All You Need To Know About Ordinals
Ordinals are the hot new thing that dominated the conversation around the oldest and largest blockchain, Bitcoin. They are literally taking the blockchain by storm as the number of Bitcoin inscriptions surpassed 200,000 on Monday, February 13, thanks to millions of images, video games, and other content that flooded the network. Let’s see what they are and why they have become so popular in a very short time.
Similar to NFTs, Ordinal Inscriptions are digital assets that are inscribed on a satoshi. A satoshi is the lowest denomination of Bitcoin, and is named after the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. It was after November 14. 2021 when the Taproot upgrade launched on the Bitcoin network, that inscribing on satoshis became possible.
What are Ordinal Inscriptions?
For nearly a decade Bitcoin developers have worked day and night trying to find a way to bring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the Bitcoin blockchain. It all began in 2014 with the creators of the Rare Pepe NFT collection –Counterparty- followed by layer-1 blockchain Stacks in 2017, and the results were admirable. Thanks to their efforts, the crypto community has fallen head over heels for these Bitcoin NFTs.
At their core, Ordinals are a numbering scheme for satoshis that allows transferring and tracking individual stats, which are called ordinal numbers. The numbering process of satoshis, which numbers them in the order in which they are mined and transferred from transaction inputs to transaction outputs, is what enables the use of inscriptions and allows for the unique identification of each of them.
In order to allow creators make unique digital artifacts, Inscriptions inscribe satoshis with arbitrary content. These digital artifacts can be stored in Bitcoin wallets and transferred using Bitcoin transactions. What makes them even more extraordinary is the fact that they are stored on-chain in taproot script-path spend scripts and they do not need a side chain or separate token, since they are a natural extension of the Bitcoin
Bitcoin NFTs vs. traditional NFTs
Unlike other NFTs, Ordinals are bitcoin-native digital artifacts, and not just simple text or image files. They are Bitcoin transactions that control the value and order of inputs and outputs. This makes them more immutable, decentralized, and most importantly, more secured than traditional NFTs.
Ordinal Inscriptions can be used to create any type of digital content; from music, art, literature and etc. Also, due to their ability to store the content in relatively small script-path spend scripts, they are even more economical.
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