Ordinals are content inscriptions to individual Satoshis that users can track and keep. The data is purely on-chain and does not depend on any other protocol, so it will live as long as the Bitcoin blockchain is up and running. Many new services have emerged that allow users to engrave, keep and sell inscriptions. everyone is doing it. It’s all anger.
Earlier this year, a Bitcoin developer named Casey Rodermer Released a Bitcoin native protocol called Ordinal. This allows you to ‘write’ arbitrary data to individual Satoshis, allowing images to be hosted directly on the Bitcoin network. This is a significant contribution to the Bitcoin network that opens up a world of possibilities for blockchain, which most see simply as a means of currency. This innovation has received strong feedback from both sides of the emotional spectrum. Bitcoin Maxis sees this as graffiti on the blockchain, clogging the mempool, raising mining fees to unacceptable levels, and potentially introducing exploits. Others see this as a groundbreaking innovation that allows Bitcoin to become a platform for free expression. Nearly 300,000 “inscriptions” (NFT ordinal numbers) have been created, and their numbers are growing rapidly. Even projects like Yuga labs, famous for their Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, decided to dive into a new project.
Ordinal numbers are called ordinal numbers because they indicate that numbers imply order in number theory. An ordinal is an integer (a natural number such as 1, 2, 3, etc.) that can be used to identify the location of an object in a list. Satoshi, the basic unit of Bitcoin where each Satoshi is worth 1/100 million of a Bitcoin, are naturally unordered and do not have unique identifiers. As Casey Rodarmor says, when people transfer Satoshi to each other, they are held in a superposition of Satoshi Goo that is indistinguishable from each other. This is Ordinal’s first fundamental innovation, creating a protocol to identify and track individual Satoshi. Feel free to read more about ordinal theory about ordinal numbers, as the details are a bit complicated. website.
Now that each Satoshi has a unique identifier and can be tracked across the blockchain, their content can be carved. The details of this are also complicated, but basically it is written by an envelope serialization procedure that recognizes the ordinal protocol, indicates the content type of the inscription, and includes the actual data in his OP_FALSE and OP_PUSH sections of Bitcoin transactions. increase. Overall, “the content of the inscription is included in the input of the public transaction, and the inscription is made on the first Saturday of the first output.”
One very important thing to note about inscriptions is that they are inherently limited by the megabyte contents of Bitcoin blocks. This means that 4MB is currently the hard cap for writable data size. However, in practice, the current practical limit is much smaller, around 400kb. The reason for this lower bound is that larger data is not relayed by Bitcoin Core. The only exception to this are Bitcoin miners, which have the ability to accept and send larger transactions. Well, for the average user he is 400kb. Because it’s so small, it’s an interesting constraint on the kind of content that can be hosted there. It is also important to mention that the cost of an inscription is primarily directly related to the size of the inscription and the demand for block space at the time of the inscription.
Now that you understand some of the basics and mechanics, let’s see how to start imprinting, browse imprints, find markets where they are bought and sold, and hold imprints (note: in order Requires a compliant Bitcoin taproot wallet). At first, it demanded a lot from the user to carve and hold the inscription. I needed to run a full Bitcoin node using Bitcoin core 24 or higher. Even getting to this stage is a task beyond the reach of most people. Synchronizing a complete node, meaning the entire history of a blockchain, requires days or weeks of download time and a large disk to store almost 500GB. Once the entire node is synced, we need to implement some settings using the Bitcoin node command line. Additionally, it requires the Ordinal client to be installed and is only command line based. You need a taproot bitcoin wallet. Heavy and not for beginners.
Luckily, the enthusiasm for Ordinals has led to several companies developing tools to do all this, and it’s growing and developing at a breakneck pace. Let’s start with the wallet. As mentioned earlier, you need a Bitcoin Taproot wallet that works well with regular clients to be able to keep your inscription without accidentally transferring it. Several wallets have stepped onto the plate.The best two available are sparrow wallet and hiro walletBoth of these are pretty wysiwyg and have great guides on how to use them to manage your inscriptions. Other ordinal wallets available include ordinalswallet.com and xverse.app.
Now that you have a wallet that can hold and manage inscriptions, let’s talk about resources that allow you to create your own inscriptions. There are two things that really stood out in these early days. The first one is gamma.io. Gamma was one of the first to offer regular foundry services and is rapidly developing new tools. Their basic services include selecting the type of data (single image or text), dragging and dropping data to upload and engrave, estimating engraving fees, providing an ordinal compliant wallet address, and finally And it’s a very simple 5-step process. Inscription payment. Once you understand the wallet, it’s really easy.in their recent Tweet, they explained some new features. This includes minting in bulk (multiple inscriptions at the same time), linking inscriptions to high-res assets hosted off-chain, and generating user-only collection pages. All very cool stuff! Other mining services worth mentioning include inscribenow.io, ordinalsbot.com, ordswap.io, ordinint.com and generative.xyz.
Today we are announcing one of our biggest releases ever. #bitcoin Ordinal:
Ordinal Collection Mint💎
In our typical fashion, this isn’t just a bulk mint option. Buckle up… 🧵
— Gamma.io (@trygamma) February 28, 2023
It’s no surprise that the sustained hype surrounding Ordinals has spawned numerous marketplaces that allow users to buy and sell inscriptions. In general there is considerable overlap between registration services, wallets and marketplaces. Nevertheless, to date there are several major players in the field. Either they rely on the marketplace as an intermediary between buyers and sellers (trusted) or they don’t (untrusted). Trustless markets typically use the PBST mechanism, which stands for “Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions”. This allows buyers and sellers to put funds and inscriptions into a conditional contract that will only be executed if all conditions are met. Trustless intermediaries are in the spirit of decentralization, but both work seamlessly for all parties. Currently, there is no general marketplace that lists all ordinal numbers for sale. Each of the following marketplaces sells its own set of ordinal numbers. Here are the most used sites: Ordinal.Market, ordswap.io, ordina.lsand rare cityOf these, Scarce.City deserves a distinction based on the fact that it is an auction house that has been in the field since the inception of #rarepepe. This makes its prestige, longevity and sales mechanism orthogonal to the other markets mentioned. Another class of buying and selling vehicles worth mentioning is the various telegraph and discord communities that have sprung up like wildflowers around this space. There are countless regular projects/collections with bespoke chat spaces dedicated to them where buyers and sellers meet frequently.
A final class of repositories worth sharing are general information sites. Ordinals are still in their early stages, but as a kind of digital asset, they seem to have the characteristics to stand the test of time. Data inscribed on the most reliable, long-running, and widely adopted blockchain is the secret to longevity. This innovation really allowed us to reconceptualize the purpose and importance of Bitcoin. Today, we believe that Bitcoin is not only the most innovative currency instrument in human history, but also a time capsule that stores information longer and farther. Anything else I’m aware of. This is historical. To come to this realization and understanding, I had to spend countless hours scouring the web for bits of information. The best way to start that knowledge journey is to first read all the information contained on ordinals.com. Then I recommend searching through all the podcasts Casey Rodarmor has done (there are many) and listening to all the nuances of his tech talks and future plans. Now it’s V1, so to speak. After that, join his various chat rooms and visit all the resources mentioned here to get a better understanding of the mechanics. Here are some podcasts and videos to take your time listening to. Resource 1, Resource 2, Resource 3, Resource 4.
I hope you enjoyed this explanation. I know it’s a lot. Most of them fail, but all new technologies do. For my money, I highly recommend investing the time to learn about ordinal numbers. Bitcoin native NFTs are a significant advance in human ingenuity and the potential foreseen by the Bitcoin network.
Follow @DANCETURN to receive regular updates on ordinal numbers, what they mean, how they’re changing the game, and the latest ordinal tech. You won’t regret it unless you let this novel class of digital goods fade.
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