Bitcoin and blockchain technology have revolutionized the way we think about money and digital ownership. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a relatively new phenomenon within the blockchain space, allowing creators to sell and own unique digital assets. However, a new type of NFT has emerged that takes this concept even further: ordinal Bitcoin NFTs. In this guide, we’ll dive into how ordinal NFTs work, how they differ from other NFTs, and how to mint your own.
How do Ordinal NFTs work?
Casey Rodarmor developed the Ordinal protocol to power inscriptions for Ordinal NFTs. The aim of ordinal theory is to provide individual identities to satoshis, the smallest unit of bitcoin at 1/100,000,000 of a full bitcoin, enabling them to be tracked, transferred, and imbued with meaning.
The Ordinal protocol sequentially assigns a number to each Satoshi, and then data such as images, text, or videos can be inscribed on each Satoshi through a Bitcoin transaction. Once the transaction is mined, the arbitrary data becomes an immutable part of the Bitcoin blockchain and can be viewed through Ordinal-enabled Bitcoin wallets and online Ordinal viewers.
What sets Ordinal NFTs apart from other NFTs?
Ordinal NFTs differ from other NFTs in how they store data. Typically, most NFTs are created using the ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token Standard on the Ethereum blockchain. In this process, a file of metadata provides information about the NFT, including a link to the actual file or artwork. As a result, the actual file or artwork can be altered because it is not embedded in the blockchain.
In contrast, Ordinal NFTs store the entire data file in the witness signature field of Bitcoin transactions. This means that the entirety of Ordinal NFTs exists on the blockchain, making them highly immutable. As a result, they offer an additional level of permanence and security to NFTs.
How do I mint an Ordinal NFT?
There are two ways to mint Ordinal NFTs, and each method offers a different level of accessibility. The first method requires starting up a full Bitcoin node and running Ord on the node, making it more suitable for tech-savvy hobbyists. The other method involves using a no-code inscription tool such as Gamma or OrdinalsBot, which is a more straightforward approach for those who are already familiar with Bitcoin.
To mint your first Ordinal NFT using Gamma, follow these simple steps:
- Ensure that you have enough bitcoin, approximately $50, to pay for the transaction fee for your inscription.
- Check if the wallet containing your bitcoin can send bitcoin to Taproot addresses, which is indicated by a “Yes” in the “Send to Bech32m” column.
- Visit https://gamma.io/ordinals and choose your preferred inscription type, either an image file or plain text.
- Follow the prompts to inscribe your satoshis with the desired data.
- Once your inscription is complete, your Ordinal NFT is permanently embedded in the Bitcoin blockchain.
Why invest in Ordinal NFTs?
As with any new technology, it’s hard to say for certain what the future holds for Ordinal NFTs. However, there are a few reasons why investors might be interested in this new type of NFT:
- Immutability: Because the entire data file of an Ordinal NFT lives on the blockchain, it is impossible to alter or delete the content once it has been inscribed. This level of immutability can be appealing to investors who want to ensure the long-term value of their assets.
- Rarity: Ordinal NFTs are currently very rare, with only a small number in circulation. As more people become interested in the technology, the value of these NFTs could increase.
- Interoperability: Because Ordinal NFTs are based on the Bitcoin blockchain, they can be easily traded or transferred alongside other Bitcoin assets. This could make them more attractive to investors who want to keep all their assets in one place.
Ordinal NFTs are a new and exciting development in the world of non-fungible tokens. By using the power of the Bitcoin blockchain and Ordinal protocol, these NFTs offer a level of immutability and permanence that is unmatched by other NFTs.