[brc-20] Introduction to brc-20

The first iteration of the [X Standard] Introduce Your Standard, intending to provide a platform for standard creators, maintainers, or enthusiasts to introduce their standard to a broader audience.


What is brc-20? – A Comprehensive Overview


Introduction:

  • Brief description of brc-20 Standard: brc-20 is an experimental standard that demonstrates that you can create fungible tokens on layer 1 Bitcoin by leveraging ordinal theory and inscriptions.

  • Historical context or background: Originating from a fun Dune dashboard concept and inspired by .sats names, brc-20 tokens were introduced in March 2023. Since then, they’ve constituted about 3% of all Bitcoin transactions, garnered a user base of 250,000, and achieved over $150m in on-chain and $3b in off-chain volume.


Key Features:

  1. Primary Function: brc-20 facilitates the creation, minting, and transacting of fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain.

  2. Technical Specifications: You can view the technical details in the original documentation. For an in-depth look, please refer to Unisat and BestInSlot.

  3. Interoperability: The brc-20 standard naturally integrates with ordinal and inscription systems. At present, it’s capable of interfacing with other Bitcoin standards and layer 1 chains such as Ethereum, Stacks, and more, using bridging, vaulting, or wrapping. The modular approach proposed here aims to simplify this process further and pave the way for integration with systems like the Lightning Network.

  4. Security Measures: By operating on layer 1 Bitcoin, brc-20 tokens inherit its proven security mechanisms. More specifically, double spend is prevented by binding transferable balances to a single satoshi.


Characteristics:

  • Design akin to composable semi-fungible assets.

  • Simplicity core to every design decision, easy to understand

  • Accessible to anyone with a Bitcoin wallet, via inscription tools

  • Employs Bitcoin principles via ‘first is first’, fair and open minting mechanism

  • No need for complex and expensive utxo management

  • Unique tickers to reduce scams and establish digital namespace

  • Can leverage PSBT’s for trading and other mechanisms

  • Account based model opens flexibility for use cases beyond layer 1 Bitcoin

  • Diverse and independent indexing pool


Use Cases:

  • Fun: People are having fun on Bitcoin again.

  • Asset Issuance: brc-20 tokens can serve as digital representations of assets, rights, or other fungible entities. These can range from stablecoins and utility tokens to meme-based tokens.

  • dApp Integration: Developers can integrate brc-20 tokens into decentralized applications that leverage the Bitcoin network. Their applications stretch from yield generation and collateralized loans to staking.

  • Tokenization: The brc-20 standard facilitates the tokenization of any asset or right, unlocking a wealth of possibilities, such as token-gated communities or DAO voting.

  • Exchange Mechanism: brc-20 tokens are readily exchangeable and tradable on layer 1 Bitcoin network via various platforms. While they’re currently accessible via order books, integration into liquidity pool swaps is on the near horizon.


How it Compares to Other Standards:

  • The most widely adopted fungible standard on Bitcoin

  • Interaction is possible without a dedicated wallet feature. Using inscription tools, all that’s needed is a Bitcoin wallet.

  • brc-20’s immutable inscriptions provide a unique approach compared to mutable smart contracts on other platforms.

  • Its account based model reduces complexity, making it more cost-effective than utxo-based fungible token standards that offer fair mint distributions.

  • The simplicity makes it the the easiest fungible standard to understand, access, and use on Bitcoin

  • Legibility; no encoding or hashing system is used.

  • Its distribution is characterized by open and free minting without prior announcements or pre-mines, ensuring provable fairness. Replicating this in future standards will be challenging.

  • Exclusive tickers minimize the risk of scams and misinterpretations.

  • As it doesn’t rely on utxo’s, the standard can integrate with systems beyond Bitcoin.

  • Does not rely on a singular indexing truth. Instead, a diverse pool of indexers validates a consistent truth or state.


Potential Future Developments:


Resources and Further Reading:


Discussion:

Engaged with brc-20’s technical aspects or have insights to share? We invite developers and enthusiasts to comment on their experiences, perspectives, or challenges below.

5 Likes

Nice brc-20 overview, next is for us.

First time coming across this and it a very layman explanation.