- ‘The Sophon’ bot targets Bitcoin transactions linked to Ordinals, effectively sniping certain ones before they become fully processed, leading to a 72% reduction in text-based inscriptions.
- Although its creator didn’t re-activate the bot, he shared the code, leading to signs of a duplicate bot running independently.
Understanding ‘The Sophon’
Dubbed after a character in Liu Cixin’s renowned sci-fi series, ‘The Sophon’ operates by scanning for Bitcoin transactions involving Ordinals and disrupting the process of creating BRC-20 tokens. It achieves this by paying a higher fee, thereby jumping ahead in Bitcoin’s transaction queue and pre-emptively claiming the ticker names of these tokens.
Initially activated on October 3, ‘The Sophon’ led to a dramatic drop in text-based inscriptions, plummeting from 49,000 to 13,700, highlighting its efficacy in deterring new BRC-20 deployments. Furthermore, after the bot’s funds depleted, there was a significant increase in these inscriptions, underscoring the bot’s influence.
Impact on the Bitcoin Ecosystem
‘The Sophon’ has stirred discussions about the vulnerabilities and design flaws in the BRC-20 creation process. It showcases how easily new token deployments can be disrupted in the Bitcoin mempool, the network’s holding area for unverified transactions. This revelation is prompting developers and users to reconsider the security and feasibility of creating BRC-20 tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain.
The bot’s operation is a critical demonstration of how someone can exploit the visibility of transactions in the mempool to their advantage, effectively challenging the first-come-first-serve nature of token name registration.
Potential for Wider Application
The creator of ‘The Sophon’ is considering making its code public, which could lead to more widespread usage of similar bots, further shaping the landscape of BRC-20 token creation on Bitcoin. This move could democratize the ability to influence token creation processes, potentially leading to more equitable and transparent practices in the blockchain space.
In conclusion, ‘The Sophon’ represents a groundbreaking development in the Bitcoin ecosystem, highlighting critical vulnerabilities in the creation of BRC-20 tokens and sparking a conversation about the need for more robust and secure practices in blockchain technology.