The cryptocurrency sector is always undergoing advancements and changes, and stories about these developments frequently appear in the media. We now have another topic to start the argument for Ordinals, often known as Bitcoin NFTs. Crypto aficionados have a difficult time explaining to the general public that “NFTs are NOT JPG.”
Cryptocurrencies, which at once could only be used to store and move money, have given rise to novel ideas like DeFi protocols, NFTs, and the metaverse. The world’s oldest and most powerful blockchain network for computing, Bitcoin, which has long observed NFTs from a distance, now has its own Ordinals NFTs. With the introduction of the Ordinals protocols, Bitcoin has now widened its scope after being small for decades.
Artists may now produce and store digital works directly on the Bitcoin blockchain, while Web3 players are brimming with business options. The number of Ordinals Inscriptions that have been produced to date has skyrocketed, driving up Bitcoin metrics.
What makes Ordinals Inscriptions (Bitcoin NFTs) such a big deal that they became so popular? Let’s first comprehend the idea behind these Bitcoin NFTs before you become too inquisitive to accept them.
What are Ordinals Inscriptions?
Ordinals Inscriptions seem somewhat like NFTs, but they vary in that they let users running Bitcoin nodes encrypt each “sat” with data, resulting in what is known as an Ordinals. The smallest Bitcoin unit is called Sat or Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC).
Smart contracts are among the data encoded in the Bitcoin Ordinals protocol, and these contracts in turn permit NFTs. As a result, using the Ordinals protocol, users may transmit and receive satellites that carry optional supplementary data, such as text, music, movies, or JPEG images.
Certain types of data are added to satoshi through a process known as inscription, and the outcome is what is known as a Bitcoin NFT or an Ordinals. Ordinal Punks and Ordinal Penguins are two recently introduced popular Ordinal NFTs. Later in this post, we will provide additional information on the major Bitcoin NFT collections.
For the time being, consider Ordinals Inscriptions to be digital assets written in Satoshi. Because the Taproot update will be live on the Bitcoin network in November 2021, it will be feasible to inscribe on satoshis.
The Inscription procedure records the information about the material that was saved in the Bitcoin transaction’s witness section. The “witness section”—named after the fictitious founder of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto—inscribes JPEGs, audio files, and movies as individual Satoshi. The 2017 Segwit upgrade, a soft fork that raised sizes from 1 MB to 4 MB, made it feasible for this.
Since software programmer Casey Rodarmor introduced the system on January 21, the ordinal inscriptions have been humming, and users rapidly filled the Bitcoin network with photos, games, and other material.
Users must download Bitcoin Core and sync the node to the blockchain in order to produce Ordinals NFTs. One can make an Ordinals wallet and send some bitcoins to it when the sync is finished.
So, Bitcoin NFTs, Ordinals NFTs, and Ordinals Inscriptions are all just methods for supporting NFTs on a Bitcoin network. Nevertheless, rather than referring to them as Bitcoin NFTs, their designer Rodarmor prefers to term them “digital artifacts.”
The explanations provided up to this point have only been the most basic ones. It’s important to comprehend how Ordinals vary from NFTs even if the crypto community has started referring to them as Bitcoin NFTs.
What distinguishes Ordinals from NFTs?
Although they can be regarded as NFTs, Bitcoin Ordinals have a few significant distinctions. For instance, smart contracts are used to generate and manage the majority of NFTs. However, these smart contracts’ underlying digital assets are frequently housed elsewhere (off-chain).
For instance, several NFT platforms store NFT artworks, music files, films, and other content via the decentralized storage system IPFS. As opposed to this, Bitcoin-NFTs are held on-chain since Ordinals are encoded into the satoshi.
In contrast to conventional NFTs, the Ordinals are verified in blocks together with other transactions and kept in the distributed ledger of the network. The information found in most NFTs allows for the modification of an NFT’s properties and appearance. Several NFT initiatives request users to update their information in order to update their NFTs with photos of greater resolution.
Ordinals are saved on-chain, as opposed to NFTs, making the data indelible and unchangeable. The main distinction between NFTs and Ordinals is that the former doesn’t provide authors the chance to get royalties from sales.
To sum up, ordinals are full digital artifacts that cannot be altered since they are kept on-chain, unlike NFTs. According to Casey Rodarmor, the author of the Ordinals Protocols, these digital artifacts “are designed to mirror what NFTs should be.”
The Incredible Obsession of Ordinals: Popular Bitcoin NFTs
The Web3 arena is being taken over by the mania of Ordinals NFT, whose interesting and eye-opening sales are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars. The most famous Bitcoin NFT collection, “Ordinal Punks,” shot to fame and saw a sharp increase in value.
Ordinal Punks, a collection of 100 Bitcoin NFTs created during the first 650 inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain, is inspired by the original Ethereum CryptoPunks. It’s interesting to note that slot #642 was filled by the collection’s highest-numbered inscription.
Bringing its unique NFT collection “TwelveFold” to the Bitcoin Ordinals Protocol, Yuga Labs joined the infamous digital art club’s NFT movement on the Bitcoin Network. The Collection’s hand-drawn, base-12 art system-centered, highly rendered 3D pieces serve as a visual metaphor for the data cartography of the Bitcoin blockchain. Each element is centered on a 12 by 12 grid.
TwelveFold received an exceptional reaction to its auction; in only 24 hours, it had raised $16.5 million, further demonstrating Yuga Labs’ heritage, which also includes BAYC and BAKC.
The group coined 10,000 Ordinals into Inscription 20,219 on Chain Monkeys. Being the first 10k collection written on Bitcoin using Ordinals makes it stand out from the competition. With the announcement of its inscription on Ordinals, the price of the OnChainMonkey NFT skyrocketed on OpenSea.
The OnChainMonkeys team points out that the inscription size is under 20,000 bytes, indicating a scalable mechanism for additional collections to construct NFTs on Bitcoin without slowing down the network.
The market for Ordinals Inscriptions is still in its infancy, but as it develops, more cutting-edge Ordinals NFTs will appear. Inscription 2042, a one-second “wet fart” sound that transcends the JPG format, sold for 12.3 BTC ($280,000). The crypto industry is, in fact, strange.
Rodarmor has offered some practical advice on how to calculate the rarity level of Ordinals NFTs. You can define rarity in the following ways based on the block space’s limited availability and overall on-chain nature.
Common: any satellite that isn’t the first in its block
Uncommon: If each block’s first sit in each row
Rare: If each difficulty adjustment period’s initial test
Epic: If every halving epoch’s first sit
Legendary: If each cycle’s initial SAT was a test,
Mythic: If the genesis block’s first sat
It should be noted that there is no formal decentralized or centralized marketplace for Ordinals. Sales of Ordinals are therefore challenging to verify. The majority of Ordinals sales have taken place within exclusive discord channels for Bitcoin node operators.
How to purchase NFT Ordinals
The processes for purchasing and trading Ordinals are shown below.
Step 1: Get the right wallet
Due to the lack of a dedicated wallet interface, there are few choices for users who want to store and transfer their Bitcoin Ordinals Inscriptions. Nevertheless, three wallets — Ordinals Wallet, Xverse, and Hiro Wallet — have announced their support for Bitcoin-Ordinals capabilities in light of the rising popularity of Ordinals.
Although the functionality of these wallets is rather restricted (additional capabilities will be added in the near future, according to their authors), they are a decent place to start if you don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of creating your own personal Bitcoin wallet.
Instead, you can create a Bitcoin wallet with enough customization options to accept Ordinals Inscriptions.
Step 2: Find Ordinals to buy
Currently, all trading on the Ordinals market takes place OTC (over-the-counter, or peer-to-peer). You must join the Ordinals Discord Channel in order to locate Ordinal NFT projects. Collection authors connect their Discords, where you may purchase their Ordinals, in this channel.
Keep in mind that purchasing Ordinals over-the-counter (OTC) is a very risky task because the process requires Web3-forbidden actions. Connecting with others on Discord, sending money before getting an Ordinals, transacting directly with others, etc. are all required. These are all excessively perilous situations, therefore we advise you to proceed with caution.
Changing the Bitcoin network using Ordinals
Thousands of new users have been drawn to the Bitcoin Blockchain by the success of ordinals. The number of non-zero Bitcoin addresses has reached a record 44 million since its creation.
As these satoshis now contain more on-chain data, Bitcoin block sizes have also grown during the past several weeks. The range of 3.0MB to 3.5MB for the Mean Block Size increased. Prior to the invention of Ordinals NFTs, the typical Bitcoin block size ranged between 1.5 and 2.0 MB.
In general, network fees for financial transactions were the only payments miners were permitted to make. Nevertheless, for the first time ever, the network may now be utilized for non-financial objectives as well thanks to Ordinals. As a result, transaction volumes will increase and miners will earn more money.
When block incentives eventually decrease or vanish, this extra source of income might be crucial.
Despite all of these amazing achievements, some detractors have criticized ordinals as a pointless waste of block space. Others have made the connection between Ordinals and an increase in transaction costs. The astronomical energy consumption of Bitcoin has long been questioned, and Ordinals have just fueled the fire.
Others even claim that while NFTs on Ethereum didn’t have a fantastic carbon footprint prior to The Merge, they were still far less than on-chain Bitcoin NFTs. What then lies ahead for ordinary NFTs?
Future of Ordinals
Ordinal NFTs are still in their infancy, thus it’s important to build more user-friendly ways to subscribe to Bitcoin and wallets that enable viewing Bitcoin NFT after they’ve been formed. Gamma, a Bitcoin NFT marketplace on Stacks, has launched a project to provide a premium service that enables customers to engrave pictures and text.
Several initiatives are also offering fresh approaches to improve Ordinals’ success and adaptability. However, maintaining a Bitcoin node that is properly synced is now necessary for Ordinals inscriptions. This makes it a very technical procedure, but Ordinals, despite their complexity, have a lot of potentials and have the ability to completely transform the idea of NFTs.