Bitcoin’s BRC-20 token standard has become the latest trend in the crypto ecosystem, especially after the Pepe meme coin rise in recent months. A total of 8,500 different tokens have been minted using the BRC-20 standard, and the majority of these BRC-20 tokens are meme coins, such as Pepe and Meme.
BRC-20 is an experimental token standard on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain modelled after Ethereum's ERC-20. It allows programmers to create and send fungible tokens via the Ordinals protocol.
Although modelled after ERC-20, the BRC-20 token standard is fundamentally different from its Ethereum-based counterpart. BRC-20 tokens don’t make use of smart contracts. The token standard also requires a Bitcoin wallet to mint and trade these tokens.
The BRC-20 token standard was created early in March this year by an anonymous on-chain analyst called Domo. The objective was to make it possible for fungible tokens to be issued and transferred on the Bitcoin blockchain. The market cap of BRC-20 tokens has exploded over the past month and currently sits at $120 million, a 600% rise from the last week.
BRC-20 tokens marketcap. Source: Ordinals
The BRC-20 token frenzy has also dwarfed the original number of Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. The number of BRC-20 transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain between April 29 and May 2 reached over 50% outperforming regular BTC transactions.
The BRC-20 token volume peaked on May 1 with 366,000 transactions, and the total number of transactions on the network is 2.36 million.
BRC-20 tokens transaction volume. Source: Dune
Along with the rise in the number of BRC-20 transactions, the transaction fees have also seen a significant surge due to the new token activity. Since its inception in late April, the network has generated an additional 109.7 BTC in transaction fees for miners.
BRC-20 tokens total fees. Source: Dune
The meme coin frenzy has been a notable topic on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, but with the rise of the BRC-20 standard, a similar trend is also observed on the Bitcoin blockchain. The meme coin frenzy has also led to a significant rise in Ethereum network gas fees leading to network congestion as well.