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What is Ordinals on Bitcoin?

Why Ordinals is a protocol that allows individual satoshis (SATs) in a Bitcoin blockchain to be assigned a unique identifier and transacted with extra data attached. This effectively allows non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to be created directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. What An Ordinal is a…

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Why

Ordinals is a protocol that allows individual satoshis (SATs) in a Bitcoin blockchain to be assigned a unique identifier and transacted with extra data attached. This effectively allows non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to be created directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.

What

An Ordinal is a digital asset inscribed onto a satoshi, the lowest denomination of a Bitcoin (BTC). Inscriptions can include images, videos, text, and even smart contracts. Ordinals are unique and cannot be replaced, making them ideal for representing NFTs.

How

Ordinal inscriptions are made by sending a satoshi to a Taproot-compatible wallet and including the data and metadata to be inscribed as part of the transaction. Once the transaction is mined, the inscription is permanently etched onto the first satoshi of the transaction’s initial output.

Pros

Ordinals have a number of advantages over NFTs on other blockchains, including:

  • Security: Ordinals are inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain, which is considered to be the most secure blockchain in the world.
  • Immutability: Once an Ordinal is inscribed, it cannot be altered or deleted.
  • Decentralization: The Bitcoin blockchain is decentralized, meaning that Ordinals are not subject to the control of any single entity.
  • Scarcity: There are only a limited number of satoshis available, meaning that Ordinals are naturally scarce.

Cons

Ordinals also have some disadvantages, including:

  • Scalability: The Bitcoin blockchain is not as scalable as other blockchains, such as Ethereum. This means that Ordinals can be expensive and slow to transact.
  • Complexity: Inscribing Ordinals can be complex and requires the use of specialized software.
  • Environmental impact: Bitcoin mining is a computationally expensive process that consumes a lot of energy.

Main people or companies involved

  • Casey Rodarmor: Casey Rodarmor is the creator of Ordinals. He is a software engineer and artist who has been involved in the Bitcoin community for many years.
  • Taproot: Taproot is a Bitcoin soft fork that was activated in November 2021. Taproot makes it possible to create Ordinals by allowing users to attach data to Bitcoin transactions without revealing the nature of the data.

How to begin interacting with Ordinals

To begin interacting with Ordinals, you will need to:

  1. Set up a Taproot-compatible wallet. Some popular Taproot-compatible wallets include Wasabi Wallet, Sparrow Wallet, and Specter Wallet.
  2. Obtain some satoshis. You can purchase satoshis from a cryptocurrency exchange or receive them as payment for goods or services.
  3. Use an Ordinal inscription tool to inscribe your data onto a satoshi. There are a number of Ordinal inscription tools available, both free and paid.

Conclusion

Ordinals are a new and exciting development in the Bitcoin ecosystem. They offer a number of advantages over NFTs on other blockchains, including security, immutability, and decentralization. However, Ordinals are also complex and can be expensive and slow to transact.

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