Bull Bitcoin founder and maximalist Francis Pouliot endorsed research by Block21M on Tuesday, which accused a single entity of enjoying majority ownership of Bitcoin Ordinals. Within hours, the community debunked that research.
Inscriptions are NFT-like pieces of data attached to subunits of bitcoin using Casey Rodarmor’s off-blockchain numbering system called Ordinal theory. Bitcoin users who opt-in to wallet software that support Ordinals can buy, sell, and transfer these NFTs. Inscriptions can store up to 4MB of data apiece on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Block21M’s research claims a single public key has produced the majority of all inscriptions. However, that key doesn’t own those inscriptions. Instead, the inscription-as-a-service website UniSat assisted in their creation.
UniSat has inscribed the vast majority of Ordinals since Rodarmor released his Ordinals software earlier this year. UniSat releases ownership after inscribors pay its fee. Therefore, according to independent researcher Mononaut, the claim that one entity owns the majority of all inscriptions is debunked.
Over 1,000 bitcoin in transaction fees for Bitcoin Ordinals inscriptions
Block21M says UniSat has spent over 1,056 bitcoin in transaction fees to create inscriptions. The ability to spend that much on transaction fees could theoretically give it considerable influence over the data added to the Bitcoin blockchain by “outbidding” ordinary users or using discretion in what data it adds to any particular inscription.
In practice, claims of misbehavior by UniSat are sparse to non-existent. So far, it has operated as a simple business — charging a fee to users who want a convenient interface for creating an inscription. UniSat inscribes the data on an output controlled by a user’s bitcoin address and charges a fee that includes the transaction fee.
Inscribers use Bitcoin for its original purchase of sending and receiving bitcoin transactions. They pay a transaction fee to miners to include their transaction and its associated data on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
Block21M says it’s developing a high-performance Bitcoin blockchain analyzer that it plans to open-source. It claims the analyzer will give Bitcoin users access to the same information that blockchain analytics companies sell to their clients. It uncovered the information on UniSat’s use of tapscripts while running tests on the analyzer’s ability to parse and print tapscripts in the P2TR script-path transaction inputs.
This information led to speculation that UniSat was involved in money laundering or market manipulation.
Bitcoin Ordinals ownership is not majority-controlled by one wallet
By midday Tuesday, Block21M had added a correction to its post, admitting that although users used UniSat’s private key to create inscriptions, they do own the inscriptions they created.
Its Bitcoin blockchain analyzer detected that UniSat’s public key created 64% of all inscriptions. Like other eager researchers, Block21M might have jumped to conclusions by saying Unisat owned a majority of Bitcoin ordinals-based inscriptions.