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Bitcoin Developers Forge Alliance to Standardize BRC-20 Tokens Amid Rising Popularity

A coalition of Bitcoin developers have rallied to govern the BRC-20 fungible token standard as the Ordinals protocol surges in popularity.

The coalition, which calls itself the Layer 1 Foundation, announced its new BRC-20 governance structure in a lengthy tweet on X on Monday.

The Layer 1 Foundation (L1F), founded by BRC20 Creator @domodata and friends, is excited to announce its organization of a new BRC20 governance structure—including the appointment of several leading BRC20 indexers as collaborators.

Over the past months, it’s become clear that…

— Layer 1 Foundation (@L1Fxyz) March 11, 2024

From now on, BRC-20 governance is shared between the biggest BRC-20 indexers. The list includes HiroAlex LabsOyl DynamicsAllium Labs, and UTXO Management. Ordinals aggregator Best in Slot co-leads the maintenance of the BRC-20 protocol alongside Bitcoin wallet developer Unisat.

Unisat previously stood on the opposite side of Domo in a recent dispute over an Ordinals upgrade. In January, the BRC20 community were in two minds over implementing the new Jubilee update. Domo said it could affect how BRC-20 tokens are indexed and effectively amounted to a hard fork.

Domo advised against implementing Jubilee until it is sufficiently tested.

Yesterday, Unisat Wallet founder Lorenzo confirmed to Decrypt that a hard fork was not the plan.

Bitcoin Ordinals And Beyond

Ordinals will be crucial to the Bitcoin network’s post-halving economy beyond just governing BRC-20 tokens.

On April 19 is Bitcoin’s fourth halving. The halving is a quadrennial event in Bitcoin’s code that dictates when rewards for validating blocks of Bitcoin transactions, aka mining, get cut in half.

Bitcoin halvings help increase the scarcity by squeezing the new supply. Nine halvings remain until miners unlock all 21 million Bitcoins.

Since the event halves both mining revenues and the issuance of new Bitcoin, typically, when the demand has stayed consistent, each prior halving has led to a rally.

This halving looks no different with very high institutional demand for Bitcoin after the January launch of eleven Bitcoin ETFs. The world’s favorite cryptocurrency set a new all-time high of $72,733.68 just two hours ago, according to CoinGecko, but it has since pulled back to trade at $72,002 as of this writing.

Still, Ordinals transaction fees will represent an important alternative revenue stream for miners. They currently account for about 20% of miners’ revenue.

Bitcoin NFTs are enjoying a surge in popularity. At the start of March 2024, Ordinals NFTs posted $168.5 million in sales over a period of seven days. They beat Ethereum NFTs, which posted $162 million over the same period.

Outside of Ordinals, Bitcoin nowadays has a booming layer 2 network, helping the blockchain to achieve scale and speed across a variety of applications. These layer 2s help give Bitcoin the functionality of Ethereum, the most commercially important blockchain.

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