BRC-20 tokens

Bitcoin is constantly in the spotlight due to its role as the first decentralised digital currency. As blockchain technology evolves, Bitcoin continues to adapt and embrace innovation to meet the changing needs of users and developers. The introduction of BRC 20 tokens is one such innovation, providing opportunities to create altcoins and tokenised assets based on the Bitcoin blockchain.

What is the BRC 20 token standard?

BRC-20 is an experimental standard for interchangeable tokens developed for the Bitcoin blockchain. Interchangeable tokens are essentially identical units of equal value and functionality. This distinguishes them from non-replaceable tokens (NFTs), each of which is unique and cannot be exchanged for another token of the same type.

History of development and creation

Token standards like BRC-20 introduce tokenisation capabilities into Bitcoin that were previously limited due to the lack of built-in support for smart contracts. BRC-20 offers a methodology to leverage the underlying security and reliability of the Bitcoin blockchain to manage and transfer tokens.

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The role of Taproot and Ordinals updates in the development of BRC 20

  • The Taproot update, implemented in November 2021, brought significant improvements to the privacy and efficiency of Bitcoin transactions. One of the key aspects of Taproot is the increase in the amount of data that can be included in each block, which has been the foundation for further innovations, including BRC 20 tokens.

  • In January 2023, Casey Rodarmore introduced the Ordinals protocol, which allows data to be "inscribed" directly into satoshis, Bitcoin's smallest units. This paved the way for the creation of both fungible and non- fungible tokens directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Mechanism of operation of BRC-20 tokens

Creating and managing tokens

BRC 20 tokens use a mechanism based on "inscribing" information onto satoshis, allowing tokens to be created and transferred without the need for smart contracts. Instead of using smart contract code, as in Ethereum's ERC-20 standard, BRC-20 uses JSON-formatted records that are "stitched" into Bitcoin transactions.

Technical aspects and unique properties

This technology provides a simplified and accessible tokenisation mechanism that can be used without deep technical knowledge, making BRC-20 tokens accessible to a wide audience of users.

Advantages and disadvantages of BRC-20 tokens


  • Simplicity and accessibility: A simplified tokenisation mechanism makes the technology accessible to non-specialists.

  • Security: The use of Bitcoin's proven and secure network enhances the overall reliability of BRC-20 tokens.

  • Innovation potential: The experimental nature of BRC-20 encourages further innovation and experimentation in the network.


  • Lack of support for smart contracts: This may limit the complexity and applications of tokens.

  • Dependence on Bitcoin features: Issues such as scalability and transaction speed may limit the use of tokens.

  • Limited interoperability: BRC-20 tokens may face interoperability issues in ecosystems outside of Bitcoin.

You may be interested: ERC 20: Overview of the standard

BRC 20 tokens represent a significant innovation in the Bitcoin blockchain, offering new opportunities for asset tokenisation and altcoin creation. Despite their advantages, they also face serious limitations due to their lack of support for smart contracts and their dependence on the underlying characteristics of the Bitcoin blockchain. Going forward, as this standard evolves and adapts, we can expect to see new applications and enhancements that will address current shortcomings and expand the use of BRC-20 tokens.



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