Bitcoin surpasses 65 million Ordinals inscriptions, 8 days before halving

The Bitcoin network has surpassed 65 million Ordinals inscriptions, eight days before the much-anticipated Bitcoin halving.

Ordinals inscriptions surpassed the 65 million mark on April 11, less than one year and three months since their launch in January 2023, according to Dune data.

Ordinals Inscriptions chart. Source: Dune

Ordinals are the first iteration of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on Bitcoin, the world’s first blockchain network. Ordinals live solely on the Bitcoin blockchain, unlike most of today’s popular NFT collections that host their metadata on centralized servers, creating additional points of vulnerability.

The milestone comes just before the Bitcoin halving, which will happen around April 19 and will reduce block issuance rewards from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

To date, Ordinals generated over $458 million worth of network fees for Bitcoin miners, according to Dune. This represents a significant lifeline for mining firms, due to the upcoming block reward reduction.

Related: With 10 days to the halving, analysts predict $150K Bitcoin top

Ordinals signal demand for BTCFi

The 65 million milestone shows the increased demand for block space on Bitcoin and the need for additional Bitcoin layer-2 (L2) networks, according to Mithil Thakore, CEO of Velar, who told Cointelegraph:

“As ordinals become more prevalent, the need for utility around them through lending, derivatives markets, becomes evident. This trend will likely drive the rise of Bitcoin L2s, offering the programmability needed to support smart contracts to bring these ordinals as well as BTC to DeFi. It’s an exciting time for the Bitcoin ecosystem as we witness its evolution and expansion into new realms of functionality.”

BTCFi, short for Bitcoin decentralized finance (DeFi), is a new paradigm aiming to bring DeFi capabilities to the Bitcoin network.

Provided that the current adoption rate continues, BTCFi could match the innovation of Ethereum-based DeFi in the future, Nash Lee, co-founder of MerlinSwap, told Cointelegraph:

“[Market appetite] is seeking expansive platforms capable of accommodating the surging volumes and expectations. DeFi…..

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