- Ordinals technology now enables Bitcoin users to exhibit their musical prowess by creating songs directly on the blockchain.
- Despite criticism and technical constraints, the integration of music into Bitcoin through Ordinals signals a new era for the capabilities of the blockchain.
The Rhythm of Bitcoin: Music Meets Blockchain
A year ago, the integration of NFTs, memecoins, games, and now music into Bitcoin would have seemed like a distant dream. Today, thanks to the development of a Music-Engine based on the Ordinals protocol, crypto enthusiasts can now create new songs. Though currently limited to 8-bit tonalities, this nascent technology promises new possibilities in blockchain creativity.
The Ordinals protocol, created by pseudonymous developer Ratoshi, supplements the text-based role-playing game “Descent into Darkness”, also operating on the Bitcoin blockchain. The music was generated using artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT, then integrated into the blockchain application. Similar on-chain apps have been in existence for some time, such as a playable version of Doom.
Bitcoin and Smart Contracts: An Uneven Pairing
Music on Bitcoin has become possible due to a pioneering development within Ordinals. Unlike the previously used technology, the so-called “recursive inscriptions” can interact with other inscriptions. This ability allows the retrieval of data already stored on the blockchain, much like Smart Contracts on Ethereum. Consequently, developers can bypass the block storage restriction of four megabytes, thereby averting data congestion.
Another benefit is the reduction in transaction costs, enabling developers to work cost-effectively on the main network without relying on Layer-2 solutions. Most users have received the Bitcoin music positively, although skeptics question the technology’s purpose, suggesting that “Satoshi [Nakamoto] would have a heart attack.”
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The Potential Consequences of Ordinals on the Blockchain
In May, a Bitcoin transaction temporarily cost 30 USD due to high network usage – a result of Bitcoin NFTs. The buzz around the Ordinals protocol sparked immense network activity. Consequently, Bitcoin logged more transactions – around 682,000 – in a single day than ever before, marking a milestone in its over 14-year history.
The Ordinals protocol is viewed with suspicion in Bitcoin maximalist circles. The argument is that Proof of Work was initially designed to prevent spam, yet the blockchain is now being ‘cluttered’ with arbitrary data packets that have little to do with financial transactions. On the other hand, shouldn’t an open protocol like Bitcoin accommodate non-financial transactions too?
Whether the new music application resonates with the Bitcoin community remains to be seen. After all, the controversy over Ordinals has rekindled the debate about block size – and thus, the Blocksize War.
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