Ethereum Co-founder Praises Ordinals For Builder Culture

Ordinals, a project championed by Bitcoin proponents Eric Wall and Udi Wertheimer, has garnered praise from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who believes it signals the resurgence of a “builder culture” on the network. Buterin expressed his views during a Twitter Space conversation on July 7, where he engaged in a lengthy discussion with Wall and Wertheimer about potential learnings for Bitcoin developers from their counterparts in the Ethereum community.

Revitalizing Action in Bitcoin Ecosystem

Buterin specifically commended Ordinals and the BRC-20 token standard, perceiving them as a rejection of the perceived stagnation in the Bitcoin ecosystem’s politics. He stated that Ordinals is revitalizing a culture of action, countering what he referred to as the “laser-eye movement,” and welcomed this development.

The focal point of the two-hour conversation revolved around the issue of scalability. Wall raised concerns about Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, arguing that it struggles to scale for future users and frequently fails to process even medium-sized payments. In response, Buterin suggested that a productive approach would involve implementing various layer-2 solutions and optimizing the Bitcoin base layer’s efficiency. The conversation took an intriguing turn when Wertheimer proposed that the introduction of zero-knowledge rollups could potentially enable smart contract functionality on Bitcoin. He suggested that if rollups were adopted, an execution environment could be created within the network.


Wertheimer Slams Critics of Ordinals

Ordinals, a project associated with Taproot Wizards, champions the idea of building enhanced functionality on top of the Bitcoin network. Wall and Wertheimer have faced criticism from some staunch Bitcoin traditionalists who argue that NFTs and smart contracts dilute Bitcoin’s intended purpose as a peer-to-peer cash network. Among the critics is Jan3 CEO Samson Mow, who believes Ordinals consumes block space that could otherwise be utilized for Bitcoin payments.

Wall acknowledged these criticisms but also highlighted the potential for Bitcoin to serve as a proof system for zero-knowledge proofs, thereby avoiding network congestion. He expressed his perspective that Bitcoiners have always had an interest in DeFi-related endeavours, with the base layer acting as a judge or arbiter of computations rather than running them on-chain. The discussion generated controversy within the Bitcoin community, with Wertheimer criticizing Mow and Blockstream CEO Adam Beck for dismissing the conversation with Buterin. The differing opinions highlight the ongoing debate surrounding the future direction of Bitcoin and the potential for increased functionality beyond its original design.