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Bitcoin’s Decentralization Under Threat: The Damaging Impact of Inscription


The recent surge in inscriptions, such as ordinals and stamps, is posing a serious threat to Bitcoin’s decentralization. Despite the fading hype, the damage caused by these data-squatting transactions is already significant.

Why It Matters

Inscriptions are turning Bitcoin transactions into casino tokens, incentivizing pools and miners to prioritize lucrative transaction fees over the network’s health. This trend is accelerating the centralization of the Bitcoin network, as the time required to set up a full node has more than doubled in just one year.

By the Numbers

  • Over 230 million UTXOs now exist, more than doubling in a single year
  • Setting up a node now takes over 100 hours, compared to less than 48 hours in 2022
  • At the current rate, it could take 24 days to install a node in just a decade

What’s Next

As the Bitcoin community grapples with the consequences of inscriptions, calls for action are growing louder. The BitcoinKnots client, which offers stricter filters and bug fixes, is being recommended as an alternative to the Bitcoin Core client. Miners are also being encouraged to direct their hash power to pools that prioritize blocks with minimal inscriptions.

The Big Picture

The inscription crisis highlights the ongoing battle to maintain Bitcoin’s decentralization in the face of external pressures. As arbitrary data continues to bloat the blockchain, the future of the network hangs in the balance. The Bitcoin community must come together to find solutions that preserve the integrity and accessibility of the network for all users.

What steps do you think the Bitcoin community should take to address the threat posed by inscriptions? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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