Among the crowd at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami last week were pockets of Ethereum developers, who were drawn to the world’s largest and oldest cryptocurrency through Ordinals.
Many developers with Web3 roots attended Bitcoin 2023 because of Ordinals, the protocol launched earlier this year that took Bitcoin by storm—causing a wave of innovation, hype, and experimentation.
OrdinalSafe, a self-custodial Bitcoin wallet built for Ordinals, is one of the startups that has Ethereum at its roots. The majority of its development team has experience working with the second largest token by market capitalization.
The startup joins Bitcoin 2023’s “Pitch Day,” and it ultimately won second place in the infrastructure category of the competition. The effort was a great success and a memorable experience, said OrdinalSafe CEO Esad Yusuf Atik.
“It’s your first time at that stage, and you’re trying to sell the vision of your product to other people, so you want to do a good job,” he said. “I was really nervous, but going on stage for the prize, I felt really good.”
Atik, a 22-year-old developer from Turkey, first caught the Web3 bug when he attended a hackathon in 2020. He, along with some members from the OrdinalSafe team, previously developed a protocol called Proof of Innocence under company. Chain.
Built for Tornado Cash—an Ethereum coin mixer US sanctions last summer—Proof of Innocence is designed to help users verify that they have not deposited funds into the privacy tool from an authorized wallet address.
The project “got a lot of attention,” Atik said, adding that he and the developers working on the protocol recently met with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in Montenegro. He added that Buterin talked about Proof of Innocence on stage at the Community Ethereum Development Conference.
But, in February, Atik learned about Ordinals on Twitter and was transfixed. So, he and his fellow developers set out to create OrdinalSafe, which eventually led the crew to Miami.
Ordinals: A Tale of Magicians and Maxis
Not all Bitcoiners see the value in Ethereum—or any other coin, for that matter. At Bitcoin 2023, some vocal conference-goers ridiculed BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes on stage when he told author Michael Lewis that he “absolutely” owns Ethereum and other tokens.
“Come on, guys. You know you sold some PepeCoin,” Hayes said in response to boos, referring to Ethereum’s amphibious meme coin. in the sun. “Don’t sit here like that.”
Along the same lines, a company called LayerTwo Labs invited attendees to smash piñatas that resemble the symbols of Ethereum, Solana, and Shiba Inu at its booth. People encourage Bitcoiners to “smash a shitcoin” like carnival barkers.
But despite any sense of BTC superiority permeating the air at Bitcoin 2023, Atik said the conference crowd was welcoming.
“Even though we come from an Ethereum background, it feels like home,” Atik said. “If you’re developing Bitcoin, you’re part of the community, right?”
Whether ordinals themselves are accepted by the Bitcoin community is entirely up for debate—as evidenced by the tension on stage during “The Great Ordinal Debate.”
The conversation touched on whether Ordinals can be considered an attack on Bitcoin, as some critics say. Their argument: The experimental BRC-20 tokens, built using Ordinals, put a huge strain on the Bitcoin network and transaction fees are raised. BRC-20 tokens, pioneer in March, fungible tokens available in Bitcoin-compared to ERC-20 Ethereum tokens, such as PepeCoin.
There is also talk about projects that could be built on Bitcoin using Ordinals, such as a decentralized exchange. Matt Corallo, an Open Source Engineer at Spiral, expressed concern during the panel that Ordinals’ new innovations will push Bitcoin miners even further M.E.V to remain competitive and introduce centralization or censorship issues if not managed effectively.
MEV, or maximum minable value, refers to the amount that miners or validators can gain from changing the order of transactions in a block as it is added to the ledger. While the developers of Ethereum and other chains have spent years figuring out how to mitigate the negative aspects of MEV, this could be a new obstacle for the oldest coin in the world. crypto, said Corallo.
“The Ethereum space took a lot of time to do this,” said Corallo, in terms of MEV’s response. “We have to learn from that world, until we build protocols that start to look more like that world. We really do.”
Udi Wertheimer of Bitcoin Wizards said it is worth noting that well-established Web3 tech and concepts are working their way into Bitcoin-related dialogue, comparing it to the events held by Bitcoin Magazine in past years. .
“This year, we will […] the main episode of Bitcoin Magazine talking about rollups, we’re talking about MEV, we’re talking about decentralized Bitcoin exchanges,” Wertheimer said. “I have no answers […] but I think the culture is getting there. “
Overcoming the Learning Curve
Before Bitcoin 2023, OrdinalSafe did not have any investors. But after the performance of the team during the Pitch Day, it already has significant commitments from investors, said CEO Atik.
But the OrdinalSafe team is not the only group represented by developers with an Ethereum background, using Ordinals to find their footing in the Bitcoin community.
Eril Ezerel is the founder of Subjective Labs. His team of crypto-natives is building BestinSlot.xyzan Ordinals explorer that allows people to track inscriptions, NFT-like Bitcoin assets, as well as BRC-20 tokens.
The service currently tracks over 1,100 Ordinal collections, with names like Bitcoin Frogs, DogePunks, and BTC Virus. It also collects data on more than 28,000 BRC-20 tokens.
Ezerel described Ordinals as a horn—now that it’s been blown, people are returning to the oldest crypto coin in general. Many people on his project’s Discord server approached Bitcoin with limited knowledge of how to use the network, he said, but they still wanted the possibility of digital art and collectibles.
“Throughout the day on Discord, we’ve been dealing with NFT degens from Solana and Ethereum,” Ezerel said. There is a bit of a learning curve, he said: Many people are asking for help buying Bitcoin inscriptions.
Ordinals is in its infancy, and where the protocol will go is anyone’s guess, as people from all over the Web3 will enter the Bitcoin fold. And although the Ordinals have their critics, many approve of the experiment, Ezerel said.
He put forth the idea that Bitcoin miners are riding Ordinals because of the increased transaction fees they receive for validating transactions. There are also major Bitcoin developers and owners who support the protocol, he said.
“Everyone is excited about it,” Ezerel said. “Bitcoin maxi stuff, it’s mostly in our heads.”