What Are Bitcoin Ordinals? The Ultimate Guide To Bitcoin NFTs

What Are Bitcoin Ordinals? The Ultimate Guide To Bitcoin NFTs

What Are Bitcoin Ordinals?

Bitcoin ordinals are a way of referring to specific blocks within the Bitcoin blockchain. Each block in the blockchain is given a unique identifier called a block hash, which is a string of letters and numbers that serves as a digital fingerprint for that particular block. Bitcoin ordinals use this block hash to refer to specific blocks within the blockchain.

The Bitcoin ordinal for the first block in the blockchain, also known as the genesis block, is “Block 0”. The ordinal for the second block is “Block 1”, the ordinal for the third block is “Block 2”, and so on. Each block in the blockchain is numbered sequentially in this way.

Bitcoin ordinals are often used by Bitcoin enthusiasts and developers to refer to specific blocks when discussing the history of the Bitcoin blockchain. For example, someone might say “In Block 632,000, the Bitcoin halving occurred,” meaning that the event took place in the block with that particular hash.

How Do Bitcoin Ordinals Work?

Bitcoin ordinals are a system used to refer to specific blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain. Each block on the Bitcoin blockchain is identified by a unique identifier called a “block hash”. This hash is a long string of letters and numbers that serves as a unique identifier for the block.

Bitcoin ordinals work by assigning a numerical value to each block based on its position in the blockchain. The first block in the blockchain, known as the “genesis block”, is assigned the ordinal value of 0. The second block is assigned the ordinal value of 1, the third block is assigned the ordinal value of 2, and so on.

The ordinal value of a block is important because it allows users to easily refer to a specific block on the blockchain without having to provide its entire block hash. For example, if you wanted to refer to the 100th block on the Bitcoin blockchain, you could simply use the ordinal value of 99 (since the genesis block is 0), rather than having to provide the full block hash.

It’s important to note that the ordinal value of a block can change if the blockchain is reorganized due to a chain split or other network events. In such cases, the ordinal value of a block may no longer be accurate, and the full block hash should be used instead to identify the block.

What Are Bitcoin Ordinals? The Ultimate Guide To Bitcoin NFTs

How Do Ordinal Inscriptions Work?

Ordinal inscriptions are a way of numbering or labeling items in a particular sequence or order using ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers represent the position or order of an item in a series, such as first, second, third, etc.

Ordinal inscriptions are often used to label items in a list or sequence, such as chapters in a book, sections in a report, or steps in a process. The ordinal number is typically written as a superscript after the item number or letter, such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or A1st, B2nd, C3rd, etc.

Ordinal inscriptions can also be used to label specific events or occasions, such as a 50th anniversary celebration or a 10th birthday party. In this case, the ordinal number is typically written as an adjective before the noun, such as “50th anniversary” or “10th birthday”.

The use of ordinal inscriptions can help to provide a clear and consistent way of numbering or labeling items in a sequence or order. It can also help to differentiate between items that may have similar or identical names or labels, but are in different positions in the sequence.

How Are Ordinals Different from NFTs?

Ordinals and NFTs are two distinct concepts with different functions and characteristics.

Ordinals are a way of numbering or labeling items in a particular sequence or order using ordinal numbers. They are commonly used in books, reports, or processes to identify the position of an item in a sequence. Ordinals are not unique and have no inherent value other than their position in the sequence.

NFTs, on the other hand, are unique digital assets that are stored on a blockchain. They can represent various types of digital content, such as artwork, music, videos, or even tweets. NFTs are created using smart contracts, which ensure that each NFT is one-of-a-kind and has a verifiable ownership record. NFTs can be bought and sold, and their value can fluctuate depending on market demand and other factors.

Inscription Over Tokenization

Inscription and tokenization are two different approaches to representing assets or information, and they have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some reasons why inscription may be preferred over tokenization:

Contextual Information:

Inscriptions can provide more contextual information than tokenization. An inscription may contain additional details about an asset, such as its history, provenance, or cultural significance. In contrast, a tokenized asset may only provide basic information about its ownership and value.


Inscriptions can be more flexible than tokenization. With inscriptions, it is possible to modify or update the information associated with an asset. For example, if new information emerges about the history of a painting, an inscription can be updated to reflect this information. In contrast, tokenization is typically more rigid, as the information associated with a tokenized asset is stored on a blockchain and cannot be easily modified.


Inscriptions can provide a more tangible connection to an asset than tokenization. For example, a handwritten signature on a document or a carved inscription on a statue can provide a sense of authenticity and connection to the original creator or owner of the asset. In contrast, tokenization is a more abstract and digital representation of an asset.

Cultural Heritage:

Inscriptions can help preserve cultural heritage and history. Inscriptions have been used for centuries to document the provenance and history of artworks, artifacts, and other items of cultural significance. By preserving these inscriptions, we can better understand and appreciate our cultural heritage. In contrast, tokenization may not always provide the same level of historical or cultural context.

On-chain Nature

The term “on-chain nature” refers to the fact that certain data or assets are stored and managed on a blockchain. A blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that allows for the secure and transparent storage and transfer of data or assets. By storing data or assets on a blockchain, they become part of the blockchain’s immutable and distributed ledger, which is maintained and validated by a network of nodes.

The on-chain nature of a blockchain has several implications:


Since a blockchain is a public ledger, all transactions and data stored on the blockchain are visible to anyone with access to the network. This transparency can help promote trust and accountability, as all parties can verify the authenticity and validity of transactions and data.


The on-chain nature of a blockchain can also enhance security. The decentralized and distributed nature of the blockchain means that there is no single point of failure or vulnerability. Additionally, the cryptographic algorithms used to secure the blockchain ensure that all transactions and data are tamper-proof and cannot be altered or deleted.


Data or assets stored on a blockchain are immutable, meaning they cannot be changed or deleted. This feature ensures that the integrity of the data or asset is preserved over time and provides a reliable audit trail for all transactions.


The on-chain nature of a blockchain also means that it is decentralized, meaning it is not controlled by any single entity or authority. This decentralization can help promote trust and transparency, as there is no central point of control or authority.

Block Size Limit

A block size limit is a rule that restricts the maximum size of a block on a blockchain. A block is a collection of transactions that are grouped together and added to the blockchain. The size of a block is measured in bytes, and it is limited to a specific number of bytes to ensure that the blockchain remains stable and efficient.

The block size limit was introduced in the early days of Bitcoin as a way to prevent spam transactions and ensure that the network could handle the growing number of transactions. Initially, the block size limit was set to 1 MB for Bitcoin, which meant that each block could contain a maximum of 1 MB worth of transactions.

The block size limit has been a topic of debate and controversy within the blockchain community, as some argue that increasing the block size limit could improve the scalability and transaction throughput of the blockchain, while others argue that increasing the block size limit could lead to centralization and reduce the security and decentralization of the network.

In response to the debate, some blockchain projects have implemented solutions to address the scalability issue without increasing the block size limit. For example, Bitcoin implemented the Segregated Witness (SegWit) protocol, which separates transaction data from signature data and increases the efficiency of transactions. Other projects, such as Ethereum, are working on transitioning from a proof-of-work consensus algorithm to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, which could improve scalability and reduce the energy consumption of the blockchain.


Concurrency is a term used in computer science to describe the ability of a system to perform multiple tasks or processes simultaneously. Concurrency is important in modern computing because it allows for the efficient use of computing resources and can improve the performance of a system.

Concurrency can be achieved through a variety of techniques, including multithreading, multiprocessing, and distributed computing. In multithreading, a single process is divided into multiple threads, each of which can execute a separate task or operation. In multiprocessing, multiple processes are created and run simultaneously on separate CPU cores or processors. In distributed computing, tasks are distributed across multiple nodes or machines in a network to be executed in parallel.

Concurrency can be challenging to implement, as it requires careful management of shared resources and synchronization of tasks to prevent conflicts and ensure data integrity. Concurrent systems must also be designed to handle errors and exceptions that can occur when multiple tasks are executed simultaneously.

Concurrency is used in a variety of applications, including web servers, database systems, and operating systems. In web servers, concurrency allows multiple requests to be processed simultaneously, improving the responsiveness of the system. In database systems, concurrency allows multiple users to access and modify data concurrently, improving the scalability of the system. In operating systems, concurrency allows multiple processes to run simultaneously, improving the overall performance and efficiency of the system.

Lack of Smart Contract Functionality and Infrastructure

Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. They allow for automatic execution of transactions and can reduce the need for intermediaries, which can lead to faster and cheaper transactions.

However, not all blockchain platforms have the capability to support smart contracts. Some platforms, such as Bitcoin, have limited smart contract functionality, while others, such as Ethereum, are specifically designed to support smart contracts.

In addition to the platform support, there may also be a lack of infrastructure to support smart contract development and deployment. Developing and deploying smart contracts requires specialized knowledge and tools, and there may be a shortage of developers and resources available to support smart contract development on certain platforms.

The lack of smart contract functionality and infrastructure can limit the potential applications of a blockchain platform. Smart contracts have the potential to revolutionize industries such as finance, real estate, and supply chain management, but without the capability to support smart contracts, blockchain platforms may be limited to more basic use cases.

To address this issue, some blockchain projects are working to improve their smart contract functionality and infrastructure. For example, Bitcoin has implemented the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution that enables fast and cheap off-chain transactions and supports more complex smart contract functionality. Other projects, such as Cardano, are focused on providing a robust smart contract platform that can support a wide range of applications.

Lost Inscriptions

In the context of blockchain technology, lost inscriptions refer to the situation where private keys to a cryptocurrency wallet are lost, and as a result, the funds associated with the wallet become inaccessible.

Blockchain technology is designed to be secure, transparent, and immutable. However, the decentralized nature of blockchain means that there is no central authority to recover lost private keys or stolen funds. If a user loses their private key, they cannot access their cryptocurrency wallet, and the funds associated with the wallet are effectively lost forever.

The issue of lost inscriptions is a significant challenge for the adoption and mainstream use of cryptocurrency. Unlike traditional banking systems, where users can reset their passwords or request help from customer support to recover their accounts, blockchain technology does not have such mechanisms in place.

To address this issue, some blockchain projects have proposed alternative solutions, such as implementing multisignature wallets, which require multiple signatures to authorize transactions. This reduces the likelihood of lost inscriptions by requiring multiple parties to lose their private keys simultaneously.

Other solutions include the use of decentralized identity management systems, such as self-sovereign identity (SSI) protocols, which enable users to maintain control of their personal data and identities. SSI protocols could potentially provide a more secure and user-friendly way to manage private keys and reduce the risk of lost inscriptions.


How Do You Buy and Create Bitcoin Ordinals?

When it comes to Bitcoin wallets that can handle Ordinals, things get technical. There are two types available. The first is a Sparrow wallet, which is only capable of receiving Ordinals. Creating a Sparrow wallet does not require running a full Bitcoin node, and you can refer to a guide on how to create one.

The second option is an Ord wallet, which demands a full Bitcoin node and at least 500 GB of storage. Unlike Sparrow wallets, Ord wallets can create inscriptions, and they can also “freeze” individual sats to prevent accidental spending.

Popular Bitcoin NFT Collections

There are many Bitcoin NFT collections that have gained popularity in recent years. Some of the most notable ones include:

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) – a collection of 10,000 unique hand-drawn ape NFTs that have become highly sought after in the NFT community.
  • CryptoPunks – a collection of 10,000 unique 8-bit pixelated characters, each with their own distinct attributes and characteristics.
  • Pudgy Penguins – a collection of 8,888 penguin NFTs that have quickly become popular in the NFT space due to their cute and distinctive designs.
  • Art Blocks – a platform that allows artists to create generative art NFTs that are unique and one-of-a-kind. These NFTs have become popular due to their high level of creativity and uniqueness.
  • Cool Cats – a collection of 9,999 hand-drawn cat NFTs that have become popular in the NFT space due to their unique and playful designs.
  • World of Women (WOW) – a collection of 10,000 unique hand-drawn women NFTs that celebrate women from all walks of life.
  • BAYC Kennel Club – a spinoff collection of the Bored Ape Yacht Club that focuses on unique canine NFTs.

These are just a few examples of popular Bitcoin NFT collections. There are many other collections out there, each with their own unique designs and characteristics that appeal to different types of collectors.

What Are the Effects on the Bitcoin Network?

There are several effects on the Bitcoin network, both positive and negative, that can result from various factors such as increased usage, changes in regulation, or technical updates. Here are a few examples:

  • Network congestion: When there is an increase in the number of transactions being processed on the Bitcoin network, it can lead to congestion and longer confirmation times. This can result in higher transaction fees as users compete to have their transactions processed faster.
  • Mining difficulty: The Bitcoin network adjusts its mining difficulty every 2,016 blocks to maintain a 10-minute block time. If the network hashrate increases, the mining difficulty also increases, making it harder for miners to find new blocks. Conversely, if the network hashrate decreases, the mining difficulty will decrease, making it easier for miners to find new blocks.
  • Energy consumption: Bitcoin mining requires significant energy consumption, and as the network grows, so does its energy usage. This has raised concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and has led to efforts to develop more energy-efficient mining practices.
  • Adoption and use: As more people adopt and use Bitcoin, it can lead to increased demand for the cryptocurrency, which can result in higher prices. However, this can also lead to increased volatility as the market responds to changing demand.
  • Regulation: Changes in regulation can have a significant impact on the Bitcoin network, both positive and negative. For example, increased regulation can help to reduce fraud and increase trust in the network, but it can also lead to restrictions on usage and innovation.