Bitcoin NFTs are all the rage right now, due to the launch and massive success of the ‘Ordinals’ protocol. Ordinals provide a novel way to mint NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. The latest rise in the Bitcoin assets is due to the launch of the Bitcoins equivalent CryptoPunks (Ethereum-based NFT) collection. Although all the buzz and hype is met with mixed reactions from the web3 community. So, what are Bitcoin Ordinals? Find out more below
What are Ordinal NFTs on Bitcoin?
On January 21, software engineer Casey Rodarmor launched the Ordinals protocol on the Bitcoin blockchain. Each Bitcoin can be broken down into 100,000,000 units termed “sats” (short for Satoshi). This new protocol allows users and builders to inscribe each ‘sat’ with data, known as Ordinals. This data can also be smart contracts, and hence NFTs can be minted on them. In essence, the Ordinal protocol allows builders to create NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Moreover, one of the core distinctions between Ethereum-based NFTs and Bitcoin is that Ethereum NFTs usually point to off-chain data on the IPFS system. With this protocol, all the data is inscribed on-chain. “An Ordinal is intended to reflect what NFTs should be, sometimes are, and what inscriptions always are, by their very nature,” says Rodarmor. This new ecosystem may be a boon to the NFT industry overall, improving upon the very concept of digital collectibles. To add to this, due to the entirely on-chain inscription of data for Ordinals, Rodarmor refers to them as something beyond NFTs, calling them Digital Artifacts.
How Will Ordinal Punk NFTs Change the Game?
In many ways, Ordinal Punks means a new wave of Bitcoin NFTs, digital collectibles, and marketplaces. The 100-pixel pfp avatars are tradeable digital artifacts inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain. The project is allegedly a clone of a derivative project “Mutant Punks”, a clone of the original CryptoPunks on Ethereum. Though founder Rodarmor claims that the project uses “an open-source algorithm and CC0 Punk sprite sheet to generate new Punks.”
The entire 10K collection is already off the shelf, with one Ordinal Punk (#620) selling for 9.6 BTC (~$214,766.50). However, one of the problems with the project at the moment is that there simply isn’t a marketplace to buy and sell the crypto art once minted. But this, of course, does not stop the web3 community from buying and selling the digital pieces.
More than 40,000 Ordinals have been inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain so far. There has also been a backlash against the whole protocol by Bitcoin maximalists. According to them, the whole idea of Bitcoin NFTs are against Bitcoin as a financial asset. Some even claim the Ordinals are just a waste of network space.
How to Actually Buy Bitcoin NFTs?
To buy an Ordinal NFT, one must first download a Bitcoin compatible wallet. Once done, the user then has to follow a detailed GitHub guide to make the BTC wallet compatible to Ordinals. After this, the user must run their own Bitcoin node and inscribe an ordinal (which wouldn’t be possible now since the project is minted out). So there are two other options available for people to purchase a BTC Ordinal NFT.
The simple way is to find an Ordinal owner and purchase it from them. Owners can be found on the official Discord server. Navigating to the link-your-project channel on their discord allows users to explore what Bitcoin projects are out there. This is, obvious to say, a huge risk to potential customers, as the sites and discords may be completely botched. Moreover, unless there is a trust between project buyers and sellers, it may lead to scams and frauds. Moreover, BTC Ordinals may take hours or even days before they show up inside your BTC wallet.
Moving on, if one wishes to create/inscribe an Ordinal themselves, there are services out there that allow for this. The services allow users to inscribe them without actually running a node themselves. For example, popular Bitcoin project Satoshibles have created an Ordinal Bot, that allows users to inscribe NFTs to their Bitcoin wallets.