Giant Bitcoin 'Taproot Wizard' NFT Minted in Collaboration With Luxor Mining Pool
Independent developer, Udi Wertheimer, claims he minted a giant image of what appears to be a bald, bearded wizard donning sunglasses and promoting “magic internet JPEGs” on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Ordinals protocol. His announcements in the Discord channel “taprootwizards.com” and on Twitter sparked further flames of division between Bitcoin purists and Ordinals proponents. The block that minted the NFT was mined by Bitcoin mining firm, Luxor, which said it was “the largest Bitcoin block ever mined.
Last night, we made history— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) February 2, 2023
The gatekeepers tried to censor us
But we mined the LARGEST BLOCK and LARGEST TRANSACTION IN BITCOIN’S HISTORY
Special thanks to bitcoin full node operators for supporting our efforts and hosting our 4MB NFT for all eternity!
gm @TaprootWizards 🧙♂️ pic.twitter.com/uKGG918af8
Lines were drawn when the Ordinals protocol, which stores non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Bitcoin, launched on the dominant blockchain last month. That showdown created two factions – purists who insist on using Bitcoin exclusively for payments and Ordinals fans who welcome NFTs, including this “Taproot wizard” sketch that nearly filled an entire 4 megabyte (MB) block, incurred no transaction fees (although a premium off-chain fee was likely paid) and left Bitcoiners of both stripes mystified.
The image itself is a throwback to an early Bitcoin meme featuring a similar wizard, crudely rendered in MSPaint, inviting all and sundry to “Join us” on the then-popular r/bitcoin subreddit.
Read more: Bitcoin Community Erupts in Existential Debate Over NFT Project Ordinals
Bitcoin transaction blocks are capped at 4MB, while individual transactions are limited to 1MB, unless a user directly approaches a miner to process a larger non-standard transaction (like the wizard NFT) that fills an entire block. The image had many Bitcoiners asking – who would go through the trouble of processing this non-standard NFT mint (or “inscription” in Ordinals lingo) and why?
Someone just minted the Mother Of All Ordinals 🤣— Gigi 🇨🇵⚡ (@GuerillaV2) February 1, 2023
3.96 MB 👀 pic.twitter.com/i3kPA6JoZp
Earlier today, Wertheimer tweeted about the Taproot wizard stating that “we made history” and linked to the Taproot Wizards Discord channel. The channel contains a Jan. 31 announcement message from Wertheimer alluding to the future minting of the Taproot Wizard.
He and Luxor CEO Nick Hansen collaborated to ensure that the Taproot wizard NFT was included in a block mined by Luxor, according to a Luxor spokesperson.
Amid much online criticism, Luxor COO Ethan Vera tweeted that the company views the Taproot Wizard as “short term R&D” as they look to maximize the revenue potential for both the company and its clients.
Our pool is committed to maximising long term revenue for our mining partners. Short term R&D is vital to building and iterating on software and financial products. People like Preston keep missing the nuance here— Ethan Vera (@ethan_vera) February 2, 2023
Veteran Bitcoin Core developer, Luke Dashjr, who vehemently opposes having Ordinals on Bitcoin, says he’s developed a rudimentary “spam filter” that screens for inscriptions and prevents them from being relayed through the Bitcoin network. An inscription is when arbitrary content (like text or an image) is added to sequentially numbered satoshis or “sats” – the smallest units in Bitcoin – to create unique “digital artifacts.”
#Bitcoin node patch (HACKY, UNTESTED) to filter out "ord" spam.— @[email protected] on Mastodon (@LukeDashjr) February 1, 2023
NOT a protocol change or softfork/hardfork, just a harmless (if it works right) spam filter.
(Also a quick hack and NOT suitable for opening a PR to Core - please write a proper fix for that)https://t.co/h3Q1KpNl9M
Critics of Ordinals argue that NFTs will compete with traditional payment transactions by crowding blocks and driving up transaction fees.
Casey Rodarmor, creator of the Ordinals protocol, disagrees but isn’t fazed by Luke’s new invention. In fact, he welcomes it.
“It filters inscriptions from an individual Core node’s mempool,” Rodarmor told CoinDesk. “I actually told him how to look for inscriptions to filter them.”
This story is developing and will be updated.