Though Bitcoin is considered to be the grandfather of crypto, it’s not always talked about for its innovation or pushing the envelope. Some want it to stay that way, but not everyone.
Taproot Wizards, a Bitcoin-focused Ordinals project that was inspired by the original Bitcoin wizard Reddit meme from a decade ago, is trying to change the way the blockchain is perceived. The project has raised $7.5 million in a round led by Standard Crypto, Taproot Wizards co-founders Udi Wertheimer and Eric Wall shared exclusively with TechCrunch+. They declined to disclose a valuation.
“We’ve been in Bitcoin for over a decade. We have these memories of how Bitcoin was. It was very experimental, but it changed,” Wertheimer said. “We want to bring back the culture of building on Bitcoin and make it magical again.”
Other investors include Geometry, Collider Ventures, StarkWare, UTXO Management, Bitcoin Frontier Fund, Masterkey and Newman Capital. The money will be used to rebuild Bitcoin’s “wizard village,” which symbolizes the ecosystem’s desire to compete with other major blockchains like Ethereum and Solana. “We want to enable or introduce a new way of being a Bitcoiner,” Wall said.
This investment has similar potential to the one Yuga Labs made in Bored Ape Yacht Club, said Standard Crypto co-founder Alok Vasudev. “There’s a lot they can do there in building the brand, potentially other collections under the umbrella, but more interestingly we think there’s also interesting infrastructure opportunities for a more dynamic Bitcoin ecosystem,” he said. Standard expects to be a part of that movement, rather than just a steward of an NFT collection.
“The reason we went for a larger round is because we think time is of the essence,” Wertheimer said. “We care a lot about Ordinals and Taproot Wizards, but our mission is bigger than that; we want to bring innovation back to Bitcoin.”
Taproot Wizards has a limited mint of 2,121 wizards, the specific number paying homage to the total supply of bitcoin: 21 million. Of that total, 2106, or 99.3%, have been inscribed, but less than 1% — 20 Taproot Wizards’ Ordinals — have been distributed so far. Wertheimer said they are not sharing the exact pacing of its releases because they didn’t want the hype to fade off quickly. “We want to find people on a mission, not those focused on JPEGS,” he said.
Ordinals have been given to active community members who participated in its “wizard school” or who are die-hard fans, getting tattoos or sending in videos of them showering in wizard outfits for the opportunity to claim one.