OCEAN Pool Refuses To Validate Ordinary Transactions

OCEAN, the Bitcoin mining pool recently launched with the support of Jack Dorsey, has just updated its software to refuse to validate transactions linked to the Ordinals protocol for issuing NFTs on Bitcoin. CTO Luke Dashjr justifies this choice because these transactions exploit a vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol.

OCEAN bans transactions linked to the Ordinals protocol

Ordinals have grown in popularity since their launch. The craze even accelerated in November, making network’s transaction costs to soar and leading to very long validation times.

The Bitcoin community is deeply divided by this craze, and tensions are running high. Some see it as progress enabling new applications on Bitcoin, others as a burden unnecessarily spamming the blockchain, which was never designed for this purpose.

In a message posted on Twitter, Luke Dashjr, technical director of OCEAN, points to a protocol vulnerability Bitcoin Core operated by Ordinals. He explains that he has corrected this bug in the latest update of the OCEAN mining pol, thus excluding these transactions from the blocks validated by the pool.

What impact on mining profitability?

This technical decision also has an economic dimension. Indeed, the transaction fees generated benefit only the miners. Under normal circumstances, mining pools have an incentive to process this type of transaction.

According to Nic Carter, co-founder of CoinMetrics, by refusing to accept this financial windfall, OCEAN could struggle to attract miners and ultimately represent only a marginal share of the Bitcoin hashrate, i.e. less than 1%.

For its part, the pool emphasizes its commitment to decentralization and respect for Bitcoin’s fundamental values. By rejecting NFT transactions as harmful, OCEAN offers miners an ethical alternative to contribute to network security.

The debate surrounding ordinals has deeply divided the Bitcoin community. From a technical and ethical standpoint, the network was not designed for this type of use. But from a strictly economic perspective, miners have every interest in validating these juicy transactions, especially as their future income is set to decline.

The mining pool fully assumes its radical stance, even presenting it as an opportunity:

We now offer honest miners the first simple option to contribute to blocks filled with real transactions.


OCEAN positions itself as a transparent, commission-free mining pool in a highly concentrated sector: 2 pools alone account for 50% of the network’s hashrate. Its stated aim is to decentralize the industry.

Such a clear-cut stance could therefore deter many profit-hungry miners, at the risk of jeopardizing the success of this pool created by Jack Dorsey to promote decentralization.