In the latest episode of Unchained, hosted by renowned crypto journalist Laura Shin, Bitcoin educator Dan Held and Bitcoin Frontier Fund Managing Partner Trevor Owens discussed the emergence of BRC-20 tokens. The guests explored the concept of Bitcoin ordinal theory and its relation to these tokens.
Shin initiated the discussion by delving into Bitcoin ordinal theory. Held described ordinals as the “ordering of satoshis,” which assigns value to satoshis in a specific order based on a shared social consensus. With the rise of BRC-20 tokens, the term “ordinal” has become an umbrella concept encompassing various aspects of Bitcoin.
Traditionally, the Bitcoin blockchain only supported BTC. However, BRC-20 tokens have recently gained significant attention within the crypto community. Owens acknowledged the organic growth of BRC-20 from an anonymous Twitter user named Domo. He emphasized:
This new design space created by ordinals is the concept of adding smart contracts to Bitcoin through node software as opposed to on-chain logic like an EVM.
Held emphasized BRC-20s’ remarkable growth and highlighted the tokens’ increasing traction among users. Despite their relatively short existence, BRC-20 tokens have rapidly gained popularity, collectively surpassing a billion dollars in market cap within weeks.
However, Owens acknowledged that BRC-20 tokens’ functionality is currently limited:
There’s no other functionality yet. People are starting to use it where they can incentivize, but we are in a bear market right now. There’s not a lot of innovation in terms of new types of tokens, and I think the market is still a bit immature.
Nonetheless, Owens emphasized the superiority of BRC-20 as a meme coin protocol compared to Ethereum. According to him, the reason for this is that there is no crowdfunding, and it’s a fair launch. He concluded by saying that BRC-20 created “simplicity by having less functionality.”