In recent times, the world has witnessed a surge in the popularity of NFTs and the new possibilities they bring. While Ethereum has traditionally been the go-to platform for NFTs, the rise of Bitcoin NFTs has created a buzz in the NFT and crypto community. One unique digital collection created using the Bitcoin blockchain is the Ordinal Punks. The collection comprises 100 unique profile pictures (PFPs) that are minted within the first 650 inscriptions and fully on-chain on the Bitcoin blockchain. While they have become highly sought-after digital assets in the NFT space, there is some debate as to whether Ordinal Punks are true NFTs or not.
In this guide, we will explain everything you might want to know about Ordinal Punks, Bitcoin NFTs, and the controversy surrounding the collection.
What are Bitcoin NFTs?
Firstly, let’s take a look at what Bitcoin NFTs actually are. In essence, Bitcoin NFTs are unique digital assets on the Bitcoin blockchain. Like other blockchain networks, the Bitcoin blockchain is a secure and decentralized network that records transactions. Casey Rodarmor, a software engineer, added the Ordinals protocol to the Bitcoin blockchain. Markedly, this protocol allows users and developers to add Ordinals to each of the 100,000,000 units that make up one Bitcoin. ‘Sats’ or ‘satoshis’ is the common term for these units. Moreover, this data can include smart contracts, which enable the creation of NFTs on the blockchain. Essentially, the Ordinals protocol provides a way for creators to build NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain.
What are Ordinal Punks NFTs?
Basically, Ordinal Punks are a collection of Bitcoin NFTs. Notably, this collection pays tribute to CryptoPunks, an NFT collection on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Ordinal Punk NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital artwork. The collection comprises 100 unique PFPs (profile pictures) that are minted within the first 650 inscriptions and fully on-chain on the Bitcoin blockchain. But, what exactly is an inscription? Essentially, inscriptions are digital artifacts, like an image or text, created on the protocol.
How Were Ordinal Punks Created?
Ordinal Punks are a unique digital collection created using the Ordinals protocol. The collection is made within the first 650 inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain and was createed by the pseudonymous Web3 creator FlowStay. Additionally, each NFT is generated through an algorithmic process. This process uses a series of factors and results in a unique combination of colors, shapes, and patterns. Furthermore, the use of Bitcoin Ordinals provides each NFT with a permanent, verifiable identity on the Bitcoin blockchain, making it easily traceable and authenticated. Bitcoin’s Segregated Witness, commonly known as SegWit, and Taproot upgrade made it possible to store NFT data on-chain. Significantly, this allows unlimited transaction sizes. To buy, sell, or trade an Ordinal Punk, users need to run a full node on the Bitcoin blockchain. This means that in order to do this, you’d need to be crypto-savvy!
How Much are Ordinal Punks Worth?
Ordinal Punks NFTs have become highly sought-after digital assets in the NFT space. They are priced roughly around $100,000, but one NFT, Punk 94, sold for a huge $214,000 or 9.5 BTC. Surprisingly, one NFT collector traded an original CryptoPunk for an Ordinal Punk, causing a stir in the NFT space. As CryptoPunks are often referred to as the first project in NFT history, many questioned whether the swap was a wise decision, even though the value of both projects was roughly the same at the time of the swap.
How are Ordinal Punks Valued?
Ordinal Punks are valued based on various factors such as their rarity, uniqueness, historical significance, and demand from collectors. The market determines the price of an Ordinal Punk NFT, with some selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, the fact that Ordinal Punks are created using Bitcoin blockchain technology and have a permanent, verifiable identity also adds to their value. The value of an Ordinal Punk will likely fluctuate over time, based on market demand and other factors.
So, are Ordinal Punks NFTs or Not?
Casey Rodarmor, the creator of Ordinals, said this in a blog post. “Inscriptions are digital artifacts, and digital artifacts are NFTs, but not all NFTs are digital artifacts. Digital artifacts are NFTs held to a higher standard, closer to their ideal.”
NFT enthusiasts, however, have a different opinion. Some argue that Ordinal Punks are not true NFTs because they lack programmability, which limits their potential uses. Trading the collection is also complex. Due to Bitcoin NFTs being still in its early stages, there is no infrastructure or marketplaces available to support it. Instead, users purchase the digital artifacts peer-to-peer over the counter via the Ordinal Punks Discord.
The Community Reacts
Generally, the concept of Bitcoin NFTs has caused a stir within the Web3 community. Bitcoin maximalists often reject the idea of using Bitcoin for anything other than financial transactions, such as creating NFTs. They believe that NFTs and other non-financial use cases of Bitcoin are not valuable and distract from Bitcoin’s main purpose as a decentralized currency. However, some members of the Bitcoin community see the emergence of Bitcoin-based NFTs as a positive development. In contrast, they believe Bitcoin NFTs can bring more attention, use cases, and drive further development on the Bitcoin blockchain. The popularity of the Ordinal Protocol and the high prices of Ordinal Punk NFTs have sparked a debate within the Bitcoin community about the value of Bitcoin NFTs and their potential for the future of the blockchain.
The future of Ordinal Punks
It is difficult to predict the exact future of the NFT collection. This is because it is dependent on various factors, including the overall demand for NFTs and the adoption of the Ordinal Protocol. However, some enthusiasts believe that Ordinal Punks could become highly valuable digital assets. This is due to their scarcity and unique identity on the Bitcoin blockchain. Additionally, as more people become interested in NFTs and the underlying blockchain technology, it is possible that the demand for Ordinal Punks will increase. Overall, the future of the project will likely be shaped by the ongoing evolution of the NFT space and the broader adoption of blockchain technology.