Mining Pool ViaBTC to Auction the "Epic Sat" After Mined the Bitcoin Fourth Halving Block

Reported by The Block, Bitcoin mining pool ViaBTC is auctioning the “epic sat” after mining Bitcoin’s fourth halving block on Friday and setting aside 40.75 ($2.6 million) in rewards.

“The auction for Sat 1,968,750,000,000,000 — 1 of only 4 epic sats in the Bitcoin ecosystem — has officially begun!,” ViaBTC posted on its official X account earlier on Tuesday. “We’re thrilled to partner with [crypto exchange] CoinEx Global for this monumental event.”

Bids are placed in bitcoin, beginning at 1 BTC, with the current highest being 1.6 BTC ($106,000) after just eight bids so far. The auction ends on April 25 at 4 p.m. UTC (12 p.m. ET).

The first satoshi mined in the first block of each halving epoch is dubbed an “epic sat” due to its potential collectible value via the Ordinals protocol.

The Bitcoin Ordinals protocol, launched in January 2023 by Casey Rodarmor, offers a way to store and trade digital content on Bitcoin. By using satoshis, the smallest units of bitcoin, users can inscribe NFTs, BRC-20s (fungible tokens similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20s) and other arbitrary data directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain, with each piece becoming a unique tradeable asset.

“Under the Ordinals protocol, each satoshi is allocated a unique sequential number based on its mining timestamp, enabling precise tracking and transferability of individual satoshis,” the CoinEx auction page explains. “As periodic events occur within the Bitcoin network, some more frequently than others, scarcity is naturally promoted,” it argues.

“This auction features one of the only four epic ‘Rare Satoshis’ within the entirety of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Acquired Rare Satoshis can be collected, transferred, or sold to others via alternative means,” it adds.

However, several Bitcoin community members have cast doubt over the existence of “epic sats,” given bitcoin’s fungibility — meaning that satoshis should be interchangeable and indistinguishable from one another in terms of their value.

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