Bitcoin ecosystem reinvigorated by memecoins, new protocols

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Bitcoin ecosystem reinvigorated by memecoins, new protocols
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The Bitcoin ecosystem has witnessed a dramatic recovery as the market cap of BRC-20 tokens surpassed $4 billion shortly after their invention in January.

According to a Dec. 15 research report by cryptocurrency exchange Bitget seen by Cointelegraph, Bitcoin (BTC) miners’ earnings from on-chain fees have surged from 1.7% in August to 19.57% by November. Meanwhile, daily mining revenue from block rewards surged past $40 million in November. The namesake digital asset has gained 161% year-to-date.

Invented by Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor in January, BRC-20 tokens have surged in popularity as one of the largest technological advancements in a 15-year-old blockchain. Bitcoin Ordinals is a numbering system that assigns a unique number to each satoshi, or 1/100 millionth of a Bitcoin, enabling tracking and transfer. Combined with the inscription process, which adds a layer of data to each Satoshi, users can mint unique digital assets on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The Ordinals (ORDI) token — the first memecoin created via the BRC-20 standard but not related to the Ordinals protocol itself — currently has a market cap of $1.34 billion. Meanwhile, researchers have also noted the emergence of other Bitcoin token standards, such as ARC-20 from Atomicals Protocol, in adding value to the Bitcoin ecosystem:

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“Unlike Ordinals, which rely on third-party sorters to order asset transactions, the Atomicals protocol’s ARC-20 standard uses Bitcoin’s smallest unit, Satoshi, as the smallest unit for issuing assets. This allows Atomicals assets to trace a complete transfer history without relying on any third-party sorter.”

Currently, Atomical Protocol includes ARC-20 tokens, nonfungible tokens, Bitcoin domain names known as “realms,” and on-chain data object storage known as “Collection Containers.“ “As of this date, there have been a total of 366,879 mints on the Atomicals Protocol, cumulatively costing 55.8 BTC ($2.4 million). The total number of mints on this protocol accounts for 2.69% of the total mints on Ordinals,” researchers wrote.

Despite high gas fees, there exists a strong community demand for minting BRC-20 tokens. Using the example of the Sats (SATS) memecoin, researchers noted that SATS was fully minted on Sept. 24, with 21,107,258 mints and 36,061 holders, despite gas fees costing over $15 million. “[Layer-two solutions such as] the Lightning Network will serve as the largest technical foundation supporting the adoption of Bitcoin payments on a larger scale,” researchers concluded in their predictions for 2024.

Related: Why has Bitcoin price hit new all-time highs in Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria and Argentina?



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