A new experimental token standard by domodata drove Inscription activity & mempool fees to ATHs for 2023 this past week. "BRC-20", a reference to Ethereum's ERC-20, is a "a fun experimental standard [allowing you to] create off-chain balance states with inscriptions".
BRC-20 adds the creation & transfer of token balances within the Inscription dataset. This resulting in a Cambrian explosion of meme token contracts this week, namely Domo's own "ordi", with over 45,000 BRC-20 deployment + transfers occuring, or roughly half of the Inscription volume in since March 9.
BRC-20 creator Domo states there are "almost certainly better design choices and optimization improvements to be made. Consequently, this is an extremely dynamic experiment, and I strongly discourage any financial decisions to be made on the basis of it's design", pointing specifically to Taro as a quality implementation of a similar concept.
Regardless, BRC-20s drove mempool fees to a 2023 all time high, occasionally peaking at 60+ sat/vbyte at times on March 9, and resulting in several days of 1-2sat/vbyte "permafrost"
One of the drivers of BRC-20 activity was the quick integration of the standard into existing tooling. Unisat wallet had integrated the standard within hours of deployment, allowing users to track & browse state changes within the client.
Tooling adoption will certainly continue to be a narrative driver in weeks to come. BRC-20 activity comes hot on the heels of the "sats namespace" standard popularized in the week prior.
Inscription activity continues to soar even with limited tooling & standardization. Bitcoin mempool fees are approaching levels comparable to bull market tops even with a seemingly unending slump in broader crypto. We're excited to see what comes next!