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Bitcoin Core Dev Wages War Against BRC-20 Ordinals ‘Network Spam’

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Luke Dashjr called for a bugfix to prevent the Bitcoin network spam.
  • Observers have labelled it a 'civil war.'
  • BTC transaction fees are currently higher than Ethereum's.
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A Bitcoin Core developer is unhappy with the BRC-20 ordinals and memecoin madness that has clogged up the network.

A prominent Bitcoin developer has taken umbrage at the ordinals and memecoin craze that is crippling the blockchain. On May 8, he said, “action should have been taken months ago,” referring to the ordinals fad.

In what could be described as a digital fatwah, Luke Dashjr sent an email as a call to action. In it, he said that “spam filtration has been a standard part of Bitcoin Core since day one.”

“It’s a mistake that the existing filters weren’t extended to Taproot transactions.”

He said that this is a ‘bugfix,’ so there is no need to wait for a major release. The message has been extensively shared across the crypto community with varying responses.

Email excerpt from Luke Dashjr lamenting Bitcoin network spam - Twitter/@ryanberckmans
Email excerpt from Luke Dashjr lamenting Bitcoin network spam – Twitter/@ryanberckmans

Luke Dashjr was highly instrumental in the implementation of the SegWit upgrade in 2017.

Bitcoin Community Reacts

Ethereum advocate Ryan Berckmans called it a “civil war” between BTC Core developers, miners, and ordinals holders.

Some developers, such as Dashjr, view ordinals and BRC-20 memecoins as spam. However, they’re beneficial to BTC miners as transactions and fees have skyrocketed due to increased block space demand.

Bitcoiner and Glassnode analyst ‘Checkmate’ said it wasn’t a civil war but “an email by one highly ideological Bitcoin developer.”

Kraken product lead for NFTs, Washington Sanchez, commented:

“Luke is waging a 1 man jihad against Ordinals, I doubt the other devs will take him seriously based on their precious comments that Bitcoin was working as expected if people are submitting valid transactions.”

Divisions in the Bitcoin community are not new—they have happened before and will most likely happen again. Additionally, Bitcoin appears to be having an ‘Ethereum moment’ with fees that are actually higher than those on the Ethereum chain at the moment.  

BTC Network Transactions and Fees Surge

For those wanting to use Bitcoin for its intended purpose – digital money – the current situation is untenable. Daily BTC network transactions have surged to record highs of over 600,000, according to Bitinfocharts. Furthermore, this has pushed up the price of using the blockchain.

Transaction fees surged as high as $30 on May 8 and 9, and the network remains crippled though it is still processing blocks. Industry observer Will Clemente commented:

“Bitcoin transaction fees are now higher than they were at the peak of the 2021 bull market. WOW!”

Bitcoin Network Transaction Fees - Twitter/Glassnode
Bitcoin Network Transaction Fees – Twitter/Glassnode

Mempool Space shows that there are currently more than 390,000 pending transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Additionally, the total fees per block temporarily exceeded the block subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC for the first time in six years earlier this week.

On May 9, the total market capitalization of BRC-20 tokens surpassed $1 billion, and the hype is showing no signs of abating.

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...