The other day I read a tweet that explained a bit about some of the players behind ‘Ordinals’ which are the current flavour of the month in the crypto space, all of which ended up taking me down a few rabbit holes:
Anyhow, I posted the above link in a comment a couple days ago, and it subsequently piqued my interest to look into it further write an additional comment, but as I ended up getting carried away with it I though I would turn it into a post.
For those interested in who is behind the “Ordinals” boom that is clogging BTC and has its memepool sitting at 400,000 or so uncleared transactions, despite fees being $20 a transaction the answer is three crypto teams from the BSV space:
Before I start my waffle I suppose the fist place to start is – what are Ordinals?
Basically “Ordinals” are a similar principal to NFT’s which were being furiously traded a while back on ETH. With the effective expansion of BTC’s block size following the Taproot update it has suddenly become possible for BTC to carry small bits of information, even enough for tiny JPEG files. The whole coding thing is built around mathematical principals of Ordinal numbers a characteristical element that is present in all of the Bitcoin blockchains; BTC, BCH, Bitcoin Gold and BSV.
The point of this post isn’t to explain exactly how Ordinals work, you can basically think of them as a serial number unique to every satoshi. They make a number of coding and programming outcomes possible, including coloured coins/tokens within the various Bitcoin ecosystems (Bitcoin code was originally filled with lots of cool capabilities). Anyhow here is a reasonable link if you want to know more about Ordinals:
So back to the story on what is clogging the BTC network.
I am aware of the three parties mentioned in the article, the guys behind Twetch are pretty based. They were just typical millennial developers who got excited by the blockchain tech. They were originally on ETH and couldn’t make their twetch project technically work there, so then they moved to BSV where they succeeded technically, but being a part of the starved BSV eco system they have failed to thrive there either (although Twetch is still going).
Their last venture on BSV before going quite was selling NFT’s on BSV, which is where they honed their marketing, hyping and coding skills, that are so evidently being successfully deployed on the BTC network. I do vaguely remember ‘Elon Moist’ quitting BSV and saying something about BTC when Ordinals were first discussed as a possibility in Nov last year following the Taproot deployment.
The guys behinds Unisat developed the Sensible Contract on BSV, they also developed the coolest wallet on BSV Volt and I think were involved in an exchange called TokenSwap.
From what I remember their ‘Sensible Contract’ was actually quite code heavy in and they found that their transactions were not being picked up because they weren’t economic due to the amount of data that they were having to carry, particularly over successive transactions within Sensible contract ecosystems. Interesting that it dovetails with a quote in the article about Ordinals also being code heavy, which the BTC ‘community’ ie Blockstream are starting to call an attack.
The guy behind RelayX was imho probably the least trustworthy character of the lot. His exchange was very scammy, and being underwhelming from a user experience (in contrast to Volt which was awesome). His wallet was crap too from memory.
That all said, the article then goes on to make this nonsense claim:
Even though the network is currently struggling with high fee, there have been enough examples in the history of Bitcoin that have demonstrated that it is resilient to this type of attack. The free market will decide if Bitcoin based tokens on the base layer at fees above $20 are something that will be widely adopted, or if the trend will die out (or if it will move to second layer solutions like Stacks).
If it is indeed a third-party funded attack, the question is when the attacker will run out of money. It is worth noting that fees were well over $20 yesterday and are currently down to an average of $7.Crappy Blockstream article
It is nonsense because NONE of the three parties mentioned in the article or by myself above, have any funds. Their capital was pretty much completely consumed on BSV in the ongoing financial and delisting attack against that network (with Bittrex declaring bankruptcy there is now nowhere you can buy it in the US exchange wise).
It is laughable to suggest that this is a dark attack – never-the-less this is what the Blockstream coding camp are starting to claim, and never ones to allow any possibility that BTC might become more useful they are now considering blocking the BRC-20 transactions, which the BSV Ordinal providers utilize:
As for the 3 parties from BSV in Ordinals? They were all varying degrees of hucksters and techno shysters – the people who followed the hype and bought NFT’s on BSV ended up holding a whole heap of worthless ‘Pepe’ frog NFT or breeding useless exotic ‘Space Apes’. It was interesting to observe it play out on BSV and now being replayed on the BTC network, but as for being a deliberate denial of service attack or attack on the BTC network…. nah.
They probably made some good staking capital off their dodgy BSV enterprises, but certainly not enough to generate and sustain paying these sort of fees. The scam is selling and re-selling to related parties, all facilitated on ‘independent’ exchanges bidding up the price and passing them onto the public who start to join in on a manufactured feeding frenzy.
That is all this Ordinals thing is. While it has highlighted how useless and broken BTC is a payment system imho it wasn’t malicious in deliberately attack BTC- it is basically a shake down of dumb money, done with crappy, bloated Chinese coding, the same sort of coding that caused problems for them on the BSV network with their ‘Sensible’ contracts. That said none of the parties involved would be the least bit concerned if they caused damage to the BTC network in the process of making their quid.
There is quite simply no one within the BSV space capable of funding the attack, they have all be starved of the capital generated elsewhere in the crypto Universe. The only person remotely capable of incurring significant costs in an attack would be Calvin Ayer, but he hates all the 3 parties involved (probably hates the Volt guys least, but was agnostic to their plight). He refused to fund Twetch and has publicly feuded with Moist, and called Jack Chui? the guy behind RelayX little better than a crook.
Basically what I’m saying is what’s going on with the BTC transaction price isn’t malevolent, but it isn’t entirely organic either. It is hyping and corrupt market manipulation, every bit as stupid as Ether’s “Bored Apes” and at the end of the day all these “Investors” will end up standing around holding useless photos of cartoon frogs.