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Bitcoin Ordinals: A Beginner's Guide

Understanding the basics of Ordinals: Digital Artifacts on Bitcoin

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Written by cavpatrol
Updated over a week ago

Bitcoin Ordinals are a new innovative way to inscribe data onto the Bitcoin blockchain, creating unique digital assets known as Digital Artifacts. This guide aims to introduce you to the world of Ordinals, explaining their significance and how they work. We'll also delve into the benefits of using the term "Digital Artifact" instead of "NFT" and explore the Bitcoin Mempool. Additionally, we'll provide guidance on receiving and storing Bitcoin Ordinals, as well as offer resources for further exploration.

What are Bitcoin Ordinals?

Bitcoin Ordinals involve assigning numbers to Satoshis (sats), the smallest units of Bitcoin, to create unique Digital Artifacts directly on the blockchain. These inscriptions contain content such as text, images, or videos, stored in the witness portion of a Bitcoin transaction. With the 2021 Taproot upgrade, inscriptions of nearly 4 MBs in size are now possible, allowing for more complex creations.

Understanding how Bitcoin Ordinals work

Ordinals are numerical values assigned to Satoshis based on their order of mining and transfer. This tracking system facilitates the creation and transfer of individual sats, making it possible to generate unique digital assets, including NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. The concept of Ordinal Theory proposes a methodology for identifying and tracking sats individually, even though they are not serialized at the protocol level. Instead, inscriptions provide stable identifiers for various Bitcoin applications.

Digital Artifact vs. NFT: Why the distinction?

The term "Digital Artifact" is used instead of "NFT" to make the concept more accessible to a broader audience. By associating the word "artifact" with historical or archaeological objects, the significance and value of sat inscriptions as unique digital creations become more apparent. This choice of terminology aims to attract individuals who might find blockchain technology intimidating and encourage them to explore the world of Digital Artifacts.

Unveiling the Bitcoin Mempool

The Bitcoin Mempool serves as a temporary storage area for pending transactions in the Bitcoin network. When a transaction is initiated, it is broadcast across the network and picked up by a miner to be included in the next block. However, as blocks have limited space, some transactions must wait in the Mempool until they can be processed. The priority for inclusion in the next block is determined by the transaction fees offered by users, creating a queue for unconfirmed transactions.

Receiving and storing Bitcoin Ordinals

To receive and store Bitcoin Ordinals, it's essential to utilize a separate address from your primary Bitcoin wallet. Bitcoin wallets like Hiro Wallet and Xverse fully support Ordinals, offering a user-friendly interface for easy management.

When sending Digital Artifacts, ensure that you use addresses specifically set up to receive Ordinals. Standard Bitcoin addresses are not suitable for this purpose. Review this article for more information.

Resources for further exploration

To delve deeper into the world of Bitcoin Ordinals, check out the following resources:

Bitcoin Ordinals offer a groundbreaking way to create unique Digital Artifacts directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. Remember to use specialized addresses when receiving and sending Ordinals, and feel free to explore the provided resources for a deeper understanding of this exciting concept. Happy inscribing!

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