3 months ago 1 min read

Studying The Effect Of Ordinals On The Network Traffic Of Bitcoin [BTC]

bitcoin-analysis-ordinal nft-cryptocurrents

Data from Bitcoin explorer Mempool shows that the difficulty on the Bitcoin [BTC] network has increased by 23% year-to-date (YTD) to a new all-time high of 43.55T.

The hash rate increased to 351 EH/s as a result of the increase in difficulty levels, forcing BTC miners to employ more processing power to mine blocks.

Since the debut of Ordinal NFTs on the Bitcoin Mainnet in January 2023, the network's overall traffic has dramatically increased.


Bitcoin Ordinals have dominated the cryptocurrency industry since their introduction. The total number of Ordinals inscriptions reached 521,843 at the time of writing, with a startling 58% of them being produced in March alone, in accordance to Dune Analytics.

On March 9, when more than 30,000 inscriptions were produced in a single day, the number hit its peak.

However, during the past two months, the total amount of transaction fees paid on the Bitcoin network has more than doubled.

Based on data from Dune, trade in Ordinals amounted for 22% of the total fees paid by miners.

Importantly, Ordinals concentrate on satoshis, the lowest unit of Bitcoin. Users can add data to each satoshi using the protocol. Smart contracts that enable NFTs can be included in this data.

In the long run, Bitcoin-native NFTs might give BTC the much-needed push as it feels the pressure of growing regulatory scrutiny.

Worries About Traffic

The Ordinals project has divided attitudes in the cryptocurrency community despite its phenomenal success, with BTC purists being alarmed by the prospect of increased network congestion that would result in higher fees and slower transactions.

But their worries aren't entirely unjustified. The blockchain at the time of writing rejected any transaction valued less than 3.07 sats/vB, or Bitcoin per byte, due to memory consumption each block exceeding the 300 MB cap by 366 MB.

The network slowed down significantly, though, as more than 30,000 transactions had not yet been validated.

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