Who’s Behind the Ordinals Collection Protesting Inflation, US Dollar Value Loss?

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 1, 2024

The ordinal art collection “Inflation” has captured the attention of many within the Web3 space partly because of its homage to Satoshi, its veil of anonymity and mystery, but more so because of the symbolism. The burning of US banknotes could be construed as a protest against State banks, inflation, taxes, and the loss of value of fiat currencies worldwide.

Twitter user @thatwagmigirl told Grit Daily that the Inflation collection captured her attention “unlike the other art forms I’ve seen. These were images of dollar bills burning in flames created by some anonymous artist.”

“It was insane!” she recalled. “It reminded me of CTRL art by Onepennypice with the currency saboteur art style. At this point, it struck me that this was a collection that embodies the Bitcoin ethos of the post-fiat future through art and demonstration.”

She added, “To further solidify my thoughts, the parent inscription was inscribed on a block 9 sat mined by Satoshi himself in a move that shows the artist behind this collection is a true Bitcoiner. Shout out to the anonymous artist for their amazing work.”

A Bit of History

In January 2009, one Bitcoin was worth about a tenth of a US cent. In 2010, two pizzas cost 10,000 Bitcoins. And 15 years later, those same 10,000 Bitcoins buy $421 million worth of pizzas. 

Inversely, the US dollar has lost over 92% of its purchasing power since 1933. From 2021 to 2022 alone, the US dollar’s purchasing power declined by over 7.4% due to inflation, a US Bureau of Labor Statistics report revealed. According to the US Inflation Calculator website, to purchase today what you could purchase with one dollar in 1913 would cost you $31.02.

The facts speak for themselves. All fiat currencies lose extraordinary value over time, while Bitcoin has shown it gains value consistently. It’s exceptional how a decentralized currency that no one controls is far more efficient, offering its users access to their balances and transactions in real-time from anywhere in the world and in seconds.

Shocking Deception

The shocking loss of fiat currencies’ face value and the deception people worldwide face believing their bank notes are backed by their governments is reason enough to burn government-printed and issued bank notes.

Burning Money for Art’s Sake

Setting banknotes on fire or defacing them as an art expression form is not new. One of the arguably most notable money-burning acts for art’s sake was perpetrated by the British music band, The KLF, who in 1991 were the biggest-selling singles acts in the world. On 23 August 1994, they set on fire £1 million worth of £50 banknotes. They did it more to demonstrate money’s fragility than to fight taxation in the UK.

Burning banknotes has also been a form of protest against paper money’s worthlessness, taxation, inflation, inequality, and capitalism.

A Homage to Satoshi

On 31 October 2023, an anonymous author or authors inscribed the previously mentioned Ordinals collection comprising 111 US bank notes, each representing the actual burning of $1, $10, and $100 US bills. It is entitled “Inflation”. It pays homage to Satoshi Nakamoto in an accompanying poem.

A Counterfeit Collective source said no one in the Ordinals or NFT space knows who the author or authors of the intriguing collection are nor what they intend to do with the artwork. Other than the inscription itself, the author or authors behind the collection have made no fanfare or social media mention of any sort, giving it an additional layer of mysteriousness.

The anonymous source also said that the anti-banking and anti-inflation message of the burnt US bill collections is quite loud and clear, even as they give greater value to the lower US dollar denominations.

Satoshi: Banks and States Have Eroded Public Trust

On 3 January 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin, one of humankind’s most amazing economic inventions, challenging the establishment and powerful banks and criticizing them for eroding public trust.

Nakamoto also left a message that resonates today as we have yet to elude a global recession completely: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” That was in reference to the UK Government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, who was considering a second bailout to the very banks responsible for the recession.

A month later, Nakamoto posted a message on the P2P Foundation Forum announcing his P2P network while slamming banks for breaching people’s trust.

“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust,” Nakamoto wrote.

Nakamoto shines a light on central banks’ worldwide responsibility for inflation and abuse of power by overprinting money and unilaterally inflating the money supply, which comes with great risks to employment, prices, and financial crises of global implication.

The Ordinals Debate

Ordinals themselves have caused controversy among Bitcoiners, who claim that while the sometimes loosely called Bitcoin NFTs bring several exciting new use cases to the number one cryptocurrency, they have also made transactions on the network more expensive and slower to settle. On the other hand, Ordinals supporters argue these are good for the network.

Ultimately, both sides of the Ordinals debate agree that inscriptions are here to stay. Jameson Lopp, a long-time Bitcoiner with almost half a million Twitter followers, said, “Banning arbitrary data is a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down.” 

Andrew Polestra, a seasoned Bitcoin developer, said banning could inadvertently lead to spamming, an issue all Bitcoiners want to avoid at all costs.

While the debate continues, opponents and supporters will also continue to agree on several issues favoring the Ordinals, such as their hope of seeing more talented art collections like “Inflation” inscribed on the Bitcoin network than those typical JPGs that contribute nothing to culture or the Bitcoin network. 

Undoubtedly, Ordinals will 2024 help push the price of Bitcoin to new highs and bring new users to the network in 2024.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, High Net Worth magazine, Luxury Miami magazine, CEO Official magazine, Luxury LA magazine, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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