Bitcoin Punks: Ordinal NFT Collection Soars in Value

Late Wednesday, one Ordinal Punk NFT minted on the Bitcoin-native Ordinals Protocol sold for 9.5 BTC, roughly $214,000.

AccessTimeIconFeb 9, 2023 at 6:47 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 9, 2023 at 7:23 p.m. UTC

As the hype around Bitcoin non-fungible tokens (NFT) continues to grow, one project that resembles the popular CryptoPunks collection is rapidly climbing in value – the “Bitcoin Punks.”

Late Wednesday, one Ordinal Punks NFT, Punk 94, sold for 9.5 BTC, or roughly $214,000, according to a tweet.

The NFT collection minted on the Bitcoin-native Ordinals Protocol, sold out its mint earlier this month and features 100 NFTs in the style of NFT behemoth Yuga Labs’ CryptoPunks collection, which is built on Ethereum.

Ordinals Protocol utilizes Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade, an improvement to secure the network and more efficiently facilitate transactions. It stores NFTs through inscriptions, a method of “inscribing” data in satoshis, or sats, which represent one hundred millionth of one bitcoin.

The NFTs comprising the Ordinal Punks collection were minted on the first 650 inscriptions of the Bitcoin network.

The concept of Bitcoin NFTs has caused a heated debate within the dominant blockchain’s community. Some purists believe the blockchain should be limited to financial transactions, while others point to the Ordinal Protocol’s popularity as a positive catalyst that will fuel more development on the blockchain.

Sam Callahan, Bitcoin analyst at financial services company Swan Bitcoin, told CoinDesk that while the popularity of Ordinal Punks will drive demand for block space, miner revenue and eventually Taproot adoption, it doesn’t come without risks.

“In the long term, if demand for these inscriptions proves to be long lasting, there is a risk that these inscriptions could impact other Bitcoin use cases like payments via the Lightning Network due to distorting Bitcoin’s fee market away from its use as an open monetary protocol,” said Callahan.


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Cam Thompson

Cam Thompson was a news reporter at CoinDesk.