The introduction of Bitcoin Ordinals is seen by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as a sign of the “organic return of builder culture” to the network. Buterin discussed this development during a Twitter space conversation on July 7 with Bitcoin proponents Eric Wall and Udi Wertheimer, where they explored what Bitcoin developers can learn from Ethereum devs. Buterin commended Ordinals and the BRC-20 token standard, viewing them as a rejection of the “stagnant” politics prevalent in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Buterin described Ordinals as bringing back a culture of action, which he sees as a positive counter to the laser-eye movement. The lengthy conversation mainly revolved around the scalability issue. Wall argued that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is inadequate for future users, frequently failing with even medium-sized payments. As a solution, Buterin proposed focusing on implementing different layer-2 solutions while also seeking ways to enhance the efficiency of the Bitcoin base layer.
Wertheimer suggested that the introduction of rollups could have an interesting side effect: enabling the execution of smart contracts. Both Wall and Wertheimer, key figures behind the Ordinals project Taproot Wizards, advocate for enhancing the functionality built on top of the Bitcoin network.
Their stance has faced criticism from Bitcoin fundamentalists who argue that NFTs and smart contracts on Bitcoin dilute its primary function as a peer-to-peer cash network. Critics, including Jan3 CEO Samson Mow, claim that Ordinals waste block space that could be used for Bitcoin payments. Wall acknowledged these criticisms and explained that Bitcoin could serve as a proof system for zero-knowledge proofs, thus avoiding network congestion.
The discussion sparked controversy within the Bitcoin community, with Wertheimer criticizing Mow and Blockstream CEO Adam Beck for dismissing the conversation with Buterin. Wertheimer accused them of running Blockstream into the ground for the past decade, highlighting their failure to produce successful products and the company’s low transaction volume.
Overall, the conversation between Buterin, Wall, and Wertheimer offers insights into the evolving perspectives within the Bitcoin community regarding scalability and the potential for increased functionality on the network. While there are differing opinions and criticism from Bitcoin fundamentalists, the dialogue highlights the importance of fostering innovation and an open exchange of ideas within the cryptocurrency space.
It remains to be seen how the Bitcoin community will respond to the ideas presented during the conversation and whether Ordinals and the BRC-20 token standard will gain wider adoption. However, the discourse reflects the ongoing evolution and experimentation within the cryptocurrency industry as builders and developers seek to address scalability challenges and explore new possibilities for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications on the Bitcoin network.
In conclusion, Buterin’s endorsement of Ordinals and the discussions surrounding scalability and layer-2 solutions in the Bitcoin community underscore the growing recognition of the need for innovation and the exploration of diverse approaches to address the challenges faced by blockchain networks. As the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues to evolve, it is vital for industry participants to engage in constructive dialogue and collaboration to drive the development of more efficient and inclusive decentralized systems.