BRC-20, or “Bitcoin Request for Comment,” is a token standard for Ordinals. The standard allows for the issuance and transfer of fungible tokens on Bitcoin similar to the ERC-20 standard on Ethereum however BRC-20 tokens are not compatible with smart contracts.   
BRC-20 token standards were created and deployed on March 8, 2023 by a pseudonymous programmer named Domo as an experiment to make minting fungible tokens on Bitcoin possible. The first BRC-20 token deployed was called Ordi.  
The BRC-20 token standard has gained some adoption as people experiment with its capabilities. BRC-20 tokens are fungible, meaning they are interchangeable and easily traded on exchanges3. BRC-20 tokens are built on the Bitcoin protocol, which secures Bitcoin, the world's largest and most valuable cryptocurrencies.
Differences from ERC-20
Despite the similarity in their names, there are significant differences between the two tokens. BRC-20 tokens exist on the Bitcoin network, while ERC-20 is a standard on the Ethereum network2. BRC-20 tokens don’t use smart contracts and, therefore, have much less functionality2. On the contrary, ERC-20 tokens can interact with other protocols and applications to enable a wide range of services, including borrowing and lending. The BRC-20 token standard is an experiment by programmers to facilitate fungibility on the Bitcoin blockchain and was only created in March 2023. Therefore it has had less testing than the ERC-20 standard which was created in 2015. 
In May of 2023, less than a month after the token standard was created, BRC-20 passed a market cap of $100 million reaching a high of $137 million on May 2, 2023. In April and May the standard continued to grow and on May 9, the total market capitalization of BRC-20 Bitcoin tokens briefly reached a high of over $1 billion, with a total trading volume of $207.7 million that day. Some of the most notable tokens making up that market cap included ORDI, NALS, VMPX, PEPE and MEME.  
The Bitcoin community’s opinion is divided on ordinals and BRC-20. Some have embraced this new experiment, while others believe they go against Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of Bitcoin. While BRC-20 usage has grown the token standard is much newer and less tested than token standards like ERC-20. Fewer developers, tools, and resources are available to build and manage BRC-20 tokens since Bitcoin is primarily known as a store of value rather than a platform for creating and managing tokens. [3
Did you find this article interesting?