Sirwin
Sirwin
bitmap

Bitmap - where Bitcoin meets Metaverse

By fmiren | Real World Assets | 26 Feb 2024


Introduction

What is Bitmap? Its whitepaper states that “Bitmap is a consensus standard that allows anybody to claim the geospatial digital real estate of a Bitcoin Block.” It is a lot of words that sound smart but unfortunately don’t clarify the concept. This piece of writing is my attempt to throw some light on what Bitmap is.

Let’s start from the first principles. If you are reading Flagship, I believe you at least intuitively understand the fundamentals of the blockchain technology and know the answer to the following question. But let me ask you anyway. Do you know how a new Bitcoin comes into existence? Bitcoin miners incessantly solve computationally difficult problems. Once the problem is done, a new Bitcoin block is being generated and added to the chain. Though the process depends on the factor called “network difficulty” and thus the generation of new block can vary, on average, every 10 minutes, a new Bitcoin block comes into existence. At the time of writing 830,580 Bitcoin blocks have been mined.

How it started

A guy Blockamoto found a way to inscribe a plot of digital land on a Bitcoin block. This is how Bitmap started. A plot of land is referred to as a Parcel which is inscribed on a District. As we already mentioned, District is a Bitcoin block height, i.e., number denoting the number of a particular block in the chain of blocks. The first mined block has a block height of 0 (computer programmers love to enumerate things starting from 0), the next one 1 and so on. To summarize, a District is an entire Bitcoin block, and a Parcel is a single transaction in that block.

In this example, the whole orange image is a District with the block height of 431897. All the small pieces are Parcels on this district.

So, in a certain way, you can think of bitmaps as ordinals. Like Ordinals, Bitmaps are also inscribed on a sat. But unlike ordinals, Bitmaps enable individuals inscribing them to own that entire block. Inscribing a particular Bitcoin block allows you ‘own’ digital real estate on that block which becomes a part of the Metaverse, the first Bitcoin Metaverse! The inscription process is fair and based on “first come, first serve” principle.

Bitmap ecosystem

Though Bitmaps are less than one year old, many applications — known as Bitmap apps or bApps — have been developed upon them. Bitmap directory (bitmap.directory), a bApp itself, is a very good place to start learning how to navigate the Bitmap ecosystem. The Bitmap Hodl (website) contains news and community updates on Bitmaps.

Bitmap community (website) is another highly useful resource for the ecosystem which I use on a daily basis. You can find information on the market, such as floor price, number of owners, number of listed Bitmaps, and traded volume on the marketplaces. What I especially like about bitmap.community is that it enables searching a Bitmap based on a particular feature(s). Some users prefer Bitmaps with the block height up to 10,000 which are referred to as “Sub 10k” in the community. You can go to “Marketplace” on the website and select 10000 as the “End block”.

Bitmap and Bitcoin DeFi

Bitmap is a vibrant ecosystem, sort of an entire ecosystem within Ordinals ecosystem. Bitcoin economy is thriving and new protocols are emerging almost on a daily basis which enable utilizing Bitmaps. For example, you can lend or borrow against a Bitmap on Liquidium, an Ordinal lending protocol. As of the time of writing APY for lending a Bitmap is 220%. Merlin Chain, a Bitcoin Layer-2, allows users to stake Bitcoin and Bitcoin assets, ORDI, SATS, and Bitmap among others. Doing this will earn you Merlin points (or M points) which will be considered in the not-so-distant future airdrop.

Please note that these protocols, and almost everything done in the Ordinals for that matter, are new and experimental. There is a lot of uncertainty on how things will develop. Though it has become a cliche and a meme, but I urge you to do your own research before aping into.

Why I’m excited about Bitmaps?

First, I believe 2024 will be a great year for Bitcoin and Bitcoin economy. The tailwinds are numerous — BTC ETF, halving event in late April, runes etc. And I am not talking about layer 2 solutions, such as Nakamoto upgrade on Stacks which has the potential to boost the Bitcoin ecosystem significantly. With so many forthcoming catalysts it’s reasonable to expect that Bitcoin NFTs will continue to perform well.

Second, I think we’ll see the second wave of Metaverse in one of the subsequent cycles if not in 2024. We observed the first hype in the last quarter of 2021 when Facebook changed its name to Meta. This caused Metaverse coins, MANA and SAND among the largest ones, to soar to all-time highs. Below is the MANA price chart.

Technological progress, e.g., Apple Vision Pro and advances in AI make me think that Metaverse will recur again to crypto with stronger hype. Which protocol, do you think, will benefit most from these two trends, Bitcoin and the Metaverse? The most likely response is Bitmap; this is where these two meet.

Call to Action

In case you are interested whether you can inscribe a Bitmap instead of a purchasing one, the answer is unfortunately no. Blockout event which refers to the inscription of all available Bitcoin blocks has already happened. Currently the only way to own a Bitmap is to buy one. If the article could intrigue you and convinced you to own a Bitmap, you can buy one on Magic Eden. At the time of writing this article, floor price is 0.00442 BTC which is approximately $230.

Conclusion

Bitmap is a consensus standard that allows anybody to claim the digital real estate on a Bitcoin block. Though the idea is in its nascency, it was able to attract. It’s the first Bitcoin Metaverse upon which it’s expected that many things will be built. You can also contribute to the Bitcoin ecosystem by utilizing your Bitmaps, such as lending, borrowing against or staking them.

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fmiren
fmiren

commodity trader interested in crypto & writing about it


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