Inscriptions on Bitcoin’s mainnet were first introduced by programmer Casey Rodarmor in January and paved the way for Ordinals NFTs. Previously, the Ordinals team was funded privately by Rodarmor himself, as well as through gifted contributions to the core developers.
On Tuesday, the team announced the creation of the Open Ordinals Institute, a registered 501(c)(3) that will collect donations in Bitcoin to initially help bolster the work of its core developers – including pseudonymous developer Raph, the recently-appointed lead Ordinals Protocol maintainer. After recently launching the Ordinals.org site to share progress on protocol development, the site will now accept donations to the institute through two bitcoin wallet addresses.
Ordinals core developer, Ordinally, shared in a press release that launching a non-profit was the “cleanest way” to compensate developers without compromising the values and goals of the protocol.
Erin Redwin, Open Ordinals Institute board member, told CoinDesk that the non-profit hopes to empower developers to help grow the newly-discovered utility of Bitcoin-based NFTs.
“Companies across Web3 ecosystems – including Ethereum, Solana, Stacks, and others – are quickly building Ordinals infrastructure after previously believing NFT-functionality ‘wasn't possible’ on native Bitcoin,” said Redwin. “Given Ordinals' unprecedented pace of adoption and real-world implications for various crypto-economies, we believe it is crucial to fund a strong team of non-corporate funded developers to ensure the security and neutrality of this open-source protocol.”
The Ordinals protocol has quickly garnered the attention of Bitcoin maximalists and NFT collectors alike for its versatility, as well as its potential to pump the value of bitcoin itself. In May, Ordinals reached 3 million inscriptions, and weeks later, helped Bitcoin come in second as the network with the highest NFT trading volume.
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