Bitcoin Ordinals could become more like NFTs thanks to BRC-721
The extension aims to standardize collections and remove upfront verification fees.
A cryptocurrency developer published documentation for a Bitcoin extension that will allow Ordinals to be used in a way similar to Ethereum-based NFTs on April 6.
BRC-721 adds collection standard and more
Bitcoin Ordinals currently do not provide a universal way to combine items into collections. Instead, this depends on the particulars of various services and wallets.
In light of those limitations, BRC-721 — also called the Ordinals Collection Protocol — is under development. The extension’s pseudonomyous developer Poyo suggests that BRC-721 could become a decentralized standard, writing:
“Imagine if all the marketplaces would pick up new collections instantly directly from a blockchain, identify all the tokens that belong to it, and would be able to say if the metadata is revealed.”
BRC-721 specifically aims to add support for collections and introduce a post-reveal mechanism for metadata. It also aims to improve the process of creating and verifying Ordinal collections by eliminating the need for upfront payments.
The feature seeks to imitate Ethereum’s competing ERC-721 standard, which is the basis for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and allows for some of the same capabilities.
Poyo said that they will introduce an implementation of the BRC-721 API the week of April 9 but did not clarify whether the feature will be ready for general use.
Ordinals inscriptions gain popularity
Ordinals were initially introduced in January by Casey Rodarmor, allowing for collectibles with embedded media to exist on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Improvements are now underway. One developer known as Domo has extended Ordinals with BRC-20 to offer support for fungible assets (ie. non-collectible tokens).
And although small Ordinal-focused marketplaces exist, Bitcoin Ordinals are gaining recognition from more established marketplaces. Magic Eden, for example, announced a launchpad for Ordinal creators on April 6 and already operates an Ordinal marketplace.
According to community analysis on Dune Analytics, users have created at least 930,000 Bitcoin Ordinal inscriptions as of April 7 since the feature’s inception.
Despite the rapidly growing popularity of Bitcoin Ordinals, the process of buying and selling these assets remains a complicated process, especially compared to Ethereum NFT transfers. Ongoing developments could make Ordinals much more accessible.