Jimmy Song, a Bitcoin developer renowned for his maximalist perspectives, has voiced skepticism towards the Ordinals protocol, likening it to a run-of-the-mill altcoin scam known as “pump and dump.” Song’s remarks come amid escalating discussions within the Bitcoin community surrounding the Ordinals protocol, introduced in early 2023, which has sparked debates about its impact on the Bitcoin network.
In straightforward terms, Song contends that Ordinals is essentially an altcoin scam cleverly leveraging the Bitcoin brand to deceive users. He argues that by building on top of the Bitcoin network and adopting the narrative associated with the flagship crypto, such as sound money and individual sovereignty, has exploited Bitcoin’s name recognition to appear legitimate.
In a way, the ordinals scam is an excellent sign. Altcoins have long been associated with Bitcoin through the moniker of "crypto" and have used Bitcoin's good name to scam people through pump and dumps.
But as we've seen, this narrative is no longer what it used…
— Jimmy Song (송재준) (@jimmysong) January 1, 2024
Song highlights the rising popularity of protocols like Ordinals and BRC-20, attributing it to the challenges of escaping the “shitcoin” label by releasing tokens on platforms like Ethereum or Solana. He further points out similarities between Ordinals and the “pump and dump” nature of altcoins, focusing on token peddling and speculation rather than advancing Bitcoin’s mission of economic freedom.
These perspectives from Song contribute to a broader debate within the Bitcoin community about the network’s direction and use. While Song takes a purist approach, cautioning users not to be deceived by Ordinals and encouraging the community to expose it as a scam, others within the community just see benefits.
The Bitcoin Ordinals Were Very Beneficial For Miners
Despite criticism, Ordinals experienced a significant surge in value, rising from around $25 to $80. Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy’s chairman, praised its potential to attract talent and creativity away from other blockchains. Additionally, proponents argue that Ordinals has been beneficial for BTC miners, generating substantial extra fees and revitalizing mining operations.
The controversy reflects a broader discussion about the future of Bitcoin and the challenges of balancing evolving demands on the network. This debate touches on key principles of Bitcoin, such as being an open and permissionless network, emphasizing the need to maintain these principles while adapting to new developments and use cases. It has also led to speculation about a possible Bitcoin fork in 2024, fueled by concerns over network congestion, block space limitations, and rising transaction fees, highlighting the growing divide within the community and the challenges of reaching consensus in a decentralized ecosystem.