This article will comprehensively introduce Bitmap.land, the first metaverse project in the Bitcoin ecosystem, and explore the significance of Bitmap.land for the Bitcoin ecosystem and the metaverse field.
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1. What is Bitmap.land?
"Some inventions are more like discoveries" - Bitoshi Blockamoto
Bitmap.land is the first metaverse project in the Bitcoin ecosystem. The project is based on ordinal theory and bitmap theory and is currently conducting primary market sales of virtual land.
Ordinal theory assigns numbers to the smallest unit of Bitcoin, a satoshi, and defines their scarcity. It can be understood as follows: Each satoshi is a box with a number, and the scarcity of each box is determined by the time it was produced. Then, the boxes can be used to store things.
Bitmap theory was proposed by Twitter user @blockamoto on June 13, 2023. This theory can be understood simply as:
The theory that maps the transaction inputs of each transaction (Tx) in a Bitcoin block to blocking cells. Since the size of each transaction input is different, the size of the blocking cell mapped by each input is also different, and the blocking cells mapped by each transaction input in a block form a block/region (district). The following figure shows the block topography mapped by bitmap theory in Bitcoin block 796005.
It should be noted that the buyers of virtual land in Bitmap.land are greatly influenced by Degentraland and The Sandbox, and they ignore the bitmap theory itself and directly begin to stake claims and draw on the map, using the logic of buying land in Degentraland and The Sandbox in a different place.
To obtain ownership of a Bitcoin block, each block is written into Satoshi via the Inscription method (which is equivalent to Free mint).
The following figure is from the Bitmap.land official website (https://bitmap.land/), which mainly presents the “metaverse map”. The Bitcoin blocks are divided into four large blocks according to the halving period (corresponding to the regions where Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, and 4 are located in the figure), and the number and color of each block can be seen after zooming in. Different colors represent the sales status.
The text “651154 / 796101 (claimed / blocks)” in the middle of the top indicates that the current Bitcoin block height is 796101, and the number of blocks that have been minted is 651154, accounting for about 82% of the total blocks.
The following figure shows the details of the Bitmap.land map, and the numbers in the figure are the Bitcoin block numbers, and the different colors of the block represent the sales status.
In terms of the recent sales rankings of the Bitcoin NFT category, Bitmap is ranked first. The floor price of Bitmap.land is 0.0002 BTC, the 7-day sales volume is 4.6 BTC, and the 7-day sales volume has increased by 440%. The data is relatively beautiful, and there is obviously considerable fomo sentiment.
Second, how to view Bitmap.land based on ordinal theory?
The virtual land sales of Bitmap.land are inseparable from ordinal theory, just like the virtual land sales of Degentraland and The Sandbox are inseparable from ERC-721. Friends who are familiar with the early history of Bitcoin must know about colored coins. From a theoretical point of view, ordinal theory is not much different from the principle of colored coins. However, ordinal theory cannot be viewed with the same perspective as colored coins, as the narrative, consensus, ecology, and infrastructure of Bitcoin in 2023 are significantly different from those in 2013. However, it is obvious that ordinal theory is not an innovation of the level of ERC-721 (the latter first gave digital items physical reality, making the blockchain field the first time that “things” can be owned and traded), and BRC-20 is even more ridiculous, as if it is doing slash-and-burn farming in modern society. As far as the bitmap theory itself is concerned, it is a new interpretation of meaning for Bitcoin blocks, and has some topicality, but obviously lacks usefulness.
3. Is selling land in the metaverse still a viable strategy?
Selling land in the metaverse can be seen as an overplayed strategy, especially considering the number of failed virtual land projects from the previous cycle. Even though virtual land is important in the metaverse system, selling it based solely on its scarcity is misguided. In other words, scarcity should be the result of a combination of creativity, attention, traffic, and other factors, and not solely based on the one-sided wishes of the project party during the initial sale phase.
4. Does the metaverse need Bitmap.land?
For the metaverse, blockchain only solves the problem of asset ownership, which has already been well done by the EVM system, and Bitmap.land can’t help much. Essentially, the metaverse is about creating new experiences based on blockchain, and ownership is only the foundation of the experience, but it is not the be-all and end-all.
The strategy of selling creative or unique block landscapes is unlikely to be successful, as it does not solve any substantive problems. However, it is not ruled out that Bitmap.land may have a hidden ace up its sleeve. Of course, there is also short-term value, as speculative value is also a form of value 🙂
5. Does Bitcoin need Bitmap.land?
From the transaction data mentioned earlier, it is obvious that the Bitcoin ecosystem is still relatively bullish, although it may only be a short-term perspective. I do not have a deep understanding of the Bitcoin ecosystem, so it is difficult to judge the long-term value of Bitmap.land in the Bitcoin ecosystem, but from my personal experience of purchasing virtual land on Bitmap.land, the waiting time for the transaction to complete is slightly longer (after all, you have to wait for confirmation from 6 blocks). Does this mean that improving the throughput capacity of the chain is more important?
6. What else can Bitmap.land do for the metaverse?
The biggest problem currently facing the metaverse sector is interoperability. In the long run, only by solving interoperability can the metaverse truly prosper. In the meantime, the industry has indeed come up with some interoperability solutions, such as ReadyPlayerMe, which improves interoperability in the metaverse by providing a universal Avatar and integrating downstream applications, and Decentraland’s recent launch of “World,” which opens up the 3D scene editor to all creators rather than bundling it for sale in virtual land, is also an exploration.
From a functional perspective, the metaverse can be simply summarized as follows:
Metaverse = 3D Scene Editor + 3D Scene Traffic Distribution The function and form of the 3D scene editor are becoming more unified in the industry, and a consensus has been reached: the 3D scene editor will no longer be bundled for sale in virtual land but will be delivered to creators in a close-to-free form.
3D scene traffic distribution is currently an area where the industry has yet to find a good model and is also the most worthy of exploration. If consensus and traffic can be gathered, it’s worth trying from this direction. The sale of land or the speculation of land scarcity can indeed bring short-term increases in mining fees, but it is clearly unsustainable in the long run.
The above is mainly analyzed from a product perspective, but only products that truly match market demand are good products, so discovering user requirements for the metaverse is more important than building a product!