It was in the technicolor spotlight of Miami’s Bitcoin 2023 conference that MicroStrategy’s co-founder and executive chairman, Michael Saylor, unfurled his enthusiasm for a Bitcoin innovation — Ordinals. Saylor, already known for being a Bitcoin maximalist, has publicly embraced this emerging technology, and it’s stirred a cauldron of conversation.
Ordinals, akin to Ethereum’s Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), inject the Bitcoin blockchain with the capacity to carry not only financial information but also arbitrary content like visual data. A nascent structure dubbed BRC-20, or “Bitcoin Request for Comment,” propels the creation of fungible tokens on Bitcoin through this Ordinals protocol.
In recent weeks, the Bitcoin stage has buzzed with debate about Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens. Transaction fees have sky-rocketed, and critics wonder whether this is a financial attack on the network and if these new-style transactions merit censorship.
Saylor, amidst the technological tango, is more optimistic, welcoming Ordinals as a blossoming opportunity within the Bitcoin network. He acknowledged that initial use cases were mostly speculative, characterizing them as “not terribly serious.”
To add to the surreal pageantry of it all, one of the most successful Bitcoin Ordinals collections, as reported by CryptoSlam, is the bizarrely named ‘Bitcoin Frogs.’ It’s a peculiar twist on the Pepe the Frog meme coin craze that has swept the NFT landscape like a wildfire.
But Saylor’s perspective darkens when he contemplates the ethical dimensions of BRC-20 tokens. “If they’re used to issue unregistered securities, then naturally, there will be vehement objections. It’s unethical, illegal, and the objection is entirely justified,” he opined.
However, Saylor encourages a balanced viewpoint. If these tokens are deployed in a regulated, ethical context, he sees no cause for alarm. It’s all about the particular use case and its perception.
Imagine, he suggested, “using them to tokenize all the stocks and ETFs on NASDAQ, enabling individuals to personally custody their shares rather than entrusting them to a centralized custodian. If framed in this light, Bitcoin aficionados would be in full support.”
The MicroStrategy chieftain concedes that while he foresees economically viable uses, there’s also room for “unethical, stupid things.”
Like many Bitcoin enthusiasts, Saylor advocates for the power of the free market. He encourages individuals to invest in what they believe in, criticize what they consider ridiculous, but refrain from censorship.
Despite cautionary whispers of potential unregistered security offerings and community resistance, Saylor staunchly opposes censoring Ordinal transactions on the Bitcoin network. He concluded emphatically, “Should we alter the protocol to censor certain types of transactions? My answer is a resounding no.”