A new technology upgrade has allowed memecoins, such as Pepe Coin (PEPECOIN-USD), to be deployed on the Bitcoin blockchain for the first time, causing congestion issues and driving BTC transaction fees to a two-year high.
The upgrade enabled the creation of Ordinals, which are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Bitcoin blockchain, while the BRC-20 standard facilitates the trading of memecoins.
Some 14,300 BRC-20 tokens have been launched, amassing a total market capitalisation exceeding $1bn (£800m). Ordi (ORDI-USD), a memecoin honoring the Ordinals protocol, is currently the most valuable, worth $400m.
The Taproot upgrade, which happened in November 2021 has since caused an increase in activity on the network, which processes transactions every 10 minutes, and significantly slowed transaction settlement.
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The development has been met with criticism from some bitcoin pioneers, such as Max Keiser and Samson Mow.
“Ordinals are like barnacles on the hull of a…