Guide to Bitcoin Ordinals Collections: What is Bitcoin Frogs?

Guide to Bitcoin Ordinals Collections: What is Bitcoin Frogs?

Guide to Bitcoin Ordinals Collections: What is Bitcoin Frogs?

May 30, 2024

General Wallet Use

5 min

Bitcoin Frogs is a collection of 10,000 unique, frog-themed PFPs created by the pseudonymous Frogtoshi Nakamoto and Deezy. The Frogs arrived on the scene in March 2023, entrenching their place as one of the earliest Bitcoin Ordinals projects. They quickly became a sensation.

By May, they made history: overtaking the infamous Bored Apes NFTs to become the most traded collection in a 24-hour period, having generated more than $2 million in trading from almost 700 transactions.

Since then, Bitcoin Frogs have maintained a remarkable staying power. This is in large part because of the strong community they’ve fostered. Despite launching more than a year ago, they are still a top-10 Ordinals collection on Magic Eden, and there is an active Discord community online for frog fans.

But the path to this success wasn’t always smooth. To understand how Bitcoin Frogs got to where it is today, you have to dig a little deeper into the collection itself.

Collection History

The initial goal of Bitcoin Frogs was pretty simple. As creator Frogtoshi writes, “One fine day I woke up and wanted to put 10,000 frogs on the Bitcoin blockchain at all costs.” To do so, Frogtoshi partnered with Deezy, a Lightning Network Bitcoin company that also helps projects launch Ordinals collections. 

The project began when Deezy’s VibeGawd and Frogtoshi connected online. Frogtoshi had already curated the art for the collection and was looking to do a (mostly) free mint, where the only cost to buyers would be the transaction fee for the inscription. At that time, Deezy was one of a limited number of launchpad programs, and they were the only one accepting lightning payments for a collection mint. This made their partnership a natural choice, though nothing like what they were attempting had been done at the time.

That’s because Bitcoin Frogs was early to the Ordinals game – and not just early, really early. They weren’t technically the first 10K collection inscribed, but they’re up there. (Although NodeMonkes launched months after Bitcoin Frogs, they technically are the “earlier” 10K collection, having been inscribed in February 2023.) They were, however, the first to be minted via the Lightning Network, and they quickly became counted among Ordinals protocol’s pioneers.

A landmark moment for Bitcoin Frogs – and for the Ordinals ecosystem – came in May 2023, when Bitcoin Frogs surpassed the Ethereum-based Bored Ape NFTs for trading volume over a 24-hour period. This was widely viewed as evidence of the increasing strength of the Bitcoin protocol, particularly in the NFT space, as it represented proof that Ordinals could draw the same type of trading interest and volume as other protocols.

Collection Development

Bitcoin Frogs wasn’t Deezy’s first launch – they’d previously handled the 3K debut of Astral Babes. However, no one had really done anything like the Bitcoin Frogs 10K mint. (The founder of Deezy Labs, Danny, later acknowledged that they hadn’t requested a Frogs allocation from the launch because they were skeptical of the project.)

But their technical support was integral in the Frogs’ release, which was – to put it lightly – a little bit bumpy. Partway through the minting process, it was discovered that there was an issue with the image layering, and all the frogs that had already been minted were effectively “naked,” with their clothing showing up behind them. 

By that point, there were roughly 2,000 frogs minted, with another 3,000 in the mempool. (At the time, community members began jokingly referring to them as “Only Frogs.” These days, they’re commonly referred to as “naked frogs.”) The team ultimately decided to do a costly Replace-by-Fee (RBF) to replace the pending frogs in the mempool, a costly practice – Deezy Labs actually ended up losing money on the mint, even accounting for their margin. As a sign of gratitude, Frogtoshi gifted the team a Frog. But, as many know, the frogs quickly took off, turning things around and becoming highly successful.

Collection Concept

There are two types of art to discuss when it comes to Bitcoin Frogs – their visuals, and their rarity traits. The PFPs themselves are multicolored frogs in clothing, set against a colorful backdrop. Different frogs have their own looks and styles. But an interesting artistic choice is also hiding beneath the surface. One choice the creators made was to ensure that the rarity of all traits within the layers are equal. This allows buyers to select their frog based on subjective taste or aesthetics. 

It also had additional benefits. Firstly, as Frogtoshi stated, leveling  the “aesthetics rarity [helps] level the field and encourage… satoshi rarity to emerge.” But it also helped strengthen the community. Between the free mint and the equalized aesthetic rarity, buyers really had the opportunity to lean into their own tastes. Holders often will post their frogs on social media, with phrases like “This is me!”, “frogs follow frogs”, or simply, “Ribbit!”

But if you have so far missed out on acquiring a frog, you’ll have to do so on the secondary market. The 10K cap is firm, according to Frogtoshi. As the founder said in an interview: “As it is for traditional art, a hard cap on supply helps grow the value organically amongst true art collectors.”

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