Loyal readers of The Protocol will recall our riff in last week’s issue, headlined “Bitcoin Censorship, or Just ‘Spam Filtering?‘” The gist of the story is that some Bitcoin purists are trying to keep the oldest and largest blockchain free from non-financial transactions – such as the text snippets and images that some people are “inscribing” onto the blockchain via the Ordinals protocol, launched late last year. The drama ratched up recently when Ocean, a new bitcoin mining pool backed by Jack Dorsey and co-led by a longtime Bitcoin developer, the pseudonymous (and feisty) Luke Dashjr, set up software that would “filter” out the Ordinals inscriptions. A lot of users of the blockchain, however, say a few people shouldn’t be deciding how the Bitcoin blockchain gets used; let the market decide, the thinking goes. That really amounts to a bet that Bitcoin miners, who ultimately decide which transactions to include in new data blocks and which ones to leave out, will choose to maximize self-interest, er, profits. And that makes them more likely to keep including these Bitcoin “inscriptions” because, you know, why leave money on the table? The chart below, courtesy of Dune Analytics, shows just how much in fees have been generated to date by inscriptions-related transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain – $147.7 million.
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Written by Bankerage Published on December 14, 2023