Magic Eden Bitcoin NFT Launchpad Debuts as Ordinals Total Nears 1 Million

The Ordinals protocol for inscribing digital assets on Bitcoin—similar to NFTs on Ethereum and other blockchain networks—has taken off in a big way so far this year. And now with the total number of Ordinals about to top 1 million, Magic Eden is rolling out a platform that lets creators launch new collections.

The multi-chain marketplace, which recently launched on Bitcoin and quickly overtook rivals in terms of Ordinals trading volume, announced today that it will debut its Bitcoin launchpad on Friday. The launchpad is a primary sales platform for creators who have inscribed artwork or media to the Bitcoin blockchain.

Magic Eden’s first launchpad project on Bitcoin is Deadjira, a spinoff from the Ethereum NFT project Godjira, with a series of 107 pixelated lizard-themed profile pictures (PFPs) that were inscribed in February.

The launchpad will feature a few more Ordinal drops over the following week, including from Solana-based NFT game project Genopets, fellow existing NFT projects Lazy Lions and Humanoids, and a project from popular rapper Lil Durk.

Initially, the launchpad will let creators sell Bitcoin Ordinals that have already been inscribed to the blockchain, or Magic Eden itself can help facilitate the inscription process if requested.

Creators may use an allowlist if desired to let certain wallet addresses mint Ordinals, and then users will “come to mint in a trustless minting form, and it will essentially execute the sale of the pre-inscribed Ordinal to the allowlisted users wallet for the mint price,” a Magic Eden representative told Decrypt.

Magic Eden’s launchpad is a business initiative that complements its secondary marketplace, providing a “white glove service” for creators to debut new projects. It’s a revenue-generating venture for Magic Eden, and a rep told Decrypt that the company’s cut or share of each launch “varies by deal.”

The firm’s Ordinals marketplace has routinely topped the charts for trading volume since its March launch, although it’s still a relatively small market. Magic Eden has racked up about $3.3 million worth of sales volume with Ordinals so far, per data from Dune, serving only about 2,700 unique wallets.

Ordinals rise

Inscribing Ordinals or “digital artifacts” on the Bitcoin blockchain is a different process than minting NFTs on a chain like Ethereum or Solana.

On those chains, NFT projects use smart contracts—which contain the code that operates decentralized protocols and software—to enable functionality like on-demand minting. That allows creators to drop things like PFP projects in which images are generated from a pool of possible traits, or generative artwork spawned from an artist’s custom algorithm.

Ordinals launched in January, letting people inscribe artwork, media, and text directly to the Bitcoin blockchain by attaching them to an individual Satoshi, the smallest unit of measure for Bitcoin (1/100,000,000 BTC). Inscribing is a more complicated process than deploying NFT projects on other top chains, however, and the Ordinals infrastructure is early and still evolving.

But that hasn’t stopped creators from embracing the concept. More than 930,000 inscriptions have been made in just over two months, and given that a single-day record of over 76,000 inscriptions was set on Tuesday this week, the total could well top the million mark before the end of this week.

Magic Eden Head of Marketing Tiffany Huang told Decrypt that “a lot of creators understand the value it offers, how it differentiates from other blockchains, and how having presence on Bitcoin can be complimentary to a collection or brand.” But she added that inscribing and selling Ordinals “can also be quite loaded with friction to get started.”

Along with original projects, Ordinals has thus far lured notable NFT creators from other chains, including Bored Ape Yacht Club maker Yuga Labs with its Twelvefold generative art project, DeLabs with BTC DeGods, and photographer Justin Aversano. Magic Eden believes that its launchpad will help even more creators embrace the burgeoning Ordinals space.

Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to include comment from Magic Eden about its launchpad business terms.

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Written by Andrew Hayward on 2023-04-06 16:01:02.

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