Bitcoin's Hot Ordinals Economy is Getting a Dollar-Backed Stablecoin

Bitcoin’s quickly maturing ordinals scene has come a long way since January.

AccessTimeIconMay 25, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 26, 2023 at 2:52 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin’s burgeoning on-chain economy is getting its own dollar-backed stablecoin.

The new token Stably USD aims to become a go-to currency for traders transacting in the wave of novel assets being built on bitcoin, according to issuing company Stably. The crypto startup says its token can make trading in ordinals cheaper and more efficient than paying in fiat, or even bitcoin itself.

Bitcoin’s quickly maturing ordinals scene has come a long way since January. First envisioned as a method to “inscribe” NFTs on bitcoin’s smallest denomination, the satoshi, the ordinals protocol has since become a gateway for creating all sorts of tokens – including Stably USD.

This latest so-called “BRC-20” token could make trading in all ordinals a little easier – if it catches on. Right now ordinals traders pay in two ways: either by on-ramping stable fiat currency for a fee, or with accessible but volatile bitcoin. Stably says its stablecoin will solve both issues by retaining a stable value and remaining accessible on-chain.

Stably’s company documents indicate it is holding Stably USD’s fiat backing with Prime Trust. Redeemers will need to go through a KYC and AML process to swap their stablecoins for the underlying dollar value.

The company’s first bitcoin-linked stablecoin will have to fare better than its other stablecoin products if it wants to succeed in the long term. Stably’s stablecoin in the ethereum ecosystem, called StableUSD (USDS) has only 752 holders and a market cap of $264,000, per etherscan – basically irrelevant when compared to market leaders Tether and USDC.

Stably certainly thinks it can penetrate a deeper market with its ordinals stablecoin. When it created the token on May 22 it gave it a maximum supply of 69,420,000,000,000.


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.