Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Since their introduction last year, Ordinal inscriptions have rapidly utilized the available block space within Bitcoin’s blockchain, as revealed by a study conducted by the blockchain analytics company Glassnode. These inscriptions, consisting of text and image files, serve as “space fillers,” occupying any leftover block space subsequent to the inclusion of higher-value transactions, the study indicates.

Financial Transactions Retain Primacy Over Ordinal Inscriptions in Bitcoin’s Blockchain

While 2023 has witnessed a marked uptick in Ordinal inscriptions, Glassnode’s analysis underscores that financial transactions continue to be the dominant activity on Bitcoin’s blockchain. The researchers at Glassnode have noted minimal evidence to suggest that these inscriptions are sidelining financial transfers.

The report elucidates that Ordinal inscriptions typically occupy the least expensive available block space and are effortlessly supplanted by financial transactions of greater urgency. Despite the surge, the contribution of inscriptions to transaction fees paid to miners remains relatively minimal, constituting around 20% or less.

The underpinning technology permits users to append content to the Bitcoin blockchain, employing the Segwit data structure and Taproot. Initially populated with image-based NFTs, the focus shifted predominantly to text files following the advent of the BRC-20 token standard, Glassnode’s researchers observed.

Transaction counts on a daily basis have surpassed the 550,000 mark multiple times this year, chiefly due to inscriptions contributing additional transfers to Bitcoin’s constrained block size. Presently, the average block encapsulates as many as 3,500 transactions, a rise from the 2,500 transactions observed in preceding years, according to the report.

As for the composition of completed transactions, inscriptions have accounted for between 40% and 60% since May of this year. Correspondingly, the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) set has swelled by over 46 million entries in 2023, marking a 34% growth, the most rapid expansion ever documented. Although revenue for miners has seen an increase, income per hash rate is nearing historical lows.

Glassnode commented on the heightened competition among miners and the impending halving event, stating, “In the face of intense mining competition and an approaching halving event, miners are likely approaching a state of income strain.”

Network fees on an overall basis have surged to approximately 38 BTC per day but constitute a mere 4% of the total miner rewards. Concurrently, the difficulty level of Bitcoin mining has escalated by 50%, fueled by the deployment of more specialized and technologically advanced mining hardware.

As the next halving event is anticipated in a mere 206 days, Glassnode speculates that the majority of miners are poised to confront significant income challenges unless there is a substantial elevation in BTC prices. The report pointed out that although inscriptions may be consuming block space, they have not materially contributed to an increase in miners’ revenues.

What are your insights on Glassnode’s analytical report concerning the relationship between inscriptions and financial transactions on Bitcoin’s blockchain? Kindly share your informed perspectives on this topic in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Glassnode Analysis on Bitcoin Transactions

What is the main focus of Glassnode’s recent analysis on Bitcoin’s blockchain?

The primary focus of Glassnode’s study is to investigate the impact of Ordinal inscriptions on Bitcoin’s blockchain, especially in relation to financial transactions. The study finds that despite a surge in Ordinal inscriptions, financial transactions remain the priority.

What are Ordinal inscriptions and how do they function in Bitcoin’s blockchain?

Ordinal inscriptions are text and image files that serve as “space fillers” in Bitcoin’s blockchain. They utilize leftover block space after higher-value transactions have been added. These inscriptions are facilitated through technologies like the Segwit data structure and Taproot.

Do Ordinal inscriptions have any impact on miner fees?

According to the Glassnode study, Ordinal inscriptions contribute minimally to transaction fees paid to miners. They account for about 20% or less of the total transaction fees.

How have Ordinal inscriptions affected the daily transaction count and average block size?

The daily transaction count has exceeded 550,000 several times this year, partly due to the addition of Ordinal inscriptions. The average block now contains up to 3,500 transactions, an increase from 2,500 in previous years.

How are miners affected by the rise in Ordinal inscriptions?

While Ordinal inscriptions have contributed to the growth of the UTXO set and increased daily transaction counts, they haven’t significantly impacted miners’ revenues. Moreover, income per hash rate for miners is near historic lows, indicating a potential state of income strain.

What are the broader implications for the Bitcoin network, considering the next halving event?

With the next Bitcoin halving event anticipated in just 206 days, miners could face significant income challenges unless BTC prices rise substantially. Network fees have doubled, but they represent only 4% of total miner rewards.

How have advances in mining technology impacted Bitcoin’s network?

The difficulty level in Bitcoin mining has risen by 50%, which is attributed to the deployment of more specialized and advanced mining equipment. This development further intensifies competition among miners.

Do Ordinal inscriptions contribute to the growth of the UTXO set?

Yes, the UTXO set has grown by more than 46 million entries in 2023, marking the quickest growth ever recorded. However, this growth is not solely attributed to Ordinal inscriptions.

More about Glassnode Analysis on Bitcoin Transactions


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CryptoQueen87 September 28, 2023 - 7:05 am

miners are seriously in a tough spot huh? the next halving is gonna be a game changer for many. hope BTC prices skyrocket, for their sake.

RickCryptoExpert September 28, 2023 - 7:33 am

Great analysis! Shows that even with inscriptions, Bitcoin’s primary use-case as a financial instrument isn’t goin anywhere.

Gerry_in_Politics September 28, 2023 - 4:07 pm

As someone not deeply involved in crypto, this analysis is eye-opening. financial transactions still holding the fort is reassuring.

LindaSays September 28, 2023 - 4:38 pm

Ordinal inscriptions filling up leftover space is actually pretty efficient use of the blockchain, right? Or am i missing smthng?

MikeJenkins September 28, 2023 - 4:43 pm

Whoa, that’s some deep analysis. Always thought these inscriptions were sorta eating up all the space, good to know its not a big deal for financial transactions.

everydaytrader September 28, 2023 - 7:00 pm

So daily transactions have gone up but the inscriptions arent really impacting miners earnings. Feels like theres a disconnect somewhere.

Tim_from_Auto September 28, 2023 - 7:15 pm

I’m from the auto market, but this stuff is super intriguing. Never knew that the blockchain had space for these inscriptions. What’s next? ads?

JessTech September 28, 2023 - 11:56 pm

UTXO set growing like crazy! fastest ever? that’s gotta mean something big for the future of Bitcoin.

Sarah_in_Finance September 29, 2023 - 4:55 am

Really interested in how this affects miner revenue. Fees doubling but only 4% of miner rewards? that’s a headscratcher.

john_the_analyst September 29, 2023 - 5:33 am

The tech part got me. segwit and Taproot allowing inscriptions? That’s a win-win for content on blockchain, but yeah, it shoudn’t sideline real transactions.


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