The new method of inscribing NFTs with images, audio files and even applications to the smallest part of a Bitcoin opens up a new competitor for Ethereum.
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The new Bitcoin Ordinal NFTs exploding onto the scene in the past two months have the potential to become a $4.5 billion market in just two years, according to new research from Galaxy Digital.
With the launch of a method of inscribing anything from images and audio files to text and even applications onto a single satoshi a "new frontier in Bitcoin emerged" in December, according to a report issued by the crypto investment firm's research division.
There are 100 million satoshis in every Bitcoin — the smallest possible fraction, individually known as ordinals — and every one can have what is effectively a fully on-chain NFT inscription that makes it unique. Which is to say, non-fungible.
It's been fast out the gate, with nearly a quarter million inscriptions minted on Bitcoin.
"It's fair to say that a native on-chain ecosystem for NFTs has emerged on Bitcoin in a way that was never before possible, and its usage has been exploding," the report said.
Most notably, Yuga Labs, the company behind top NFT collections Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, has announced TwelveFold, a new generative art collection issued on Bitcoin.
While it's still early days, some marketplaces and inscription-as-a-service providers — minting is complex — exist. Digital wallets with satoshi selection capability are still in the future, however.
However, ridiculous prices have also appeared, with one Ord Punk going for $273,000 and a pair of Ord Rocks notching prices north of $200,000.