Bitcoin Punks: Ordinal NFT Collection Soars in Value

Late Wednesday, one Ordinal Punk NFT minted on the Bitcoin-native Ordinals Protocol sold for 9.5 BTC, roughly $214,000.

By Cam Thompson

AccessTimeIconFeb 9, 2023 at 1:47 p.m. EST

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As the hype around Bitcoin non-fungible tokens (NFT) continues to grow, one project that resembles the popular CryptoPunks collection is rapidly climbing in value – the “Bitcoin Punks.”

Late Wednesday, one Ordinal Punks NFT, Punk 94, sold for 9.5 BTC, or roughly $214,000, according to a tweet.

The NFT collection minted on the Bitcoin-native Ordinals Protocol, sold out its mint earlier this month and features 100 NFTs in the style of NFT behemoth Yuga Labs’ CryptoPunks collection, which is built on Ethereum.

Ordinals Protocol utilizes Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade, an improvement to secure the network and more efficiently facilitate transactions. It stores NFTs through inscriptions, a method of “inscribing” data in satoshis, or sats, which represent one hundred millionth of one bitcoin.

The NFTs comprising the Ordinal Punks collection were minted on the first 650 inscriptions of the Bitcoin network.

The concept of Bitcoin NFTs has caused a heated debate within the dominant blockchain’s community. Some purists believe the blockchain should be limited to financial transactions, while others point to the Ordinal Protocol’s popularity as a positive catalyst that will fuel more development on the blockchain.

Sam Callahan, Bitcoin analyst at financial services company Swan Bitcoin, told CoinDesk that while the popularity of Ordinal Punks will drive demand for block space, miner revenue and eventually Taproot adoption, it doesn’t come without risks.

“In the long term, if demand for these inscriptions proves to be long lasting, there is a risk that these inscriptions could impact other Bitcoin use cases like payments via the Lightning Network due to distorting Bitcoin’s fee market away from its use as an open monetary protocol,” said Callahan.

Network activity on the Bitcoin blockchain has hit a level not seen since China banned crypto miners in May 2021, according to data from CryptoQuant. The uptick stems from the popularity of the Ordinals protocol, which allows NFTs to be stored on Bitcoin. Okcoin Chief Operating Officer Jason Lau reacts to the report.

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Dale Calvert

Dale Calvert is a serial entreprenuer. He started his first business at age 14, a direct mail business out of his parents home. Dale has always believed that wealth is created in front of a trend. This business philosophy lead him into the cryptocurrency space in 2017, He made the decision in 2022, that the cryptocurrency space is where he will be spending the majority of his time.

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