Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song likens Ordinals to pump and dump altcoin scams

Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, known for his maximalist views, expressed skepticism toward the Ordinals protocol, likening it to a run-of-the-mill altcoin scam.

Song’s comments come amid growing discussions in the Bitcoin community about the Ordinals protocol, which was introduced in early 2023 and has since sparked debate over its impact on the Bitcoin network.

Leveraging Bitcoin

According to Song, Ordinals is essentially an altcoin scam that cleverly uses the Bitcoin branding to deceive people.

He argued that by building on top of the Bitcoin network and adopting the narrative around sound money and self-sovereignty typically associated with the flagship crypto, Ordinals has exploited Bitcoin’s name recognition to appear legitimate and credible.

According to Song:

“That’s why ordinals and BRC-20 are becoming more popular. There’s little chance of escaping the ‘shitcoin’ moniker by releasing a token on Ethereum or Solana now. The gulf between Bitcoin and altcoins is too wide and crossing that chasm, to scam newbies has become that much harder.”

Song argued that peeling back the layers of the Ordinals movement reveals a similar “pump and dump” nature to that of altcoins, which focus on token peddling and speculation rather than advancing Bitcoin’s mission of economic freedom.

Song’s stance is part of a broader debate within the Bitcoin community regarding the direction and use of the network. While he adopts a purist approach, warning users not to be deceived by Ordinals and urging the community to expose the protocol as a scam, others within the community see benefits in Ordinals.

Benefits of Ordinals

Ordinals were launched earlier in the year at a value of roughly $25, but the token crashed in the weeks after to around $5. However, the token has more than 10x from its bottom over the past few months and is currently trading between $75 to $80.

MicroStrategy chair Michael Saylor recently praised the protocol for its potential to attract talent and creativity away from rival blockchains. Others in the industry have echoed his sentiment and are generally optimistic about the protocol’s future.

Additionally, proponents argue that Ordinals has been beneficial for BTC miners, as the protocol has generated substantial extra fees since it went live, thereby reinvigorating mining operations and incentivizing network security.

The controversy around Ordinals is part of a larger discussion about the future of Bitcoin and the challenges of balancing evolving demands on the network. The debate touches on key principles of Bitcoin, such as being an open and permissionless network, and the necessity of maintaining these principles while also adapting to new developments and use cases.

The discussions around Ordinals and the potential implications for the Bitcoin network have also led to speculation about a possible Bitcoin fork in 2024.

The possibility of a fork has been fueled by concerns over network congestion, block space limitations, and rising transaction fees. The debate is indicative of the growing divide within the community and highlights the challenges of reaching a consensus in a decentralized ecosystem.

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