Ethereum NFTs can now bridge to Bitcoin with the launch of the BRC-721E standard
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(Kitco News) - The Ordinals Protocol continues to shake up the non-fungible token (NFT) landscape as the layer-two solution enabling decentralized storage of digital art on the Bitcoin blockchain has launched the BRC-721E standard, which allows users to migrate Ethereum ERC-721-based NFTs to the Bitcoin blockchain.
The BRC-721E standard was launched on Monday by the Ordinals market and the Bitcoin Miladys NFT project, enabling the conversion of immutable, verifiable ERC-721 NFTs to Ordinals.
To complete the process, ERC-721 NFT holders must first burn the token with an Ethereum call function. This is an irreversible process that acts as an on-chain inscription method.
In order to claim the ETH burn on Bitcoin, valid BRC-721E data must be inscribed on a satoshi, after which the bridged NFT will appear on a custom Ordinals market collection page with complete metadata.
According to the project’s website, metadata is not stored on-chain as part of the service’s initial rollout, but users can store a lower-quality preview image and include a reference to the Ethereum burn in the raw image data.
“Even though initially metadata is not stored on chain, the core principle of BRC-721E (nominating a Bitcoin address during a burn) and flexibility from indexers allows for the protocol to adapt over time,” the website said. “These options allow a [preview] of the NFT which can be displayed in existing wallets or marketplaces, while being automatically presented in full quality by an indexer.”
The indexers that check NFT data inscriptions are responsible for: “finding syntactically valid inscriptions for BRC-721E, ensuring that no more than one inscription is valid for a token, verifying that the last transfer of the referenced NFT was to a burn address, verifying that the genesis address for the inscription matches the burn [transaction] calldata, and obtaining and archiving an instance of ETH metadata needed to present that inscription,” the website said.
Bitcoin Ordinals has been a popular topic of conversation around the cryptosphere since the protocol launched in January. The addition of the BRC-20 token standard in March sent activity on protocol into overdrive by allowing users to mint entirely new tokens on Bitcoin for the first time in history. Popular new tokens include Ordinals (ORDI), Vmpx (VMPX) and Pepecoin (PEPE).
On Monday, the number of Ordinals minted on the Bitcoin network surpassed the 10 million mark, and the number of Bitcoin-based tokens currently stands at 24,677, according to data from BRC-20.io.
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While many in the community are excited about this newest development, some Bitcoin advocates have criticized the inscription of assets on the network for being inefficient and wasteful, especially when it comes to block space and transaction fees.
At the height of the Ordinal’s frenzy, data provided by on-chain analytics firm Glassnode showed that the fee dominance for inscriptions – which refers to any form of data directly inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain – was 62%, and the total amount of fees paid per day in USD terms was $17.8 million.
This has been the largest spike in transaction costs in several years and has led to a considerable amount of pushback from some in the Bitcoin community.
Unfortunately for this group, the launch of BRC-721E and rumors of a possible airdrop in store for Ordinals users are likely to lead to further congestion on the Bitcoin network and higher translation costs, so the pain of transacting on Bitcoin is likely to get worse before it gets better.
For these and other reasons, it’s important to note that while the BRC-721E standard is an exciting development for Bitcoin, it is still in its early stages, and the long-term feasibility of extensive NFT operations on Bitcoin still needs to be evaluated.