The introduction of the Ordinals protocol by Casey Rodarmor in January 2023 has been buzzing Web3. Ordinal protocol brings new upgrades to the space and enables the development of Bitcoin-based NFTs.
Bitcoin Ordinals generally known as bitcoin NFTs have attracted some enthusiasts about the new improvements it may cause in the Web3 space, while others still doubt its functionality and acceptance. At the time of writing, there are less than 14,000 Bitcoin Ordinals available despite the big buzz they made in the NFT world.
Although almost everyone in the NFT market is talking about Bitcoin Ordinals and its potential, a great majority of NFT enthusiasts still ask questions about it; what is Bitcoin Ordinals? Why are Bitcoin Ordinals so rare? They also feel confused about how to purchase Bitcoin Ordinals and how to mint them.
Here, we provide a full guide to Bitcoin Ordinals, where and how to buy them. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Bitcoin Ordinals and their NFTs.
What are Bitcoin Ordinals?
Bitcoin developers have tried their best to bring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to their popular blockchain. They were working on an inscription to write content data stored into a Bitcoin transaction. In January 2023, their dreams came true, and they introduced the Ordinals protocol.
Ordinals protocol allows minting NFTs directly onto Bitcoin Blockchain with all associated content, like images and videos. Ordinals NFT is also known as Ordinals artifact or inscription.
As you may already know, each Bitcoin is broken into 10,000,000 units called Satoshi. Ordinals protocol allows those who operate Bitcoin nodes to create Ordinals. They Create an Ordinal by inscribing each Satoshi with data. The data can include smart contracts, which can turn into NFTs. Therefore, Ordinals are on-chain Bitcoin digital collectibles or NFTs that people can mint directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, this is a primary understanding of Ordinals NFTs. You will fully understand them if you learn how Ordinals NFTs are different from NFTs.
Are Ordinals different from NFTs?
NFTs live on blockchains, for example, Ethereum, and often point to off-chain data on Interplanetary File System or IPFS. IPFS is a decentralized file storage system that functions as a hard drive in a blockchain. Therefore, NFTs can be changed using dynamic metadata that runs on a blockchain.
Simply put, NFT projects usually improve the quality of a digital asset by updating the metadata of the NFT. The NFT project team may require the NFT owners to refresh the metadata of their assets, e.g. on OpenSea, and get their assets with higher quality. The process of changing NFT’s metadata can be referred to as a deficiency.
Ordinals protocol was developed to improve the defect to NFTs. Rodarmor, the name behind the Ordinals protocol, sees NFTs as incomplete since they usually need off-chain data. He argues that Ordinals are complete because all their data is inscribed directly on-chain. Rodarmor calls the assets digital artifacts, though many may name them Bitcoin NFTs. Besides, NFT trades always include creator royalties. But it seems that ordinal digital artifacts do not consider royalties to their creators.
We could conclude that Ordinals on Bitcoin are here to change the present culture for Bitcoin on the one hand, and technically improve NFTs on the other hand.
Why are ordinals so rare?
Although Ordinal NFTs are warmly welcomed in the Web3 community, the number of Ordinals reaches around 13,000 on the Bitcoin blockchain. The number indicates that interest in the Ordinals is relatively new and is expanding over a short time.
Here are the reasons that make Ordinal NFTs rare:
- Ordinal NFTs are expensive to create as they live on the Bitcoin blockchain.
- Minting Ordinal NFTs requires high-computing power and is energy-draining.
- There is the limited technical knowledge of the Ordinal protocol mechanism.
- There is stiff competition while minting, as the Bitcoin network gets easily congested. Thus, fitting into the picture can prove impossible.
- The risk of investing in Ordinal NFTs is high since it’s a new technology.
What are notable Ordinals NFTs available now?
As soon as Ordinals went live, fascinating collections and significant sales were reported. Some pieces sold for hundreds of dollars. Here is a list of the most notable Ordinal NFTs available in the market:
Ordinal Punks is a collection of 100 Bitcoin NFTs that were minted within the first 650 Inscriptions on the Bitcoin chain. Spot #642 is the highest-numbered Inscription in the collection.
It is the first hand-drawn Ordinals collection developer by Udi Wertheimer, a Web3 NFT developer. The collection is unique in that it is the largest block and transaction in Bitcoin history, reaching around 4MB.
It is one of Bitcoin’s first 10k ordinal NFT collections. The team behind the project minted 10,000 Ordinals into a single Inscription while its size is less than 20,000 bytes, which suggests the possibility of creating NFTs on Bitcoin without overloading the system.
Bitcoin Ordinals are still in their infancy. If you are interested in investing in Ordinals, keep updated with news and new collections before taking any step.
How to mint and buy Ordinal NFTs?
Bitcoin Ordinals are here now, and, like any other NFTs, are available to mint and trade. Follow the steps to create your own Ordinals, or buy the very first ones.
Get a crypto wallet
There are a few crypto wallets available to store and transfer Bitcoin Ordinals at the time of writing: MetaMask, Ordinals Wallet, Xverse and Hiro Wallet. Although these wallets provide limited functionality regarding Ordinals, they are a start to being an Ordinals owner.
Bitcoin Wallet, however, has been the best option that allows enough customization to receive Ordinal inscriptions. Setting your wallet, you can:
- Run a node and inscribe your own Ordinal.
- Look for an Ordinal in the market and buy directly from the owner.
- Use a service to inscribe an Ordinal without running your own node.
Notice that running your own node may require technical knowledge. Keep in mind that running a node to create an Ordinal is very new and, therefore, risky. There are few Ordinals for sale in marketplaces, so you may need to spend lots of time to find one to buy.
Find Bitcoin ordinals to buy
Since the number of Ordinals minted by now is limited, it will be challenging to find Ordinals to buy in marketplaces. However, there are other places to visit:
- Join Ordinals Discord channels to learn about Ordinal projects and find some to buy.
- Check project links and see what projects are out in the market.
- Check collection creator channels in Discord. Here, you can see and buy their Ordinals.
Notice that hand-to-hand or over-the-counter (OTC) purchases require you to connect directly with people, which increases the possibility of being scammed in Web3. They may ask you to transfer cryptos before receiving an Ordinal. Only risk what you can afford to lose.
Use a service to inscribe your own Ordinals
You also can mint Ordinals without running a Bitcoin node. There are services that allow you to inscribe your own Ordinals. Here are some:
- Ordinals Bot: The Satoshibles NFT collection team has created Ordinals Bot. It is designed to inscribe Bitcoin Ordinals on your behalf.
- Gamma: Gamma assist you to create your own Ordinal inscription through its inscription service.
These services require you to clarify your BTC address to send you your Ordinal. Once they create your Bitcoin Ordinals, they send you the number of Satoshies you owe plus a service fee. When you pay the bill in BTC, it may take minutes or hours to receive your new digital asset.
A final word
Bitcoin Ordinals were developed in early 2023 to change the culture of Bitcoin as well as improve the weaknesses of NFTs. Ordinals are Tedious and risky but full of potential. At the time of writing, Ordinals are rare as they are still young, and people do not have enough technical knowledge to mint them. Also, the number of Ordinals on sale in marketplaces is limited. Thus some may try their chance to mint their own Ordinals.
If you find yourself interested in Bitcoin Ordinals, you should know the ways to get them: inscribe your own Ordinals, find pay for them, or use a service to create Ordinals on your behalf. There could be the risk of scamming if you choose to buy an Ordinal, though the opportunity can be worth it.
Frequently asked questions about Bitcoin Ordinals
Do Bitcoin Ordinals face energy issues?
Bitcoin is the largest blockchain in the world by market cap and uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain. This process is highly energy intensive and faces energy consumption critics.
Do Bitcoin Ordinals bring more revenue to miners?
Bitcoin rewards the returns on mining a block, though miners have to spend a lot of computing power and energy consumption to be able to mine. They may earn 6 BTC for every block mind successfully.
Cover Image Source: criptonoticias.com