Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that represent various forms of art, collectibles, games, music, and more, and have been one of the hottest trends in the crypto space in 2023, attracting millions of dollars in sales and generating a lot of buzz and excitement among creators and collectors.
However, not all NFTs are created equal. There are different standards and platforms that enable the creation and trading of NFTs, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the most popular and widely used standards is ERC-20, based on the Ethereum blockchain. ERC-20 NFTs have been dominating the market for a long time, thanks to the network effects, liquidity, and diversity of the Ethereum ecosystem.
But there is a new challenger in town: BRC-20. BRC-20 is an experimental token standard that enables the minting and transferring of fungible tokens via the Ordinals protocol on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. Taking a cue from Ethereum’s ERC-20 tokens, BRC-20 tokens feature different mechanisms and functions, such as proof-of-history, proof-of-stake, and optional royalty. BRC-20 tokens are also compatible with the Bitcoin network, which means they can leverage the security, decentralization, and immutability of the most established and valuable cryptocurrency.
BRC-20 NFTs have been gaining a lot of traction and popularity in 2023, especially among Bitcoin enthusiasts and supporters. According to Coingecko, the TRAC (Ordinals) market cap has soared by around 230% over the last seven days to a $67 million market cap.
BRC-20s Beginning to Outpace Ethereum NFTs
BRC-20 NFTs have also surpassed Ethereum NFTs in terms of sales volume, with $35,563,933 worth of transactions in the past 24 hours, compared to $12,142,132 for Ethereum NFTs. Solana, another contender in the NFT space, is lagging with only $1,990,810 in sales volume.
Compared to when I first talked about it last year, and again this year, the difference is huge. So, what is driving this surge in BRC-20 NFTs? Several factors contribute to this phenomenon, such as:
- Innovation and experimentation: BRC-20 NFTs are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with NFTs, introducing new features and functionalities that appeal to both creators and collectors. For example, they can have optional royalty, which means that the original creator can receive a percentage of the future sales of their NFTs, creating a passive income stream and incentivizing quality and originality. They can also have stake-weighted transaction processing, which means that the more stake a user has in the network, the faster and cheaper their transactions will be, creating a more efficient and fair system.BRC-20 NFTs can also have fee-based execution priority, meaning users can pay higher fees to confirm their transactions faster, creating a more flexible and dynamic market.
- Scalability and performance: BRC-20 NFTs are designed to overcome the scalability and performance issues that plague Ethereum NFTs, such as high gas fees, slow transaction speed, and network congestion. Their NFTs use the proof-of-history mechanism, which allows the network to achieve a high throughput of transactions without compromising security or decentralization. Proof-of-history encodes time as data on the blockchain, creating a verifiable and chronological record of events. This eliminates the need for complex and costly consensus algorithms, such as proof-of-work or proof-of-stake, and enables the network to process thousands of transactions per second with low latency and low cost.
- Diversity and creativity: BRC-20 NFTs are attracting a diverse and creative community of artists, developers, and collectors who are exploring new possibilities and opportunities with NFTs. They are not limited to digital art but can also represent various forms of media, such as music, videos, podcasts, games, and more. They can also be integrated with other platforms and applications, such as social media, e-commerce, gaming, and more, creating new use cases and experiences for NFTs. BRC-20 NFTs can also be combined with other NFTs, creating complex and rich digital assets with multiple layers and dimensions.
- Strong community and builders: The Bitcoin community and builders are very strong and dedicated to improving the network and creating more user value. BRC-20 NFTs are one of the results of their hard work and vision. They have been working on the Ordinals protocol and the BRC-20 token standard for years before they launched them in early 2023. Since then, they have been attracting more and more creators and collectors to join the BRC-20 NFT space, creating a vibrant and diverse ecosystem.BRC-20 NFTs are not only a way of expressing and owning digital art but also a way of supporting and participating in the Bitcoin network and are a testament to the innovation and creativity of the Bitcoin community and builders.
Some of the most popular and successful BRC-20 NFT projects in 2023 include:
- ORDI: ORDI is a collection of 20,000 unique and generative NFTs representing the ordinal numbers from 1 to 20,000. ORDI is a minimalist and elegant project that celebrates the beauty and simplicity of numbers. ORDI also has a social and charitable aspect, where each NFT holder can choose a social media handle to display on their NFT, and a portion of the sales proceeds are donated to various charities. ORDI is currently the largest BRC-20 NFT project by total sales, with over $208 million and over 2,440 transactions.
- $RATS: RATS is a collection of 461,194 unique and generative NFTs representing different types of rats. They are one of the most popular and successful BRC-20 NFT projects in 2023. $RATS BRC-20 NFTs are not only collectibles but also playable characters in a metaverse game that is being developed by the team. The NFTs have different attributes, such as color, size, fur, eyes, ears, tail, and accessories, affecting their game performance and value. They also have a royalty system, creating a passive income stream and incentivizing quality and originality.
— Anndy Lian (@anndylian) November 18, 2023
BRC-20 NFTs are soaring because they offer a new and exciting way of creating and collecting digital assets on the Bitcoin blockchain. They are innovative, scalable, diverse, and creative, with a loyal and passionate community behind them.
BRC-20 NFTs are not a fad but a force to be reckoned with in the NFT space — and they are only just getting started.