Since the introduction of nonfungible tokens protocol Ordinals in Jan 2023, the average Bitcoin block size has exceeded 2.5 megabytes. This is the first significant milestone since the cryptocurrency’s inception in 2009. This represents a new record for cryptocurrency.
Blockchain.com has provided statistics that show Bitcoin blocks grew by more than 2MB in just a few weeks following the launch of the Ordinals protocol. This increase in block size can been traced back to February 2023.
The Ordinals protocol was introduced by Casey Rodarmor, a software developer. It was launched in January. This protocol makes it possible to create “digital artifacts” using Bitcoin. These could include JPEG photos, PDF documents, audio and video files.
Rodarmor explains in the documentation for Ordinals that each digital object may be inscribed only to one satoshi. This is one of the components of a Bitcoin. One bitcoin has 100,000,000 satoshis.
Individual satoshis are able to be imprinted using any data. This makes it possible to create unique digital artifacts exclusive to Bitcoin. These artifacts can be stored in bitcoin wallets or moved using bitcoin transactions. These inscriptions can be stored in bitcoin wallets and moved using bitcoin transactions.
Bitcoin’s community is divided over whether it should allow digital items to be engraved in the currency. BlockchainThere are many reasons to reflect on the proposal, both the positive and negative. As one of the most important topics of discussion, the greater use of block spaces for the inscriptions of multiple Ordinals has been identified.
The average size of a Bitcoin Block has varied between 0.7 megabytes and 1.5 megabytes from July 2021 to February 2023. On February 5, the average size of Bitcoin blocks was 2 megabytes. It is currently hovering around 2.2 megabytes as of this writing.
Glassnode has found that the introduction of Bitcoin Ordinals led to a new high of 44,000,000 non-zero addresses.
Glassnode newsletter, Issue #5, mentions that Ordinals are competing for block space demand, even though they have not yet significantly influenced network pricing.
Glassnode referred to the introduction of Ordinals as a “new point in Bitcoin’s history”. This is because innovation can encourage network activity even if there’s no “classical transfer currency volume for monetary goals.”