A bug fix on the Bitcoin Core network in the v27 upgrade could reportedly halt the creation of new Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens, which have been causing network congestion due to their exploitation of a vulnerability, according to a prominent Bitcoin Core developer.
Bitcoin Ordinals, introduced in January 2023 by Casey Rodarmor, are satoshis (sats) that have been inscribed with a piece of information, such as text or an image. This piece of information makes the sat unique and turns it into a de-facto NFT.
Luke Dashjr, founder and CTO of OCEAN mining pool, claimed that inscriptions used by Ordinals and BRC-20 creators to embed data on satoshis are “exploiting a vulnerability” in the Bitcoin Core network, resulting in “spamming the blockchain.”
Dashjr explained that the Bitcoin Core code has allowed users to set limits on the size of extra data in transactions since 2013, but inscriptions bypass this limit by obfuscating their data as program code.
The bug that allows inscriptions to bypass this limit was recently fixed in the latest update to Bitcoin Knots, a derivative of Bitcoin Core.
When asked if Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens would cease to exist once the vulnerability is fixed, Dashjr confirmed that they would no longer be operational. However, existing inscriptions would still remain.
Dashjr has strongly opposed Ordinal inscriptions since its onset, claiming that they are causing significant and irreversible damage to Bitcoin and its users. Earlier in May, he proposed to ban BRC-20s by extending spam filtration to Bitcoin’s recently introduced Taproot transactions.
Recently, Ordinals have experienced a resurgence in activity, causing the transaction fee on Bitcoin to surpass Ethereum’s. According to Bitinfo, the average BTC transaction fee is currently $19.48. During the Ordinals frenzy in May this year, transaction fees reached a high of over $31.