This week, the crypto world had a lot to talk about. On Tuesday, the $4 billion company Yuga Labs made history with the launch of the first-ever Bitcoin-based non-fungible-token (NFT) project, TwelveFold, a limited-edition, generative art collection inscribed onto satoshis on the blockchain network. The collection garnered bids of over $16.5 million.
Yuga has been an industry juggernaut in the NFT space, having developed three of the current top ten most valuable NFT collections, so the foray into Bitcoin NFTs is a notable shift for the company. And it’s not just Yuga that’s made the move; the Ordinals protocol has gained much attention of late and is becoming increasingly popular. The number of ordinals generated through this protocol has crossed over 100,000, resulting in Bitcoin NFTs becoming a more established idea.
Bitcoin has long been regarded as a pet rock rather than a source of sound money, and so the appeal of Bitcoin-based NFTs lies in the potential push for “greater adoption” of the currency. Bitcoin’s mempool and taproot utilization recently exploded as a result of the Ordinals protocol, but the trend may fizzle when the Initial Collection Auction (ICA) of TwelveFold is over.
Nonetheless, the Ordinals project has been a driving force of this transition, tipping the number of non-zero Bitcoin addresses to a new all-time high of 44 million, according to Glassnode. And amidst chatter of the Ordinals project being both hated and embraced, one thing is clear: Bitcoin provides a new potential for digital artifacts and it’s time for the crypto community to explore it.
Trust Machines, a startup aiming to build the Bitcoin ecosystem, raised $150 million last year, which suggests that there is a demand for Bitcoin applications. Moreover, projects like Counterparty, Liquid, Stacks, RSK, Lightning and more have been around for years building infrastructure around the sound money of Bitcoin.
The appeal of Bitcoin NFTs also lies in their secure nature. Bitcoin-based assets, like those featured in TwelveFold, are much more secure than their Ethereum counterparts, which often have their data stored on external servers. Settlement for Bitcoin NFTs stay on the blockchain forever, meaning that their integrity is guaranteed. Furthermore, Casey Rodamor’s “burn address” allows projects previously built on Ethereum to be copied onto Bitcoin, potentially making it easier for users to explore the network.
Yuga’s groundbreaking venture into Bitcoin NFTs may just be the beginning. The development of projects like Ordinals has made people ask: Could Bitcoin be bigger? It looks as if the potential for Bitcoin to expand is there, and this week certainly showed it. If an industry giant like Yuga can embrace Bitcoin, that’s an encouraging message for the community and a powerful reminder of the limitless possibilities to be explored in the volatile and ever-evolving crypto world.