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HomeCryptocurrencyNo, Bitcoin Ordinals Do Not Inscribe Knowledge Onto Sats

No, Bitcoin Ordinals Do Not Inscribe Knowledge Onto Sats


That is an opinion editorial by Bitcoms, a Bitcoin author.

“So fast vibrant issues come to confusion” 

–William Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Inscriptions” are a method of writing items of arbitrary info onto the Bitcoin blockchain. “ordinals” are a conference used for monitoring particular person sats and linking them to inscriptions. This text doesn’t try to argue for or towards Bitcoin Ordinal inscriptions. Somewhat, it argues towards the complicated, inaccurate and typically doubtful methods they are often introduced, marketed and offered.

It offers with a widespread fallacy which insinuates that possession of Ordinal inscriptions is enforced and guarded by the foundations of the Bitcoin protocol itself (I keep that it’s not). And whereas this fallacy could also be asserted duplicitously or innocently, it’s all the time pernicious as a result of it might make Ordinal inscriptions extra enticing to potential patrons.

Here’s a typical instance:

“Ordinals enable quite a lot of knowledge, together with textual content, pictures, and video to be inscribed on a single Satoshi (the smallest denomination of a Bitcoin) and completely saved on the Bitcoin blockchain.” 

Introduction documentation for Ordinals Market

This means that possession of an inscription will likely be protected by the permanence and immutability of the Bitcoin timechain itself. However Bitcoin doesn’t implement possession of inscriptions, as a result of an inscription just isn’t “inscribed on a single satoshi” on the blockchain in any respect.

Because the “Ordinal Theory Handbook,” the information to Ordinal idea compiled by its developersfactors out:

Satoshis live in outputs” whereas “inscription content is included in transaction witnesses.”

Whereas each output data and witness data are saved on the Bitcoin blockchain following the SegWit improve, claiming that inscription knowledge is inextricably linked to an “inscribed” satoshi creates a deceptive notion that any such hyperlink is acknowledged by Bitcoin itself.

In actuality, the hyperlink between an inscription and a selected satoshi is manufactured off chain by a purpose-built external indexer. This pulls knowledge from the Bitcoin blockchain and presents it in accordance with a sublime however in the end centralized and arbitrary system of guidelines referred to as “Ordinal idea.” These guidelines are solely extraneous to the Bitcoin protocol itself, and have been described by their originator as akin to astrology.

Unfold Of The Inscription Fallacy

However in my opinion, statements in most of the locations the place Ordinal inscriptions might be created, considered, purchased and offered, as properly in media protection, don’t clarify the function of the Ordinal indexer clearly sufficient. Thus, the concept that inscriptions are embedded “onto” or straight “into” satoshis, and that the inscription knowledge and a corresponding sat are inextricably linked throughout the Bitcoin protocol with out the necessity for an exterior indexer, has created a harmful fallacy for potential buyers.

Listed below are just some examples of such statements:

“Ordinal Inscriptions, just like NFTs, are digital belongings inscribed on a satoshi, the bottom denomination of a Bitcoin.”

“…Ordinals are ‘inscribed’ onto a single satoshi… Inscribing is the method of placing a bit of information onto the blockchain, the place it is going to stay perpetually accessible and unchangeable.”

“Coinbase Bytes” newsletter

“Every sat might be inscribed with knowledge, reminiscent of JPGs, GIFs, PDFs and extra, making a Bitcoin Ordinal which is then held in a pockets.”

Gamma FAQ

“What are Bitcoin Ordinals? Launched in Jan 2023, they permit the creation of NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain by attaching knowledge to particular person satoshis utilizing a course of referred to as inscription.”

Binance NFT Twitter account

“For the uninitiated, Ordinal Inscriptions, akin to NFTs, are digital belongings inscribed on satoshis (the smallest foreign money unit of bitcoin).”


“Ordinals inscribe a serial quantity onto a satoshi, the smallest foreign money unit of bitcoin.”


“Ordinals are inscribed straight onto particular person Satoshi’s, that are then included in blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain.”


“…bitcoin community upgrades … enabled every satoshi … to retailer just a few megabytes of information, from textual content and pictures to audio and video.”


“Token capabilities … are all achieved by inscribing knowledge into satoshis, the smallest divisible unit of a bitcoin.”

NICE newsletter

As said on the outset, this text doesn’t search to indicate that Ordinal inscriptions are good or unhealthy. It merely spotlights the deceptive, typically sloppy, and maybe at instances scammy, methods they’re being introduced, which wrongly implies that Bitcoin itself will implement inscription possession with out the usage of an exterior software.

So, what might be finished to verify potential patrons of Ordinal inscriptions don’t fall sufferer to this fallacy? We are able to hold clearing up confusion by pointing it out.

It is a visitor put up by Bitcoms. Opinions expressed are solely their very own and don’t essentially mirror these of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Journal.


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