One of the core developers of Bitcoin, Luke Dashjr has sent out a call to action to put an end to the Ordinals and BRC20 meme coin craze. Dashjr is one of the world’s most prolific Bitcoin developers and has been involved in the development of Bitcoin Core since 2011 (over 12 years) and probably one of the biggest critics of Ordinals.
Bitcoin Core Developer Calls For Spam Filter
Today, the Bitcoin blockchain continues to be congested. There are currently 414,000 transactions in the mempool waiting to be added to a block, with the average medium-priority transaction fee being $13.46. As Bitcoinist reported, Ordinals and BRC20 are the main reason for the state of the network, in part because they were coded extremely ineffectively.
Dashjr considers the Bitcoin NFTs and tokens a spam attack. According to him, measures should have been taken “months ago,” as he writes in an email. He argues that “spam filtering has been a standard part of Bitcoin Core since day 1.” In addition, he says, a mistake was made in the software because the existing filters were not extended to Taproot transactions.
To recall, Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC20 tokens, as they exist today, are only made possible by the Segregated Witness (SegWit) and Taproot updates to the protocol in August 2017 and November 2021, respectively. It is also important to note, that neither update was designed for the specific purpose of Ordinals.
But as each update increased the amount of arbitrary data that could be stored within a block on-chain, it became possible to store images, videos and other data on the BTC blockchain via script. Since no limits were implemented, this can now be exploited.
However, according to the core developer, the issue can be fixed with a bug fix. “We can address that, or try a more narrow approach like OP_RETURN (i.e. what “Ordirespector” does). Since this is a bugfix, it doesn’t really even need to wait for a major release,” says Dashjr, who added: “We already have pruning. It’s not an alternative to spam filtering.”
The email is currently being shared extensively in the crypto community, with mixed reactions. Ethereum proponent Ryan Berckmans, alluding to the block-size war in 217, spoke of a “civil war” between BTC core developers, miners, and Ordinals supporters.
Glassnode chief analyst “Checkmate” said it is not a civil war, but “an email from a very ideological Bitcoin developer.” OG Jameson Lopp added, “LOL at anyone who tries to claim that Luke is representative of anyone other than Luke.”
Kraken product manager for NFTs, Washington Sanchez, shared a similar opinion, commenting:
Luke is waging a 1 man jihad against Ordinals, I doubt the other devs will take him seriously based on their precious comments that Bitcoin was working as expected if people are submitting valid transactions.
Ultimately, it probably remains to be seen how the free market will decide. Are people willing to pay enormous fees for Bitcoin NFTs and meme tokens (that were presumably created by people who want to get rich quick), or will the hype die down?
At press time, BTC traded at $27,586.
Featured image from iStock, chart from TradingView.com