Elon Musk, the high-profile CEO of Tesla, recently made some critical remarks about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) during a podcast, inadvertently sparking a discussion about the potential of Bitcoin Ordinals, also known as Bitcoin NFTs.
During an interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast released on October 31, Musk humorously pointed out that NFTs “are not even on the blockchain — it’s just a URL to the JPEG.” He suggested that NFT projects should, at the very least, embed the image on the blockchain, Elon musk, stating, “If the company housing the image goes out of business, you don’t have the image anymore.”
This comment from Musk resonated with Bitcoin enthusiasts, who argued that it actually encapsulated the use case for Bitcoin Ordinals. Bitcoin Ordinals, introduced in January by developer Casey Rodarmor, were made possible by the Taproot soft fork in November 2021.
Cryptocurrency analyst Will Clemente and others praised Musk’s remarks, highlighting that there are already 38 million and counting Ordinals inscriptions permanently stored on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Rohun “Frank” Vora, the creator of NFT projects DeGods and y00ts, stated, “This is why Ordinals will continue to grow,” emphasizing that Bitcoin Ordinals provide an elegant solution to one of the most common criticisms of NFTs.
One Ordinals developer, known as “Leonidas,” was so impressed with Musk’s comments that they engraved a 19-second video into Bitcoin’s blockchain at block 814,773.
It’s worth noting that Musk’s criticisms of NFTs are not new. In December 2021, he mocked NFTs as a sign of mental illness in a meme depicting a patient on a therapist’s couch.
However, Musk’s comments do not apply to all NFT projects on the Ethereum blockchain. For instance, Larva Labs moved its Cryptopunks NFTs on-chain in August 2021 after initially existing off-chain for four years. Storing them on-chain was seen as a way to ensure the long-term survival of Cryptopunks images and attributes, making them fully accessible to anyone with an Ethereum client.
Additionally, Metagood, the team behind Ethereum-native OnChainMonkeys, announced in September that it would migrate its NFTs to Bitcoin. While the JPEG dilemma was not explicitly addressed, the team emphasized that NFTs “will win on Bitcoin” due to its superior network security and decentralization.
Despite this, Ethereum continues to dominate the NFT market, accounting for 84% of all NFT trading volumes, according to CoinGecko’s data from June. Bitcoin and ImmutableX followed with market shares of 11% and 2.5%, respectively.