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Bitcoin Ordinals transaction volume surged to its highest levels since May on Tuesday, as about $14.7 million worth of the Bitcoin-based assets traded hands, as of this writing, according to a Dune dashboard created by the pseudonymous on-chain data analyst Domo.
Launched earlier this year, Ordinals enables the creation of NFT-like assets on the Bitcoin blockchain. The protocol lets people assign data to an individual satoshi—equal to 1/100,000,000 of a whole Bitcoin—whether that's art, profile pictures, or text.
The lion’s share of trading volume on Tuesday took place on the cryptocurrency exchange OKX, per Domo’s dashboard. The Seychelles-based exchange rolled out trading support for Ordinals in May and accounted for 6,100 or 60% of daily Ordinals transactions, as of this writing.
However, Domo’s dashboard does not reflect recent activity on Binance. Crypto’s leading exchange by volume initially rolled out support for image-based Ordinals in May too, but it began letting customers trade ORDI, the first-ever BRC-20 token, on Tuesday.
As of this writing, the Bitcoin-based token’s price has increased 124% over the past day to $13.21, more than doubling its initial price on Binance’s platform of $5.91, according to the exchange’s website. Across all exchanges, $471 million ORDI has traded hands over the past day, according to CoinGecko.
In addition to renewed interest from Bitcoin’s recent climb toward $35,000, Charlie Spears of Bitcoin mining firm Luxor Technologies told Decrypt that Binance’s move to support ORDI “sent everything flying” that’s related to Ordinals, whether that resembles a fungible token or JPEG.
“Binance alone dwarfs that of the entire Ordinals trading volume across all marketplaces,” he said. “You have the fungible token side of Ordinals, and then you have the NFT, JPEG side of Ordinals, and they tend to go in tandem.”
Pioneered by the aforementioned Domo, BRC-20 tokens take inspiration from Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard, which is used across a plethora of tokens, such as Tether’s USDT stablecoin. Domo issued the first BRC-20 token, ORDI, initially as an experiment in March.
Domo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Decrypt.
Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor took to Twitter to address Binance’s support of ORDI, clarifying the token’s connection to the protocol. He said the exchange mistakenly called Domo’s token “Ordinals” and incorrectly linked to ordinals.com as ORDI’s “Official Website.”
“ORDI is not associated with the Ordinals project,” Rodarmor said. “I hope this gets fixed soon.”
I hope this gets fixed soon. ORDI is not associated with the Ordinals project, The Open Ordinals Institute, or The Ordicord.
Those links should be removed, and the token should not be named "Ordinals". The name of the token is ORDI.
If anyone has any contacts at Binance they… https://t.co/vR9cneIPBk
— Casey (@rodarmor) November 7, 2023
The uptick in Ordinals transaction volume also comes as the NFT market shows signs of life. While the industry found itself in the crosshairs of “The Simpsons” during a segment dedicated to NFTs on Sunday night, NFT trading volume hit a three-month high the following day.
In May, Ordinals activity sparked concern among some Bitcoiners, as transaction fees climbed to at least 654 sat/vB, or around $26, for high-priority transactions. On Tuesday, high-priority transactions commanded a rate of 98 sat/vB, or around $5, according to mempool.space.
Influential NFT firms like Bored Ape Yacht Club maker Yuga Labs have leveraged Ordinals to mint art on Bitcoin, but the protocol’s momentum was bolstered in the first half of this year by fervor for BRC-20s. With Binance’s move, that continues to be the case, Spears said.
“We were losing momentum from the BRC-20 mayhem that peaked in May and kind of subsided into August,” he said. “When the BRC-20s go flying when one gets listed on Binance, then it has knock-off effects to the broader Bitcoin NFT ecosystem.”
Edited by Andrew Hayward