Bitcoin Fork Discussions Surface Over Block Space Constraints and Ordinals 

While no formal announcement has been made, murmurs of a potential Bitcoin fork are emerging amidst discussions on block space, Ordinal inscriptions, and escalating fees. Such speculation has led some to believe that a significant Bitcoin fork might occur in 2024.

Talks of a Bitcoin Fork Appear as Tensions Rise

Discussions about a potential Bitcoin fork are surfacing on social media platform X, sparked by ongoing debates about the trend of Ordinal inscriptions, the block space these inscriptions occupy, and the increasing transaction fees of BTC.

As of Dec. 23, 2023, a backlog of 291,660 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions exists. The current cost for transferring bitcoin stands at 81 satoshis per virtual byte (sat/vB) or $4.97 per transaction. Comparatively, fees were much higher on Dec. 16, 2023, when the rate was 674 sat/vB, equating to $40 per transfer.

Moreover, certain Bitcoin enthusiasts scorn Ordinal inscriptions, labeling them as “spam,” an “attack,” a “scam,” and fundamentally a misuse of resources. On Dec. 23, advocate Adam Simecka asserted that Ordinal inscriptions are a “scam,” causing division among bitcoiners, and predicted that this trend “will result in a hard-fork (a new version of Bitcoin) that will eventually fail.”

The Twitter user Pledditor informed its 16,900 followers about Taproot Wizards’ alleged attempts “to fork Bitcoin to be more like Ethereum.” Pledditor’s X post came as a rebuttal to Udi Wertheimer’s mention of “BIP-1559” on the same platform.

Bitcoin Fork Discussions Surface Over Block Space Constraints and Ordinals

Furthermore, Wertheimer’s X post from Dec. 20 proclaimed, “In 2024 we’re upgrading Bitcoin,” to which David Coen responded, “Please do it. Fork Bitcoin. Keep the spam on your chain.” Tyler Whittle, a sorcerer at Taproot Wizards, recently discussed the risks Bitcoin faces due to its reluctance to adapt and change.

Whittle argues that while the Bitcoin community is proficient at understanding the risks of protocol changes potentially wiping out its market cap, it underestimates the dangers of not evolving. This resistance to change Whittle compared to the downfall of formerly dominant companies like Blackberry, Kodak, and Nokia, which failed to adapt to new technologies and market shifts. Whittle added:

In 2024, we must move away from the biblical Bitcoin culture. We need more 1960s Space Race vibes, and less Bitcoin as religon.

Since the block size disputes and the 2017 split between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, much has evolved. Each chain has diverged, with Bitcoin Cash expanding its block size to 32 megabytes (MB) and Bitcoin maintaining its 1 MB block size cap. Yet, because of Segregated Witness and Taproot, Bitcoin has attained a 4 MB block size this year.

Over the past year, Bitcoin’s average daily block size has also risen from 1.19 MB to 1.7 MB. Nonetheless, there’s no additional capacity for expansion, and the likelihood of proposing and agreeing on a block size increase is virtually nonexistent.

Bitcoin Fork Discussions Surface Over Block Space Constraints and Ordinals

As we near 2024, the Bitcoin community encounters a decisive juncture. Discussions about Ordinal inscriptions, block size, and escalating fees highlight an increasing schism. With debates heating up and transaction queues expanding, talk of a potential fork is becoming more prevalent. Mid-December 2023 saw the term “bitcoin fork” hit the peak of Google Trends scores globally, signaling heightened interest and concern.

What do you think about the rising discussions concerning a Bitcoin fork in 2024? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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