Use Of Bitcoin NFTs Is Generating Concerns About Censorship

Use Of Bitcoin NFTs Is Generating Concerns About Censorship
Bitcoin NFTs

Regarding non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Ethereum usually takes centre stage, leaving Bitcoin in the shadows. But with the emergence of Ordinals, NFTs are shaking things up in the Bitcoin realm, causing a stir in the past few weeks.

This new concept allows users to "engrave" images onto satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. Once engraved, these images are forever preserved on the blockchain, which has far-reaching implications.

As anticipated, an individual took advantage of Ordinals to etch an objectionable image onto the blockchain. This was no surprise for those familiar with Bitcoin's unchangeable framework. The image is now indelibly inscribed onto satoshis and will be displayed on the website's homepage, making it impossible to ignore.

Casey Rodarmor, the creator, had to take quick action to remove the image from the website manually. However, it was impossible to delete the image from the blockchain permanently. Although this event may seem trivial to some, it raises significant concerns about censorship resistance. This is a critical factor in the crypto industry, especially for Bitcoin, which is the most powerful in resisting censorship among all the chains.

What Is The Importance Of Censorship Resistance?

The idea of censoring the Bitcoin blockchain is a highly contentious issue. Supporters of Bitcoin argue that its extensive decentralization and uncensored nature are among the system's most significant benefits and vital to maintaining its overall integrity.

On the other hand, some individuals who advocate for more stringent regulations within the crypto space believe that some degree of censorship is necessary. This prevents illegal activities such as money laundering, illicit funding operations, or the creation of objectionable content on the blockchain.

While block runners can enforce moderation policies, users can still inscribe any image onto the blockchain. In the case of the Ordinals incident, Rodarmor confirmed that the inscription would remain on the chain indefinitely. If a user chooses to view it, they can glimpse the image inscribed by another user, provided they have their copy of Ordinals without the config file.

The real question is whether we should be concerned about this. Is it our place to worry if someone uses their funds to deface a satoshi with an inappropriate or offensive image? Moreover, does this justify censoring the Bitcoin blockchain?

Read more