What are Ordinals? Rise of Bitcoin NFTs

    If you are a Bitcoin maxi, hang on to your chairs because NFTs are finally coming to the Bitcoin blockchain!

    Bitcoin “NFTs”, or more accurately known as Ordinal Inscriptions, are digital assets that are inscribed onto a satoshi, which is the lowest denomination of a Bitcoin. This was made possible due to the Bitcoin ordinals protocol launched by Casey Rodarmor in January 2023, which allows digital content such as images, video games and art to be inscribed onto the Bitcoin blockchain.

    How did Ordinal Inscriptions come about?

    The original Ordinals theory defined satoshi as the atomic unit of a Bitcoin, and each satoshi can be traded individually on the blockchain network. Essentially, satoshis and Bitcoin are the same thing, except that satoshis provide an easier representation for smaller transactions. This is because the conversion for Bitcoin to satoshi is 1 BTC = 100 million satoshi, and thus it would be more appropriate to use satoshi as a representation when purchasing say, a pizza.

    Satoshis are numbered based on the order which they were mined at, and this number is known as an ordinal number.

    As each satoshi is a unit of transaction, the satoshis that are transcribed with digital content can be viewed as immutable digital assets or collectibles that can be transacted using wallets that support Bitcoin. These satoshis can be attached to accounts or stablecoins using ordinal numbers as identifiers.

    Future of Ordinals

    Following the genesis Bitcoin Ordinal created by Rodarmor in December 2022, the hype surrounding the idea of a Bitcoin “NFT” is slowly building, with more companies and developers scurrying to develop new and more efficient ways of inscribing on Bitcoin and creating wallets that can store these tokens.

    For example, Gamma, a Bitcoin “NFT” marketplace, has come up with a service that allows users to inscribe their own images and text onto the blockchain. Just recently, they have also announced their new feature which allows for the “bulk minting” of Bitcoin Ordinals.

    We are also starting to see more and more cryptocurrency wallets implementing support for Bitcoin Ordinals, such as XVerse and Hiro Wallet.
    Yuga Labs, the parent company of Bored Ape Yacht Club, has also recently launched their very first Bitcoin-based collection called TwelveFold. With a total collection size of 300 generative art, their auction had generated 735.7 BTC (around $16.5 million) from 3,246 total bidders.

    With the biggest Ethereum based NFT project already making their move into the Bitcoin Ordinals space, we can expect to see more Ethereum NFT projects following suite.

    Will we see Bitcoin Ordinals becoming the next big thing?

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