Bug Fix Expected to Halt BTC Ordinals and BRC-20 Tokens, Says Bitcoin Dev

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A Bitcoin Core developer, Luke Dashjr, asserted that a bug fix on the largest blockchain network could potentially prevent new BTC ordinals and BRC-20 tokens from causing congestion by addressing an alleged vulnerability.

The statement comes as Bitcoin approaches the $45,000 mark and a surge in unconfirmed transactions on the blockchain, reigniting the discussion around ordinal inscriptions.

Bitcoin Ordinals Are a Fixable Bug

In a December 6 post on X, Dashjr highlighted that inscriptions, utilized by creators of ordinals and BRC-20 tokens to embed data on satoshis, exploit a vulnerability in Bitcoin Core, leading to blockchain spam.

He explained that although Bitcoin Core has permitted users to set limits on extra data in transactions since 2013, inscriptions bypass this limit by disguising their data as program code.

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The recent update to Bitcoin Knots, a derivative of Bitcoin Core with less tested features, has addressed the bug allowing inscriptions to exceed the data limit.

When asked if ordinals and BRC-20 tokens would cease with the vulnerability fixed, Dashjr confirmed this and said ordinals and BRC-20 would no longer exist. He added that existing inscriptions would persist. However, he expressed concern about the forthcoming Bitcoin Core release (v26), stating that the vulnerability remains, and he hopes it will be resolved before the v27 release next year.

In a community statement, Shenyu, co-founder of f2pool, emphasized the distinction between Bitcoin and Ethereum, highlighting that developers do not possess complete decision-making authority in the former.

Ordinals Are an Ongoing Attack on Bitcoin

On December 6, the decentralized mining protocol Ocean, where Dashjr serves as the chief technology officer, announced on X that the Bitcoin Knots upgrade effectively addresses a longstanding vulnerability exploited by modern spammers.

Following this update, Ocean stated that its blocks would now include more genuine transactions, implying that ordinal inscriptions are essentially a denial-of-service attack on the Bitcoin network.

Dashjr strongly opposes ordinal inscriptions, asserting that the damage inflicted on Bitcoin and its users, both present and future, is substantial and irreversible. He contends that ordinals have never been allowed and considers them an ongoing attack on Bitcoin since their inception.

Recent days have witnessed heightened congestion on the Bitcoin network, attributed to inscriptions and BRC-20 token minting. As reported by mempool.space, there are over 275,000 unconfirmed transactions, and the average medium-priority transaction costs have risen to around $14, a notable increase from approximately $1.50.

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