ビットコインの価格上昇の理由は、コロナ禍による金融緩和が影響しているとされています¹。また、ビットコイン価格は急上昇し、背景にあるのは米銀行のSilicon Valley Bank(SVB)の破綻と見られています²。ビットコイン価格が今後どのように変動するかは、暗号資産の取引をしている方なら誰でも気になることでしょう³。

「Ordinals Protocol」の登場でビットコインブロックチェーンでのNFT作成が可能になったことと、ビットコイン価格の上昇についての相関を教えてください

「Ordinals Protocol」というプロトコルが登場し、ビットコインのブロックチェーン上でNFT作成が可能になったことが、ビットコイン価格上昇の理由の一つとされています¹。このプロトコルは、ビットコインの最小単位であるサトシを使って、デジタルアートやプロフィール写真などのNFTをビットコインのブロックチェーンに格納することができます


Chain Research – What are Bitcoin Ordinals?

For nearly a decade, Ethereum has been the go-to blockchain network for building decentralized applications and minting NFTs, while Bitcoin has remained the undisputed Godfather of peer-to-peer financial transactions.

Following Bitcoin’s creation in 2009, blockchain technology captivated the bright minds of developers all over the world. This led Canadian software engineer, Vitalik Buterin to propose a new platform in 2013, called Ethereum, which would provide a decentralized environment to facilitate online transactions (A.K.A Web 3.0).

Ethereum was engineered to create a platform that would enable developers to construct decentralized applications (Dapps) and smart contracts. With the Ethereum blockchain, NFTs were able to be widely distributed and traded on the network. NFTs, which are short for “non-fungible tokens”, are cryptographic tokens that can represent a unique piece of digital content stored on the blockchain. These characteristics made Ethereum much more flexible and versatile compared to Bitcoin, which is mostly limited to financial transactions.

Thirty years ago, prior to the existence of cryptocurrencies, Hal Finney (early Bitcoin pioneer), had already discovered cryptographic methods to facilitate the sale of digital assets, which he referred to as “crypto trading cards”. He believed that they would be the key to bringing Bitcoin to the mainstream population.

For more than 10 years, developers have been exploring ways to link digital art to the Bitcoin blockchain through sidechains or layer-2 solutions. Layer-2 solutions are open-source protocols built on top of the Bitcoin network, that offer added functionality on top of the inherited layer of security.

Recently, a new decentralized protocol named Ordinals, developed a way to add digital artifacts to ‘on-chain’ Bitcoin transactions using satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin, equating to 0.00000001 Bitcoin), which sparked debate within the Crypto Twitter community on whether this would tarnish Bitcoin’s integrity.

While Ethereum and Solana have become well-known for NFTs and digital collectibles, many Bitcoin developers have been eager to bring these assets directly on to the Bitcoin blockchain. The main hurdle that was preventing the development of NFTs on Bitcoin was the need for smart contracts. NFTs use smart contracts to assign ownership of the digital asset, and update this ownership when the NFT is bought or sold.

To overcome this issue, earlier protocols such as Counterparty and Stacks have developed novel ways of utilizing a local token for smart contracts, and finding methods to settle their trades back on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Bitcoin NFTs and the Ordinals Protocol have sparked a major debate on Crypto Twitter this past week. The launch of the Ordinals Protocol is highly contested between developers, Bitcoin maxis, and NFT-enthusiasts, with each party voicing their strong opinions. To deeper understand the source of this controversy, we must start from the very beginning.


2009年にビットコインが誕生した後、ブロックチェーン技術は世界中の開発者の頭脳を魅了しました。2013年、カナダのソフトウェアエンジニアであるVitalik Buterinは、オンライン取引(A.K.A Web 3.0)を促進する分散型環境を提供する新しいプラットフォーム、Ethereumを提案しました。

Ethereumは、開発者が分散型アプリケーション(Dapps)やスマートコントラクトを構築できるプラットフォームを作るために設計されました。イーサリアムのブロックチェーンにより、NFTはネットワーク上で広く配布され、取引されるようになりました。NFTは「Non-fungible tokens」の略で、ブロックチェーン上に保存されたデジタルコンテンツのユニークな部分を表すことができる暗号トークンである。これらの特徴により、ほとんどが金融取引に限定されるビットコインと比較して、イーサリアムははるかに柔軟で汎用性の高いものとなりました。






ビットコインNFTとOrdinals Protocolは、この1週間、Crypto Twitterで大きな議論を巻き起こした。Ordinalsプロトコルの立ち上げは、開発者、Bitcoin maxis、NFT愛好家の間で大いに議論され、各当事者が強い意見を表明している。この論争の原因をより深く理解するためには、最初の段階から始めなければなりません。

The Evolution from ‘Side-Chain’ to ‘On-Chain’ NFTs on Bitcoin

Before the existence of NFTs or even the Ethereum network, the iconic “Rare Pepe” memes made their debut in the crypto space through the popular layer-2 protocol, Counterparty. Established in 2014, Counterparty was built upon the open and decentralized Bitcoin network to allow users to mint, buy, and sell unique digital assets. This marked a major breakthrough in digital history, by demonstrating that Bitcoin’s design could be used for more than just a form of currency.

Counterparty transactions operate similarly to Bitcoin’s. Counterparty nodes don’t communicate with each other and don’t have a “peer-to-peer network”. Instead, they connect to the Bitcoin software and download and decode data from each transaction. Counterparty provides the infrastructure for the transaction of digital assets, and even collects the mining fees for the Bitcoin network.

Counterparty facilitated the minting of Rare Pepe images, presented in the form of tradable cards, but in limited quantities. The Rare Pepe Wallet enabled users to purchase, sell, and store their Rare Pepe NFTs. To ensure a liquid cash flow, the platform employed a digital currency known as PepeCash. This currency was used to facilitate the submission of Rare Pepes, wallet entries, and to play games.

In contrast, Stacks (formerly Blockstack) is an open-source platform that allows developers to create powerful decentralized applications (dApps) using Bitcoin. It functions as a layer-2 to the Bitcoin network, and provides open-source software for authentication and data storage. From smart contracts and DeFi to NFTs, Stacks has provided an array of capabilities for developers and users alike.

How Ordinals Are Bringing NFTs to Bitcoin with Inscriptions

The Ordinals Protocol recently developed a way to make it easier to create and “inscribe” NFTs, or ‘digital artifacts’ on the Bitcoin network. This was made possible by the Segregated Witness (Segwit) software upgrade in 2017, which reduced the costs of data storage on the Bitcoin blockchain by 75%, and addressed its scalability problem by reducing the amount of data needed to process each transaction.

The Taproot upgrade took this a step further in 2021, by authorizing Bitcoin transactions to reach the full size of a Bitcoin block – which has led to the rise in activity on the Ordinals protocol. Taproot enables the use of a new type of Bitcoin transaction known as “MAST”, which enables the creation of more complex and flexible smart contracts. Additionally, Taproot improves the privacy of the network, by allowing users to hide the details of their transactions from the public.


NFTやEthereumネットワークが存在する以前に、象徴的な「Rare Pepe」ミームは、人気のレイヤー2プロトコルであるCounterpartyを通じて暗号空間にデビューした。2014年に設立されたCounterpartyは、オープンで分散型のBitcoinネットワーク上に構築され、ユーザーが独自のデジタル資産を鋳造、購入、販売することを可能にしました。これは、Bitcoinの設計が単なる通貨形態以上の用途に使用できることを実証し、デジタル史における大きなブレークスルーとなりました。


Counterpartyは、取引可能なカードの形で提供され、数量が限られているRare Pepe画像の鋳造を促進しました。Rare Pepeウォレットは、ユーザーがRare Pepe NFTを購入、販売、保管できるようにした。流動的なキャッシュフローを確保するため、プラットフォームはPepeCashと呼ばれるデジタル通貨を採用しました。この通貨は、Rare Pepesの提出、ウォレットの入力、およびゲームのプレイを容易にするために使用されました。



オーディナル・プロトコルは最近、ビットコインネットワーク上でNFT、つまり「デジタルアーティファクト」を簡単に作成し、「銘記」する方法を開発しました。これは、2017年のSegregated Witness(Segwit)ソフトウェアアップグレードによって実現したもので、ビットコインブロックチェーンのデータ保存コストを75%削減し、各取引の処理に必要なデータ量を減らすことでそのスケーラビリティ問題に対処しました。


Ordinals, a protocol that assigns a unique, non-fungible number to each Bitcoin satoshi, is gaining traction in certain NFT circles, despite the fact that the process for adding an element to the Bitcoin blockchain (known as an “inscription”) is still quite complicated, as it requires users to run a full Bitcoin node. The NFTs are securely placed on the Bitcoin blockchain, without depending on external sources. This guarantees that the NFTs will remain on the blockchain indefinitely as long as Bitcoin continues to exist.

Bitcoin still remains a fungible asset; unlike Ethereum’s ERC-721 format, each Bitcoin can still be used interchangeably. Ordinals solves this problem by attaching inscriptions, such as text or images, to sequentially numbered satoshis (sats) to create one-of-a-kind digital objects that can be held and traded across the Bitcoin network, like any other satoshi.

This allows Bitcoin ‘sats’ to be transformed into a non-fungible asset, a feature that is not natively supported by the Bitcoin software and can still be a complicated process for users wishing to inscribe content on the network. This has created a split in the community, between those who believe Bitcoin should remain limited to financial transactions, and those who believe that the network should be opened up to more use cases, like digital memes and jpeg artwork.

Despite public criticism, the activity of Bitcoin NFTs is on the rise thanks to Ordinals. As of Feb. 6, 2023, 12:00 p.m. ET, more than 7,000 inscriptions have been added to the Bitcoin blockchain (the largest number of single-day mints) with most inscriptions containing images.

On February 2nd, The Taproot Wizards collection, led by crypto influencers Udi Wertheimer and Eric Wall, has made a name for itself by filling an entire Bitcoin block featuring the “magic internet money meme wizard”. This image, which had a massive 3.94 MB size, was minted as an Ordinal inscription, and broke the record for filling an entire block. Given the 4MB cap on Bitcoin transaction blocks, and the 1MB limit on individual transactions, it’s no wonder why many are questioning: Who would go through the hassle of slowing down an entire network for JPEGs, when other blockchains exist for this purpose?

While some have criticized Ordinals for its contribution to the increased network fees, its developer/founder Casey Rodarmor, claims that the blocks need to be full for people to have a reason to pay more than the minimum fee rate.

This has sparked debate, with some critics questioning the potential impact of the size of inscriptions filling up each Bitcoin block in the future, and its ability to fulfill its original peer-to-peer payment system. However, founder Casey Rodarmord says that the protocol is intended to “bring some fun and enthusiasm back to Bitcoin.”





2月2日、暗号インフルエンサーのUdi WertheimerとEric Wallが率いるThe Taproot Wizardsコレクションは、「魔法のインターネットマネー・ミーム・ウィザード」をフィーチャーしたビットコイン・ブロック全体を埋め、その名を轟かせました。3.94MBの巨大なサイズを持つこの画像は、オーディナル銘板として鋳造され、ブロック全体を埋めるという記録を更新しました。ビットコインの取引ブロックの上限が4MB、個々の取引の上限が1MBであることを考えると、多くの人が疑問を抱くのも無理はない: JPEGのためにネットワーク全体をスローダウンさせるような面倒なことを誰がするのだろうか。


これは議論を呼び、一部の評論家は、将来的に各ビットコインブロックを埋め尽くす碑文の大きさが潜在的に与える影響や、本来のピアツーピア決済システムを果たす能力を疑問視しています。しかし、創設者のCasey Rodarmord氏は、このプロトコルは “Bitcoinに楽しさと熱意を取り戻す “ことを目的としていると述べています。

Two Sides to Every Coin

While many have expressed their doubts and fears regarding the latest Ordinals launch, many are seeing this as an opportunity to bring awareness back to the Bitcoin network. Many Bitcoin maximalists (maxis for short), believe that Bitcoin should be the sole global digital currency across all nations, and that the network should not be compromised for any use case outside of financial transactions. Others fear that adding digital artifacts and NFTs on-chain will create higher transaction fees for individuals living in developing nations.

Meanwhile, higher network fees could lead to higher incentives for Bitcoin miners. Every four years, the reward for Bitcoin mining is reduced by half in an event called ‘halving’. This policy was created to keep Bitcoin scarce and prevent inflation. As a result, many miners lose revenue from halving every few years.

The launch of the Ordinals Protocol has caused controversy, yet its solution offers users a unique experience that could open up many new possibilities for Bitcoin. Despite the debate, the ability of Bitcoin to facilitate financial transactions and Ethereum’s ability to facilitate NFTs are both significant milestones in the Web3 industry. With the potential for on-chain NFT inscriptions entering the network, only time will tell how this technology will be received by users.