The Bitcoin blockchain has 40.49 gigabytes (GB) until it hits half a terabyte (TB), and with the recent trend of ordinal enrollments, it’s likely to get there faster. The average block size peaked at 2.52 megabytes (MB) on February 12, 2023, but the block size decreased and fell to an average of 1.634 MB on February 27. Still, the blockchain grew at a rate of 0.288 GB per day, compared to the previous rate of 0.173 GB per day recorded before the start of the ordinal enrollment trend.
The Impact of Ordinal Enrollments on Bitcoin’s Network Metrics
Ordinal registrations started on December 16, 2022, but didn’t really pick up steam until February 2, 2023. That’s the day a 3.96MB block was mined, and since then, 214,028 registrations have been added to the Bitcoin blockchain. The trend of ordinal listings between February 2 and February 27, or about 26 days, increased Bitcoin’s average network fee and average block size. Network fees and block size metrics peaked around February 12 and have been declining ever since. During this period, the data shows that Bitcoin’s chain size grew at a faster rate.
For example, statistics show that the Bitcoin blockchain was 459.51 GB in size on February 27, 2023. Measurements show that over the 26-day period, the blockchain grew by 7.77 GB, or about 0.288 GB per day. The spike can be seen visually by looking at a chart of Bitcoin’s blockchain size from February 2 to today. However, before ordinal enrollments started trending and larger blocks were mined more regularly, blockchain growth was much slower. It took 45 days, from December 19, 2022 to February 2, 2023, to reach 7.77 GB.
At that time, over a period of 45 days, the Bitcoin blockchain grew at a rate of 0.173 GB per day. Bitcoin’s average fee as of February 28, 2023 is 0.000077 BTC, or $1.82, per transaction, while the median fee is 0.000033 BTC, or $0.777, per transaction. Transactions are also confirmed at rates ranging from 2 satoshis per byte, or $0.07, to 19 satoshis per byte, or $0.62, per transaction. Miner earnings accrued per day under the ordinal enrollment trend peaked on February 16, 2023, at $28.21 million (block grant + fees), compared to $21.36 million today. Yet bitcoin (BTC) miners are earning more revenue than they did on December 24, 2022.
It will be interesting to see how another month of ordinal signups affects metrics such as average block size, median and average fees, and overall Bitcoin blockchain growth. Although the hype around ordinal listings has died down, these metrics remain high compared to before Feb. 2 and the subsequent influx of listings. The average and median fees are still higher than before the ordinal trend, and the average block size remains above the 1.60MB threshold after remaining below for months.
What do you think of the impact of ordinal enrollments on the growth of the Bitcoin blockchain? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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