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4MB Block Mined as Ordinals NFTs on Bitcoin Cause Network Congestion

source-logo  thecryptobasic.com  + 4 more 02 February 2023 08:58, UTC

The on-chain NFT solution recently integrated on the Bitcoin network has so far sparked debate among proponents.

The Bitcoin blockchain just witnessed the mining of a block close to 4MB in size amid concerns of network congestion triggered by the recently-introduced Ordinals NFTs. The project has caused a wrangle within the Bitcoin community, as some proponents support the approach, while others are vehemently opposing it.

The unusually large block was mined yesterday, and first highlighted by Julio Monero, a Senior Analyst at CryptoQuant. Addressing the development on Twitter, Monero ascribed the large block size to the recently-introduced Ordinals NFT project. CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju further commented on the message, saying, “NFTs on Bitcoin.”

NFTs on #Bitcoin https://t.co/lc4bHJsAql

— Ki Young Ju (@ki_young_ju) February 1, 2023

While Bitcoin blocks can go as high as 4 megabytes in size, the occurrence is rather rare, as most block sizes range between 1 MB and 1.4 MB. A Bitcoin block size represents the maximum size of a block of transaction data that can be added to the blockchain.

The mining of larger blocks has become necessary following a congestion triggered by the Ordinals NFT project on the network. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Bitcoin network fees have increased to their highest values in over a year, as hundreds of Ordinals NFTs are being minted on the network. The mints congest the blocks, leading to higher fees and slower transactions. This has triggered a need for larger blocks.

Controversy Sparked by Introduction of NFTs on Bitcoin

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin community is split between proponents who are excited about the introduction of the Ordinals project and those who have outright rejected it following its launch by Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor last month.

The Ordinals project makes it possible for users to transfer individual satoshis (a unit of Bitcoin) to each other on the Bitcoin network, with these sats having inscriptions of digital data embedded in them which could include images, audio or videos. This is akin to how NFTs work on other blockchains.

Bitcoin educator Dan Held is one of those excited about the idea, noting that it would introduce more financial use cases to BTC and more demand for block space. Notwithstanding, Blockstream CEO Adam Back calls it a waste of time and block space. Bitcoin Core Developer Luke Dashjr also condemned the project in a tweet, but the tweet was in turn minted as an Ordinals NFT.

One major concern has been the tendency of Ordinals NFTs to occupy Bitcoin blockspace, leading to higher fees and slower transactions. An anonymous Bitcoin influencer called attention to this concern, condemning the project as well.


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