Ordinals Sales Down 97% Since May – Are Bitcoin NFTs Over?

Ordinals Down Bitcoin NFTs Over Flash Report
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Q2’s hype around Bitcoin Ordinals is long forgotten. Is there room in NFTs for Bitcoin?

As the digital frontier continues to evolve, the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) remains an area of intrigue, speculation, and investment. The introduction of Bitcoin Ordinals brought fresh excitement to the space, promising a new chapter for Bitcoin’s role in the NFT narrative. Yet, as is the nature of emerging markets, not all narratives sustain their initial momentum.

In this NFT Flash Report by DappRadar, we delve deep into the recent trends surrounding Bitcoin Ordinals, contrasting its trajectory with other prominent players in the NFT domain. Join us as we unpack the latest metrics and offer insights into what they might mean for the future of Bitcoin NFTs.

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin Ordinals’ trading volume and sales count nosedived by over 97% since May 2023.
  • In July, amidst a declining trend in the NFT space, the number of unique active wallets (UAW) engaged in NFT trading accounted for a mere 4% of the industry’s total.
  • From February to mid-August 2023, Ethereum and Polygon’s number of UAW trading NFTs declined by 22% and 60%, respectively.
  • Despite this, their drop isn’t as pronounced as Bitcoin Ordinals, which saw a whopping 90% reduction in the same timeframe.
  • This upcoming period represents a pivotal testing time for the sustainability and future relevance of Bitcoin NFTs.

Table of Contents

Bitcoin Ordinals Overview

Bitcoin Ordinals were the talk of the town in Q2 2023, offering a unique proposition of generating NFTs via inscribing. Not only did they shift the narrative around Bitcoin’s capabilities to encompass NFTs and smart contracts, but also drew massive attention in May, when sales peaked at a whopping $452 million.

Bitcoin Ordinals’ alarming plunge: Sales volume and counts in steep decline

Analyzing both the sales volume and sales count, Bitcoin Ordinals seem to be facing a significant downturn. May 2023 emerges as Bitcoin Ordinals’ zenith, boasting an impressive $452 million in sales volume from a substantial 832,648 transactions.

However, June saw a shift in the winds, with the sales volume plunging by 76.5% to $106 million. Concurrently, the sales count faced a steep decrease of 60.3%, dropping to 330,121, signifying a dampened trading fervor. July’s figures further intensified the decline, with sales volume receding by 66.9% to $35 million and transactions witnessing a 47.6% drop, settling at 172,956.

August 2023’s early data depicts an even grimmer scenario. Sales have contracted dramatically by 91.4% to a mere $3 million. Meanwhile, transactions have dwindled by a startling 88.1%, with only 20,571 transactions, underscoring an evaporation of trading interest.

Ordinals NFT Performance
Ordinals Trading Volume and Sales Volume

This steep decline in both sales volume and count within such a short period is alarming for Bitcoin Ordinals. The diminishing sales count underscores the waning enthusiasm or perhaps confidence in Bitcoin NFTs.

While fluctuations in sales volume could be attributed to market dynamics, a consistent decline in transaction count may point toward broader issues. It suggests that fewer traders are engaging with Bitcoin Ordinals, which could raise concerns about its longevity and relevance in the NFT space.

The coming months will be critical in discerning whether this is a temporary setback or indicative of a more systemic problem for Bitcoin-based NFTs.

How Ethereum and Polygon collectibles face current NFT market downward trend

Bitcoin Ordinals have experienced a rapid decline following its meteoric rise from February’s 696 UAW to May’s peak of 79,261. However, the trend is dramatic post-May, dropping to 40,932 in July and a low of 6,708 in the first half of August. Ethereum and Polygon NFT spaces have been more resilient, though not exempt from the market’s challenges.

UAW per Chain
NFT-related on-chain activity registered from February to August 2023

Bitcoin Ordinals faced a sharper decline, hinting at possible concerns specific to its platform or the perceived utility of its NFT offering.

It’s crucial to understand that while Bitcoin Ordinals brought novelty, Ethereum and Polygon have a longer-standing reputation and wider applications in the NFT world, making them less vulnerable to dramatic market shifts.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that Bitcoin NFTs are highly concentrated on PFPs, which generally speaking don’t have many use cases.

Top Bitcoin NFT Collections of All Time

As you can see using DappRadar’s NFT Collection Ranking, most of the collections on Bitcoin are still in the early stages and still lack the innovation that the NFT space is experiencing – regarding interoperability, dynamism and utility.

While Ethereum hosts a diverse range of NFTs and Polygon enjoys growth from the NFT gaming sector, Bitcoin remains overly fixated on the ‘early-days’ hype of NFTs.

Bitcoin Ordinals social awareness

The public sentiment seems to be mixed. Many believe the hype around Bitcoin Ordinals was unsustainable from the get-go.

There are voices within the community that view Bitcoin primarily as “digital gold,” suggesting that its primary function should remain as a store of value. On the other hand, Ethereum is often referred to as “digital oil”, indicating its role in fueling the digital economy.


The pronounced decline in Bitcoin Ordinals’ sales and the downtrend in the NFT market, in general, raises pivotal questions about the future of NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. While it’s too early to dismiss Bitcoin Ordinals entirely, the market’s behavior serves as a cautionary tale about the volatility and unpredictability of the NFT space.

Many in the community believe that Bitcoin and Ethereum serve different purposes, and perhaps the delineation should be clearer. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether Bitcoin finds a foothold in the ever-evolving NFT landscape or reverts to its primary role as a store of value.

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