In the cutting-edge landscape of cryptocurrency, Rena Shah is a luminary. Shah, the founder of Trust Machines, is a staunch advocate for the untapped potential of Bitcoin ordinals. This novel concept, akin to Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) but bearing distinctive properties, has been stoking intrigue within the crypto community since its introduction in late December 2022.
A Bitcoin ordinal operates by attaching a number schema to each Satoshi, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. This feature allows every transaction involving each Bitcoin unit to be meticulously tracked. It’s an innovative technology that heralds novel use-cases for the Bitcoin blockchain while significantly increasing the transactional power of the network.
Interestingly, Bitcoin ordinals are enabling high-value transactions such as the inscription of important documents or luxury goods directly on the blockchain. This imbues these assets with an element of immutability, placing them beyond the reach of tampering or inadvertent loss. Moreover, the application of ordinals has also ushered in a new era of Bitcoin mining, making the validation of transactions a more profitable venture.
Shah provides an intimate example of the technology’s potential, recounting how she immortalized the voicemails of a late loved one using Bitcoin ordinals. While the immortality offered by blockchain inscription is enticing, Shah acknowledges the potential risks, cautioning against the potential misuse by cybercriminals.
The burgeoning Bitcoin network is experiencing congestion due to its popularity, necessitating additional layers to scale the system effectively. To this end, Shah champions layer-two systems such as Stacks and Lightning. These layers offer promising solutions, such as enabling scalable payment systems or bringing Bitcoin back as a chain through various DeFi and NFT applications.
For Shah, Bitcoin is the next global commodity, comparable in significance to oil. She points to the sound monetary principles underpinning Bitcoin and its capacity to serve as a hedge, earning it a place in the league of global commodities. Furthermore, she emphasizes that Bitcoin’s decentralized nature and self-custody ethos offer unparalleled access to an alternative financial system, providing a bulwark against financial crises and institutional failures.
In the quest for mainstream Bitcoin adoption, Shah’s company, Trust Machines, aims to onboard at least one billion people into Bitcoin. They intend to achieve this by crafting user-friendly core products that exhibit the programmable layer of Bitcoin. Shah believes in the power of showcasing Bitcoin’s functionality through applications such as Bitcoin web3 wallets and DeFi apps, as well as secure community chats.
However, Shah also offers a sobering take on the wave of meme coins sweeping the industry. While the concept can inject an element of fun into the crypto arena, Shah warns of the potential for scams and advises that coins like PepeCoin need a solid utility to be deemed worthwhile.
As the realm of cryptocurrency evolves at a breakneck speed, Rena Shah and Trust Machines are at the forefront, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and envisioning a future where Bitcoin ordinals and layer-two systems are the norm.
Story compiled from an interview conducted by David Lin on his youtube show