19 Oct, 23

What are Bitcoin Ordinals?

what are bitcoin ordinals


In recent times, the cryptocurrency space has witnessed an innovation known as Bitcoin Ordinals, intertwining the realms of Bitcoin and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). This breakthrough, primarily occurring in January 2023, has brought about a surge of interest among blockchain enthusiasts and developers alike. The terminology “Bitcoin Ordinals” refers to a new protocol enabling the inscription of digital assets directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain, thereby creating a novel category of Bitcoin NFTs. The essence of Bitcoin Ordinals lies in the transformation of satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin, into distinct non-fungible tokens by inscribing them with unique information.

Understanding Bitcoin Ordinals

Bitcoin Ordinals emerge from a straightforward yet ingenious idea: inscribing digital assets onto individual satoshis, which are the smallest divisible units of a Bitcoin, valued at 0.00000001 BTC. Each satoshi, when inscribed with a piece of unique information—be it text, an image, or other forms of data—becomes a de-facto NFT, holding a distinct value and identity on the blockchain​.

The Brainchild of Casey Rodarmor

The concept of Bitcoin Ordinals was brought to light by Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor. This innovation allows for a new type of non-fungible token native to the Bitcoin network, marking a significant milestone in Bitcoin’s evolution. Since its launch in January 2023, Bitcoin Ordinals have been making headlines, heralding a new era of NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain​.

Inscribing vs. Minting

Traditionally, NFTs have been minted on blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, and BNB Chain. However, Bitcoin Ordinals divert from this practice by introducing a process known as “inscribing.” Inscribing allows for the attachment of information to individual satoshis, thereby creating Bitcoin NFTs without the need for minting. This process has not only broadened the horizons for NFT creation but also leveraged the robustness and security of the Bitcoin blockchain​.

Bitcoin Ordinals: Fueling Digital Creativity

The advent of Bitcoin Ordinals has ignited a flurry of digital creativity. In April 2023 alone, the daily record for inscriptions using Ordinals was shattered four times, with a deluge of images, video games, and other content being inscribed onto the Bitcoin network. This innovation has opened up new vistas for artists, developers, and collectors, creating a vibrant ecosystem of Bitcoin NFTs that continues to flourish.

bitcoin ordinals infographic


Bitcoin Ordinals symbolize a significant stride towards a more flexible and creative use of the Bitcoin blockchain. By enabling the creation of NFTs directly on the Bitcoin network, Bitcoin Ordinals have not only enriched the NFT space but have also showcased the untapped potential of Bitcoin beyond a mere transactional currency.

These innovative strides underscore the ever-evolving nature of blockchain technology, promising a fruitful confluence of Bitcoin and NFTs in the days to come.

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