Ordinals Market Update for 24th April 2023: 1.5 million Inscriptions
New daily Inscription record set! BRC-20 marketplace went live! Decentralized marketplaces as Ape sanctuaries? Rare sat inscription service.
A mere two weeks after the million Inscription milestone was passed, a further 500,000 Ordinals have been inscribed to Bitcoin! Thisrapid growth to 1.5 million is a strong indicator of health, likely to buoy the Ordinals market as the new week gets underway.
The following Dune dashboard shows, clockwise from upper-left: the (total) number of Inscriptions, (total) fees paid for them, and their types, textually and visually:
The massive spike in text Inscriptions which occurred yesterday (Sunday the 24th of April) is obvious. It set the new daily record for sats inscribed – a grand total of 193,063.
Interestingly, relatively low fees were paid for the record-setting cascade of Inscriptions. Why? There are two reasons:
- Firstly, the file size of text Inscriptions is tiny in comparison to those containing images, audio, or video.
- Secondly, Bitcoin network fees are usually much cheaper over weekends, as fewer Bitcoin transactions occur outside of global business hours. Perhaps serendipitously, inscribers took advantage of this fact to get their inscriptions processed at low cost.
In this author’s view, Ordinals supporters should strive to establish #InscriptionWeekend as a trend!
By restricting inscription to the weekend insofar as possible, block space competition with those using Bitcoin for its standard monetary purpose can be minimized. That’ll keep fees down for monetary and Ordinals users alike, decreasing any tensions between laser-eyed Bitcoin Maxis and pixel-faced Ordinal degenerates. Associating Ordinals with the fun, relaxation, and partying which mostly occurs over weekends also seems like a winning formula.
BRC-20 Token trading: hacked on arrival
It’s likely that the flurry of text inscriptions was encouraged by the new UniSat marketplace, the first with dedicated support for the BRC-20 token standard. One big feature of this new entrant to the Ordinals market is that, according to UniSat, it’ll allow deployers of BRC-20 tokens to earn money, presumably from their minting. However, upon questioning the UniSat community, it became apparent UniSat had not yet given clear information on exactly how this feature will work in practice. An image posted in the UniSat Discord suggests that deployers will be able to earn NFT-style royalties whenever their tokens are traded, which greatly increases the economic incentive to deploy such tokens:
Unconfirmed image showing “Deployer Royalty” fee setting when deploying a BRC-20 Token on UniSat Marketplace.
Unfortunately, the verification procedures on the new UniSat Marketplace were somewhat lacking. As a result, at least 5 BTC worth of fake tokens were sold within the market. At the time of writing, the marketplace has been temporarily suspended as the flaw is patched out. UniSat claims to know the identity of the counterfeiter and is urging them to return their ill-gotten gains. At the time of writing, the return address remains empty.
UniSat marketplace temporarily suspended, attacker low-key threatened with law enforcement action.
Wizord introduces 24 hour and monthly chart timeframes
Wizord was first with Ordinal collection charting and the aggregator recently introduced some further improvements to that feature. You can now display charts across multiple timeframes, namely the daily and monthly, which is very helpful for analysis. Here’s an example of the monthly floor price chart for Bitcoin Apes, showing the collection’s recent recovery following a series of delistings across multiple marketplaces:
Decentralized exchanges as Ape Sanctuaries?
Speaking of Bitcoin Apes, they are still available for trading on the major centralized marketplace Ordswap, and the smaller Ordynals. Given the collection’s popularity, this could explain why Ordswap is seeing a resurgence in value traded since the delisting of Apes elsewhere:
Data courtesy of Domo’s Dune dashboard.
However, Ordswap may well come under pressure to delist as it’s clear that Bitcoin Apes and BIT APES are a legally-threatened species. Like the mountain gorillas of Rwanada, their future survival (or at least, floor price) will likely depend on finding a suitable sanctuary. Decentralized Ordinals marketplaces seem likely to fulfill this role for the Apes, as well as other cloned collections.
Decentralized Marketplaces, Centralized Galleries?
To this end, Apes can be traded on the partially-decentralized marketplaces, OrdinalNovus, and OpenOrdex. As standard, these sites employ PSBTs (Partially-Signed Bitcoin Transactions) to make the trading of Ordinals trustless, meaning that a lot of the security infrastructure for marketplace decentralization is already handled. Indeed, many such marketplaces are compatible in that a listing on one automatically will appear on all the others.
However, this author’s understanding is that the sites themselves are still subject to legal pressure if their owners can be identified – which will likely prove challenging. At least one site owner lives outside Western legal jurisdictions and intends to host the site on their personal server. Great effort and expense would likely be required for a company like Yuga Labs to shut down these marketplaces, but the possibility does exist.
In future, the integration of decentralized Ordinal marketplaces with Nostr and perhaps some client-side software should allow for 100% decentralized trading to occur. It seems ridiculous that darknet-style market opsec is becoming necessary to the trading of monkey JPEGs, but here we are in 2023. Perhaps in future the centralized marketplaces will act more as galleries, finding and promoting worthy artists, while more secondary trading will occur via decentralized marketplaces.
Rare satoshi inscription
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention that the popular inscription service, OrdinalsBot, now allows creators to inscribe on common, early, and (soon) rare sats!
It’s likely that the rarity of inscribed sats will become an increasingly important factor in the valuation of Inscriptions. If you’re planning to release a collection, it might be worth paying extra to get it written to early or even uncommon satoshis. Here’s a cheat sheet to sat rarity:
Full Disclosure: the author holds no financial stake in any products or services mentioned above.