What Are BRC-20 Tokens?: A Complete Guide


Introduced by a developer known as Domo on March 9, 2023, BRC-20 tokens employ a new standard to generate fungible tokens on the Bitcoin platform. Unlike well-known token standards on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains, the BRC-20 standard operates without relying on smart contracts. This innovation within the Bitcoin network has sparked fresh opportunities and questioned established notions of Bitcoin’s capabilities. This guide will delve into the nature of BRC-20 tokens, their functioning, advantages, and potential influence on the wider blockchain environment. 

What is a BRC 20 token?

The BRC-20 token standard is an innovative protocol designed specifically for the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling the creation and transfer of fungible crypto tokens through the ordinals protocol. Ordi and Pepe’s crypto tokens are popular examples of assets adhering to the BRC-20 standard. These fungible tokens find widespread use in various applications within the crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors. Unlike the Ethereum network, where fungible tokens are a fundamental requirement for many platforms and applications, the Bitcoin network previously lacked this functionality. With the advent of the BRC-20 standard, however, Bitcoin is now stepping into a new era of practicality and functionality. 

How do BRC-20 tokens work?

Understanding how BRC-20 tokens operate requires a grasp of the Ordinals system they are built upon. Ordinal inscriptions represent a unique functionality enabling the addition of data to satoshi tokens, named after Bitcoin’s creator. Satoshis are fractional units of BTC, with one BTC divisible into 100 million satoshis. With Ordinal inscriptions, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data can be included in individual satoshi tokens, allowing for text, images, and code to be stored within them. This data remains intact when tokens are exchanged between users. A satoshi with appended JSON data becomes an Ordinal, which is non-fungible and can be seen as Bitcoin’s equivalent of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

BRC-20 tokens enhance the concept of Bitcoin NFTs by incorporating fungibility into the tokens. Each BRC-20 token is interchangeable, carrying an equal value to others of its kind. Similar to Ordinals, BRC-20 tokens can also include extra data. These tokens can store 4 MB of unique data that persists even after transfers. While they are rooted in Ordinals, BRC-20 tokens possess distinct values and purposes, separate from the value of a satoshi. Rather than being a singular token, BRC-20 represents a token standard that serves as a foundation for creating diverse DeFi cryptosystems.

Read more: What are Bitcoin Ordinals

Benefits of the BRC-20 Token

The BRC-20 standard yields various benefits. Let’s look at some key advantages.

  • Easy Bitcoin integration: BRC-20 tokens work smoothly with Bitcoin’s robust blockchain. This allows swift uptake among Bitcoin users, utilizing the current infrastructure.
  • Heightened network safety: Tapping Bitcoin’s decentralized strength, algorithms, and proof-of-work consensus, BRC-20 tokens gain enhanced network protection. The decentralized design ensures maximum security.
  • Simple token creation: BRC-20 tokens streamline tokenization without complex smart contracts. This user-friendly approach enables effortless token generation and transfer for a wider audience; no specialized expertise is required.
  • Potential for Growth: With the increasing implementation of the BRC-20 standard across various projects, innovations, and use cases are expected to emerge. This standard’s diverse user base and growing adoption indicate significant potential for expansion and development over time. 

Read more: Top BRC 20 Tokens

What is the Future of BRC 20 tokens?

Let’s explore the potential future outcomes for BRC-20 tokens.

  • Innovative Potential: BRC-20 tokens are expected to bring about a revolution in the Bitcoin ecosystem, attracting developers and entrepreneurs interested in creating new applications. These tokens will unlock pathways for innovation, encouraging inventive solutions within the cryptocurrency realm. For example, developers could craft distinct tokens representing various assets or services, thus enriching the overall functionality of Bitcoin.
  • Enhanced Liquidity: Liquidity is boosted with BRC-20 toke­ns. Digital assets will flow more freely. Users gain new ways to spend and move their crypto beyond trading or storing it. Making the marketplace dynamic and full of options.
  • Tokenization Opportunities: Real-world assets can become tokens on Bitcoin with BRC-20s. This ties old finance to blockchain easily. Asset management gets efficient, transparent processes from this bridging of systems. Toke­nization opportunities abound.

Read more: NFT Vs Crypto 


BRC-20 tokens mark an intriguing advancement within the world of Bitcoin and crypto, introducing fresh utility and igniting innovation. Despite facing challenges like restricted use cases, the potential for beneficial progress and growth is unmistakable. As the crypto community delves deeper into this technology and hones its capabilities, BRC-20 tokens could play a significant role in shaping the future of Bitcoin’s presence in the digital asset landscape.

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