new Bitcoin bull market. In fact, the Bitcoin-based platform is already starting to subsume altcoin NFTs. The on-chain asset creation fees on Ordinals are much lower than on Ethereum and the potential profits often much higher due to greater Bitcoin market demand. Therefore, it only makes good economic sense for Ordinals to drink Ethereum’s milkshake. Especially with high profile names like Bugatti and Asprey gravitating to Ordinals, Bitcoin has established itself as the rising star in the digital assets space.
What’s coming next?
It’s been said that standardization will accelerate the growth of Ordinals, with parallels drawn to Ethereum’s ERC-20 and similar standards. With BRC-20 already in place for Ordinals, we can expect further developments in this area. Such standardization will make it easier for developers to expand the Ordinals ecosystem. A more certain and clear-cut place for Ordinals within Bitcoin’s code would also go a long way towards de-risking the space.
It’s become clear that companies can offer extra value to customers by linking products to Ordinals, and that there’s no obvious downside to doing so. Following the lead of the Asprey Bugatti Egg Collection, other companies will soon realise that Ordinal-linked products provide a competitive edge. We can anticipate the emergence of many more collections linked to famous brands.
Big corporations are generally slow to act however, especially in a field as fresh as this. Well-known creatives, such as artists, musicians, and writers, are likely to jump on the Ordinals bandwagon sooner rather than later. Really, anyone with an established following – from actors to online influencers – can profit from Ordinals at this point by inscribing their name to the chain. It only takes one or two pioneering celebrities to kickstart this trend.
Going further, I recently offered the suggestion that forward-looking nation states could (and should) release official Ordinal collections in order to raise funds. As the sale of such digital goods imposes no further legal or financial obligations upon a government, it’s again hard to see any major drawbacks. Might we be entering a timeline in which a country can build new infrastructure not by raising taxes or taking on debt, but by creating digital assets?
Update: the actual 1 millionth Inscription is a little underwhelming: