Bitcoin core developers are discussing the possibility of killing off BRC-20 tokens which led to record fees and mempool congestion on the Bitcoin network.

On May 8-9, network transactions registered over 525,000 in 24 hours due to a massive uptick in ordinal issuance. The increased network activity comes amidst the emergence of the BRC-20 token standard and its use for minting meme coins on the Ordinals Protocol. The congestion became so pronounced that users shifted to the Litecoin network, which provides a similar LRC-20 token standard without congestion issues.

Pending trasaction have come down significantly in 24 hours, from over 400,000 to 358,312 unconfirmed transactions at the time of writing. On the upside, fees on Bitcoin have surpassed the block reward earned by miners, with the average fees sitting at $20.34 – a 788% increase over the year.

Data from indicates that miners are raking in around $40 million per day at the moment.

Bugfix BRC-20

The explosive situation has Bitcoin core developers suggesting closing the loophole of arbitrary data with a “bugfix”. In a developer forum, Ali Sherief suggested introducing a runtime option to delete all non-standard Taproot transactions, which include BRC-20 tokens.

We indirectly allowed this to happen, which previously wasn’t possible before. So we also have a responsibility to do something to ensure that this kind of congestion can never happen again using Taproot.

Another developer by hte name of Luke Dashjr said that “action should have been taken months ago” and proposed using a script code like OP_RETURN to mark these transaction outputs as invalid. He continued:

Since this is a bugfix, it doesn’t really even need to wait for a major release.

In February, Dashjr released a patch called “Ordisrespector”, which filters out what’s considered to be spam transactions from the Ordinals Protocol, preventing them from entering the mempool.

The interest in ordinals on L1 blockchains has gone parabolic, so much so that spill-over into the Litecoin network set an all-time-high for transactions on the blockchain.

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