Vitalik Buterin Credits Ordinals for Reviving ‘Builder Culture’ on Bitcoin

During a Twitter space conversation on July 7 with Bitcoin proponents Eric Wall and Udi Wertheimer, Buterin expressed his admiration for Ordinals and the BRC-20 token standard. He sees these developments as a rejection of the perceived stagnant politics prevailing in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Buterin stated, “Ordinals are starting to bring back a culture of actually doing things. It feels like there’s real pushback to the laser-eye movement, which is good.”

The discussion primarily focused on scalability issues. Wall argued that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network struggles to scale for future users and experiences frequent failures when processing even medium-sized payments.

Buterin suggested that a viable solution would involve implementing various types of layer-2 solutions while simultaneously enhancing the efficiency of the Bitcoin base layer.

Wertheimer added an interesting perspective, stating that if rollups were adopted for Bitcoin, it could introduce an execution environment, allowing for smart contract functionality.

Wall and Wertheimer, prominent figures behind the Ordinals project known as Taproot Wizards, have been vocal advocates for expanding the functionality of the Bitcoin network. However, they have faced criticism from more conservative Bitcoin proponents who believe that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and smart contracts dilute Bitcoin’s primary function as a peer-to-peer cash network.

Samson Mow, CEO of Jan3, is one such critic who argues that Ordinals waste block space that could otherwise be used for Bitcoin payments.

Wall acknowledged these criticisms but explained that Bitcoin could serve as a proof system for zero-knowledge proofs, avoiding network congestion.

He stated, “We [Bitcoiners] always wanted to do DeFi adjacent things, but we just wanted the Bitcoin base layer to act as a judge or an arbiter of that computation and not have to run the computation on-chain.”

The conversation sparked controversy within the Bitcoin community, with Wertheimer criticizing Mow and Blockstream CEO Adam Beck for dismissing the discussion with Buterin.

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