BRC-420: A Game Changer For The NFT Market And Web3

Anndy Lian
5 min readFeb 19, 2024

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that represent ownership and authenticity of various forms of content, such as art, music, games, and collectibles. NFTs have exploded in popularity in the past few years, especially on the Ethereum blockchain, where platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, and SuperRare have enabled creators and collectors to buy, sell, and trade NFTs with ease. However, Ethereum is not the only blockchain that supports NFTs. In fact, one of the oldest and most secure blockchains, Bitcoin, has also been home to a vibrant NFT ecosystem since 2018, thanks to the innovation of Bitcoin Ordinals.

Bitcoin Ordinals is a protocol that allows anyone to create and transfer NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain, using a standard called BRC-20. BRC-20 is similar to ERC-20, the most widely used token standard on Ethereum, but with some key differences. For example, BRC-20 tokens are not smart contracts, but rather simple data structures that are embedded in Bitcoin transactions. This means that BRC-20 tokens are more lightweight, secure, and interoperable than ERC-20 tokens, as they inherit the properties and benefits of the Bitcoin network. Moreover, BRC-20 tokens can be easily integrated with existing Bitcoin wallets and services, without requiring any additional software or infrastructure.

However, BRC-20 is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges is that it does not support metadata, which is essential for NFTs. Metadata is the information that describes the attributes and characteristics of an NFT, such as its name, description, image, creator, and provenance. Without metadata, they are essentially indistinguishable from each other, and rely on external sources to provide context and meaning. This makes BRC-20 tokens less expressive, discoverable, and valuable than their Ethereum counterparts.

This is where BRC-420 comes in. BRC-420 is a new protocol that extends BRC-20 with metadata capabilities, enabling the creation of rich and diverse NFTs on Bitcoin. It was announced in September 2023, at the inaugural Ordinals Summit in Singapore, by Domo, the creator of the BRC-20 protocol. This protocol is inspired by ERC-721, the most popular NFT standard on Ethereum, but with some novel features and improvements. It consists of two parts: Metaverse Standards and Inscription Royalties.

Metaverse Standards are a set of open-source formats and specifications that define how metadata is stored and accessed. This standard supports various types of content, such as game items, multimedia, and art, and ensure that they are compatible and interoperable across different platforms and applications. It also leverage decentralized storage solutions, such as IPFS and Arweave, to ensure that metadata is persistent and censorship-resistant. This means that BRC-420 tokens are not dependent on any centralized server or authority, and can exist independently on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Inscription Royalties are a mechanism that allows creators to receive a percentage of the secondary sales of their BRC-420 tokens. They are embedded in the metadata, and are enforced by the marketplaces and platforms that support BRC-420. They are optional and customizable, meaning that creators can choose whether to enable them or not, and how much to charge. Inscription Royalties are designed to foster sustainability and reward long-term vision in the NFT space, by incentivizing creators to produce high-quality and original content, and by giving them a fair share of the value they generate.

In my humble opinion, BRC-420 is a game changer for the NFT market and Web3, as it brings the power and potential of NFTs to the Bitcoin blockchain. It combines the best of both worlds: the security, scalability, and simplicity of Bitcoin, and the expressiveness, diversity, and creativity of NFTs. It also opens up new possibilities and opportunities for creators and collectors, as well as for developers and entrepreneurs, who can build and innovate on top of BRC-420. It also enhances the user experience and adoption of NFTs, as it lowers the barriers to entry and reduces the costs and complexities associated with NFTs on other blockchains.

This is not a short-term fad, but rather a long-term vision for the future of the web. They are part of the broader movement of Web3, which aims to create a more decentralized, open, and fair internet, where users have more control and ownership over their data and content. It is aligned with the ethos and values of Web3, as it empowers users to create, share, and monetize their own NFTs, without relying on any intermediary or middleman. It is also compatible and complementary with other Web3 technologies and protocols, such as DeFi, DAOs, and DIDs, creating a rich and vibrant ecosystem of decentralized applications and services.

It is still in its early stages of development and adoption, and faces many challenges and uncertainties. For example, they need to overcome the technical and regulatory hurdles that Bitcoin faces, such as scalability, privacy, and compliance. This new protocol also needs to gain more awareness and support from the Bitcoin and NFT communities, as well as from the wider public and mainstream media. It also needs to prove its value proposition and differentiation from other NFT standards and platforms, and to demonstrate its use cases and benefits for various industries and sectors.

However, BRC-420 also has many advantages and opportunities, as it leverages the strength and reputation of Bitcoin, the most established and trusted blockchain in the world. It also benefits from the innovation and collaboration of the Ordinals Protocol, the leading project and community behind Bitcoin Ordinals. It also has the potential to attract and inspire new and existing users and creators, who are looking for a more accessible, affordable, and authentic way to participate in the NFT market and Web3.

To conclude, BRC-420 is a promising and exciting protocol that aims to revolutionize the NFT market and Web3, by bringing them to the Bitcoin blockchain. It is a win-win solution for all stakeholders involved, as it offers more freedom, choice, and value for users, creators, and developers. BRC-420 is not a hype or a bubble, but a reality and a trend, that will shape and define the future of the web. It is here to stay, and we should expect to see more developments and achievements in the coming months and years.




Anndy Lian

Anndy Lian is an early crypto adopter and experienced serial blockchain entrepreneur. He is also the Book Author of “NFT: From Zero to Hero”.