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BRC-20 Meme Coin Craze Overwhelms Bitcoin Network, Minting Fees Reach Record High

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Surging meme coin activity on Bitcoin’s BRC-20 standard has pumped the total market cap of these tokens crossing $541 million.
  • Meme coins like PEPE and WOJAK clogged up the Ethereum network and new BRC-20 tokens are now affecting the Bitcoin network.
  • A new BRC-21 standard has been proposed.
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Meme coins are transitioning to the BRC-20 standard, according to network metrics. Trends show that there is something of a BRC-20 meme coin craze on the Bitcoin network.

Meme coins, which have seen a surge in popularity in the past few months, are beginning to take over the Bitcoin network. These new meme coins are being minted using the BRC-20 standard instead of Ethereum, as the latter is seeing congestion from the new tokens.

Daily Minting Fees of BRC-20 Tokens Reach Record High

Daily minting fees on BRC-20 reached a record high of 247 BTC on May 7, as seen on Dune. The total fee for these Bitcoin Ordinals was 641 BTC. The chart shows a significant peaking for these fees in late April, which was around the time when Bitcoin daily transactions reached an all-time high because of Ordinals.

From another perspective, the transaction fees on Bitcoin crossed 400 BTC on May 7, an 18-fold increase from a month ago.

Bitcoin BRC-20 minting sees daily Ordinals fee hit all time high figures. Like PEPE and WOJAK (meme coins) clogging Ethereum, Ordinals minting is clogging the Bitcoin network: Dune
BRC-20 Minting Fees: Dune

BRC-20 tokens have clearly taken over the Bitcoin network, with these tokens reaching a market cap of $541 million so far. There are a total of 14,079 such tokens, with many being meme coins. This has been a major reason for the growth of Ordinals, alongside NFTs.

One possible reason why meme coins are shifting to BRC-20 could be because meme coins have clogged the Ethereum network. One popular meme token, PEPE, has contributed greatly to this congestion. The meme coin has recently taken over the community, surging by about 40,000%.

Meme Coins Clogging Bitcoin Network

The popularity of Ordinals has also led to Binance halting BTC withdrawals. The exchange halted withdrawals twice in 12 hours because of a large volume of pending transactions. The fact that these meme coins are affecting the world’s biggest CEX is proof that there is a mania at the moment.

BRC-20 tokens are fungible tokens on Bitcoin. It is an experimental token standard, though users have begun flocking to it, as evinced by the high activity.

BRC-21 Token Standard Has Been Proposed

While BRC-20 has been taking the network, work is already underway for a new standard called BRC-21. The new standard was first proposed on May 7.

BRC-21 would allow tokens on other chains to be minted and redeemed to and from the Bitcoin blockchain. The documentation describes the main use case of the BRC-21 standard as “deploying decentralized stablecoins onto Lightning Network or similar payment protocols.”

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...