BRC-20 Creator Domo Addresses Thorny Governance Issues With New 'Lead Maintainer' Appointments

Governance on Bitcoin is often a thorny subject, as highlighted at the start of this year when Ordinals marketplace UniSat and Domo came into a potential conflict

AccessTimeIconMar 11, 2024 at 4:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 11, 2024 at 4:25 p.m. UTC

Domo, the pseudonymous creator of the Bitcoin network's BRC-20 token standard, announced on Monday that his non-profit organization, Layer 1 Foundation (L1F), will partner with Bitcoin infrastructure companies UniSat and Best in Slot to serve as BRC-20's "lead maintainers."

The BRC-20 token standard functions on the Ordinals Protocol, which allows digital assets other than BTC to be traded on the Bitcoin network. Ordinals works by writing "inscriptions" onto small denominations of BTC, called satoshis, allowing them to be tracked, loaded with data and transferred.

Governance on BRC-20 and on Bitcoin general is often a thorny subject, as highlighted at the start of this year when Ordinals marketplace UniSat and Domo came into conflict. UniSat embraced the proposed "Jubilee" upgrade to the Ordinals protocol, but Domo opposed it, arguing that the new tech risked fragmenting the budding BRC-20 ecosystem.

Nevertheless, Domo has acknowledged UniSat's role in decentralizing the BRC-20 ecosystem: It was the first marketplace to list BRC-20 tokens, whereas before token ownership was tracked largely on Google Sheets spreadsheets and sold over the counter.

UniSat has also collaborated with Best in Slot, with the pair developing a decentralized BRC-20 indexing product.

"The goal is to support the growth of Bitcoin metaprotocols on Ordinals and beyond," Domo said in an emailed statement on Monday. "BRC-20 was an early experiment—but we’re seeing a wave of standards that need tools, infrastructure and support to thrive."

Domo has also appointed an "oversight committee" aimed at enforcing L1F governance guidelines for the BRC-20 standard, according to the statement. The committee's appointees include Bitcoin Ordinals wallet Oyl, whose pre-seed funding round Domo joined recently, and UXTO Management, the fund arm of Bitcoin Magazine owner BTC Inc.

Edited by Sam Kessler.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.