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BRC-20 Trading Volumes Surge 10x Since November 2023, Reaching $500 Million

The trading volumes for BRC-20 tokens, tokens minted on the Bitcoin blockchain, have experienced a remarkable tenfold increase since November 2023, according to data from Paris-based analytics blockchain firm Kaiko. The report, released on January 15, reveals that BRC-20 token trading volumes surged from $10 million in November 2023 to over $500 million in January. This significant increase is attributed to Binance, which recently introduced spot and perpetual futures trading for BRC-20 tokens such as ORDI, SATS, and RATS.

Initially, Binance dominated the market share of trading volumes with 63%, reaching $2 billion following the listing of SATS and RATS. However, the data indicates a subsequent decline, with Binance currently holding around 50% of the market share. OKX, the first to list another BRC-20 token called ORDI, has become the second-largest spot market for BRC-20 tokens, boasting a market share of 35%.

The BRC-20 standard, introduced in March 2023, operates on the Bitcoin network using the Ordinals protocol, enabling the inscription of data on satoshis, the smallest unit of BTC. Kaiko highlights that the surging volumes of BRC-20 tokens have led to increased demand for block space on the Bitcoin network, resulting in elevated transaction costs and sparking controversy. In December 2023, Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr expressed concerns, stating that data inscription exploits a vulnerability to spam the Bitcoin blockchain, urging developers to address the “vulnerability.”

Despite the controversy, some notable figures in the Bitcoin community, such as advocate Udi Wertheimer, have encouraged experimentation with BRC-20, describing it as the equivalent of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin blockchain.

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