What are ordinal NFTs? In January 2023, software engineer Casey Rodarmor launched the Ordinals protocol on the Bitcoin network, which allowed for the creation of NFTs on the mainnet. This understandably caused a lot of excitement and controversy within the Bitcoin community. Some traditionalists saw the protocol as a threat to the network, while others eagerly began creating Inscriptions – Bitcoin’s version of NFTs.
The number and order of Ordinals being created on the Bitcoin blockchain have been closely watched, and there have been some remarkable collections and high-priced sales. This article highlights some of the most interesting and valuable Ordinals Inscriptions, ensuring that readers don’t miss out on this significant development in the history of Bitcoin and NFTs.
What are Ordinal NFTs?
If you’re wondering, “What are Ordinal NFTs?”, read on.
Bitcoin is divided into small units called satoshis or sats, with each Bitcoin consisting of 100,000,000 sats. The new Ordinals protocol now allows for data to be added to each of these sats by those who run Bitcoin nodes, effectively creating a new type of digital asset called an “Ordinal.”
Unlike traditional Bitcoin transactions, which simply involve sending and receiving value between parties, Ordinals enable the inclusion of smart contract codes within a Bitcoin transaction. This code can then be used to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.
In simpler terms, Ordinals are like NFTs that can be directly created on the Bitcoin blockchain. However, there are some key differences between Ordinals and NFTs that should be noted, despite their similarities.
How do Ordinal NFTs Work?
So now that we know what Ordinal NFTs are, let’s find out how they work.
Ordinal NFTs work differently from NFTs created through smart contracts. They are created using ordinal theory-based inscriptions. After each satoshi is assigned a unique ID through the ordinal protocol, users can attach data to it, creating an Ordinal NFT. Ordinal NFTs operate within the Bitcoin network without changing the original Bitcoin blockchain.
Other ways of creating Ordinal NFTs include layer-2 scaling solutions like the Lightning Network, Stacks, and RSK. Originally, two network updates made the creation of Ordinal NFTs possible: SegWit 2017 and Taproot 2021. By increasing the storage and block size limits and improving the security of Bitcoin transactions, these two updates laid out the first ideas for the framework of Ordinal NFTs.
What are the Top Most Ordinals Inscribed?
Ordinals have gained significant popularity since launch. They are witnessing the creation of fascinating collections and impressive sales, with some pieces selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One of the most notable collections is Ordinal Punks, which pays homage to CryptoPunks and consists of 100 Bitcoin NFTs minted within the first 650 Inscriptions on the Bitcoin chain.
Another noteworthy project is Taproot Wizards, which is the largest block and transaction in Bitcoin’s history, coming in at 4MB.
Meanwhile, the Ethereum-based OnChainMonkey (OCM) project has minted 10,000 Ordinals into a single Inscription, making it one of the first 10,000 collections on Bitcoin.
As the Ordinals market matures, more innovative collections are expected to emerge.
- Ordinal Punks
- Taproot Wizards
- Bitcoin Rocks
- Timechain Collectibles
- Ordinal Loops
- Ripcache’s Power Source
- Bitcoin Shrooms
- The Shadow Hats
- The Dan Files
Top 10 Ordinal NFTs You Should Know
1. Ordinal Punks
Ordinal Punks is an exclusive collection of only 100 Bitcoin NFTs that pays tribute to CryptoPunks. The NFTs were created through a generative PFP collection of 192×192 pixel images, which were produced using an open-source algorithm by the pseudonymous Web3 creator FlowStay.
Due to the infrastructure requirements of Bitcoin, bids and asks for the NFTs are managed on a Google Sheet, with the creator of the project acting as an escrow on Discord.
As of now, the lowest bid for an Ordinal Punk is 3.7 BTC/51.26 ETH, while the highest asking price for the most popular piece, Ordinal Punk 78, is 50 BTC/692.66 ETH. Recently, a buyer named dingaling bought seven of the Punks for 15.2 BTC/211 ETH.
2. Taproot Wizards
Taproot Wizards is a unique Ordinal collection on the Bitcoin chain. Created by independent Web3 developer Udi Wertheimer, the collection consists of hand-drawn NFT wizards inscribed on the Bitcoin chain, starting from Inscription 652.
The first Ordinal in the collection is known for being the largest block and transaction in Bitcoin’s history, clocking in at a massive 4MB. The project is still in its early stages, with only a handful of Taproot Wizards inscribed on the Bitcoin chain so far.
The Wizard ID verification page on Discord only confirms six of them, including Inscriptions 1107, 1383, 2637, and 2625.
Since Bitcoin’s infrastructure requires users to operate a full Bitcoin node to make an Inscription, Taproot Wizards transactions take place on the Bitcoin chain and are publicly visible on a block explorer.
3. Bitcoin Rocks
Bitcoin Rocks is an NFT collection inspired by one of the early Ethereum NFT collectible projects known as Ether Rocks. The creator of Bitcoin Rocks, ordrocks, minted the first rock in the collection at Inscription 71, which pays tribute to the first rock in the Ether Rocks collection.
Bitcoin Rocks is a limited collection of only 100 NFTs, and some of these NFTs have been listed for as much as 1,000 BTC/13,858 ETH, which is over $22 million in value as of press time. The lowest bid that one can make is currently at 2.7 BTC/37.42 ETH, which is nearly $61,000.
The collection is an homage to the early days of NFTs and is a prime example of the intersection between the Bitcoin and NFT communities. As the NFT market continues to mature, it will be interesting to see what other creative ways artists and developers will pay homage to the early days of crypto collectibles.
4. Timechain Collectibles
Timechain Collectibles is a collection of 21 highly-limited Ordinals that showcase different forms of timepieces, such as ancient calendars, pocket watches, cyberpunk watches, and more. The collection was inscribed on January 30, 2023, with all the pieces minted into a single block and carrying consecutive Inscription numbers from 356-377.
A genesis Inscription at Inscription 356 anchors the whole collection. There are various rarity levels within the collection, with some of the pieces being rarer than others. The project’s Discord is where the auctions for the NFTs are being held. One of the NFTs, Inscription 364, also known as Timechain Collectible #6, sold for 3.08 BTC/43.59 ETH ($67,000).
5. Ordinal Loops
Ordinal Loops is a collection of NFTs that are highly sought-after for their low-numbered Inscriptions on the Bitcoin chain, starting from Inscription 452. The collection consists of a rotating mathematical torus and is one of seven similar animations in the first series of three planned drops from the Ordinal Loops team.
The first set of NFTs in the collection depicts the project’s current narrative chapter, “Do Not Fiat,” in which “Bitcoin ASCII fights the army of five main government currencies – ad infinitum.” Interested buyers can only participate in auctions as there are no direct OTC buying opportunities.
The team has revealed that Object 0 was claimed for 0.272 BTC/3.85 ETH ($5,935), Object 1 for 0.570 BTC/8.07 ETH ($12,439), Object 2 for 0.800 BTC/11.33 ETH (17,458), and Object 3 for 4.178 BTC/59.17 ETH ($91,178), but the current auction prices may vary.
6. Ripcache’s Power Source
Ripcache, a crypto artist, has recently made their first foray into the world of Bitcoin Ordinals with a collection of four pieces of art that pay homage to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Each of the art pieces is named after one of the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air.
The collection is relatively new, starting at Inscription 26,663, and as of now, there have been no confirmed sales for the pieces. However, the artwork has generated interest from fans of the animated series and the crypto art community alike.
The pieces are expected to be highly sought after, given the popularity of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the growing trend of collecting rare and unique NFTs. The artwork by Ripcache is yet another exciting addition to the growing world of Bitcoin Ordinals, offering collectors a chance to own a piece of digital art that is both visually stunning and historically significant.
7. Bitcoin Shrooms
The Bitcoin Shrooms is a collection of NFTs featuring various mushroom designs that were inscribed on the Bitcoin chain starting at Inscription 19. This collection is considered one of the earliest Ordinals on Bitcoin, with some pieces predating even the popular Bitcoin Rocks collection.
The initial group of these shroomy NFTs are arranged in such a way that they spell out the phrase “The Shrooms R Coming.”
The team behind the Bitcoin Shrooms project remains unknown and has yet to auction or sell any of the NFTs. The project’s Discord is currently closed, but it is expected to open soon, and collectors can look forward to potentially acquiring one of these unique and rare NFTs once they become available.
The intricate and distinctive designs of the Bitcoin Shrooms make them a valuable and sought-after addition to any NFT collection.
8. The Shadow Hats
At Inscription 957, a series of NFTs called The Shadow Hats were inscribed on the Bitcoin chain. These NFTs feature mysterious figures shrouded in shadows wearing hats, and not much information is available about them.
Despite being inscribed, none of The Shadow Hats have been sold yet, and the project remains relatively quiet, with few updates from the creator or community members. Nonetheless, some people in the NFT community have taken an interest in these enigmatic figures and eagerly await any news or developments related to The Shadow Hats.
9. The Dan Files
At Inscription 953 on the Bitcoin chain, an individual known only as Dan has created a directory that lists all of their Bitcoin Ordinal collections. The themes of Dan’s creations often revolve around existentialism, philosophical contemplation, and irreverent musings.
One notable collection is Inscription 661, named “I Existed,” which features a poignant recording of Dan’s voice speaking autobiographically to an imaginary future alien or artificial intelligence audience.
Another collection, called “Hard Pills to Swallow,” includes a range of Ordinals with titles such as “Your Unrequited Love” and “Your Insignificance.” The Dan Files provide a thought-provoking addition to the world of Bitcoin NFTs.
A collection of enigmatic NFTs called Toruses made their first appearance on the Bitcoin blockchain at Inscription 341. These mysterious objects feature unique colors and designs, making them stand out from other Ordinals in the sub and above 1,000 Inscription range.
Despite the large number of Toruses in existence, little information is available about their origins or creators. They remain a mystery waiting to be unraveled by curious collectors and NFT enthusiasts.
Differences Between Ordinal Inscriptions and NFTs
While wondering ‘what are ordinal NFT inscriptions?’, you may be thinking of the many differences between ordinal inscriptions and regular NFTs. Let’s take a quick look at the distinctions of the two:
|Immutability||Bitcoin ordinals are immutable, and thus can never be altered. Therefore, once a Bitcoin ordinal is minted and documented upon the blockchain, the records can never be turned back.||However, the immutability of regular NFTs depends on their programming, and how they are minted. Some NFTs may let you change or modify its content based upon its instructions.|
|Platform||Bitcoin ordinals exist only on the Bitcoin blockchain, since they are inscripted and recorded directly on its blockchain. They can not be accessed by any user who isn’t already a part of the blockchain.||However, NFTs can be created to exist on different blockchains and can be moved across chains due to the interoperability factor. Which means they offer more flexibility as compared to Bitcoin ordinals.|
|Metadata||Bitcoin ordinals keep the metadata associated in the witness signature part of a Bitcoin transaction. So the information is embedded directly within the transaction, and the metadata is provided a high level of security and transparency.||For NFTs, this metadata is stored outside of the blockchain more often than not, which chips away at the security factor.|
|Market||The Bitcoin ordinals market is still pretty nascent, since not many know of the concept yet.||The NFT market has, in contrast, gone very popular in recent years, with more and more users joining the space everyday.|
How are Ordinals Different from NFT?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum and other Ethereum Virtual Machine blockchains often require off-chain data storage. This data is typically stored on the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a decentralized storage system similar to the blockchain’s hard drive.
To update NFTs, some projects change the metadata of individual tokens to improve image quality, and holders might be required to click the “refresh metadata” button to access these new, higher-quality images.
However, this reliance on off-chain data storage creates a significant deficiency in NFTs. They are considered “incomplete” by some, including creator Justin Rodarmor, who aimed to improve this with his new protocol. In contrast, his creation, called Ordinals, is considered “complete” because all its data is inscribed directly on-chain. This makes Ordinals digital artifacts rather than NFTs.
In addition to being fully inscribed on-chain, Ordinals do not have creator royalties attached to them, unlike most NFTs.
This new development in Bitcoin may signal a cultural shift for cryptocurrency. While NFTs have gained significant attention and popularity, Ordinals may become the new standard for digital art ownership and authentication.
In conclusion, Ordinal NFTs have emerged as an exciting new frontier in the world of crypto collectibles. As the number of Inscriptions continues to grow, the community surrounding these unique NFTs is only getting stronger. While the market for Ordinals is still in its early stages, the most notable collections are already commanding staggering prices and generating buzz among collectors and investors alike.
As more artists and creators continue to experiment with the possibilities of Ordinal NFTs, it will be fascinating to see what new and innovative collections will be inscribed onto the Bitcoin chain in the coming years.
Whether you’re a long-time crypto enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of NFTs, there’s no denying that Ordinals represents an exciting new chapter in the evolution of blockchain-based art and collectibles.
Here’s hoping you don’t have to ask, “What are Ordinal NFTs?,” anymore.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the Difference between NFT and Ordinal?
The main difference between NFT and Ordinal is that the former is smart-contract based while the latter is based on Ordinal Theory. In typical NFTs, contract owners are able to change or remove the metadata file links in them or the off-chain hosted digital art. On the other hand, ordinals are directly inscribed into the satoshis, which makes them immutable and highly secure.
2. What is an Ordinal in Crypto?
An ordinal in crypto is simply a variation of a non-fungible token (NFT) that can be created on a Bitcoin blockchain. This can be done by attaching extra data to individual satoshis, each with a unique identifier. In stark contrast to usual NFTs, an Ordinal NFT can store the digital asset within a transaction’s witness data on-chain.
3. What is an Example of a Bitcoin Ordinal?
While there many examples of Bitcoin Ordinal NFTs, a few prominent ones amongst them include:
- Ordinal Punks
- Bitcoin Rocks
- Ripcache’s Power Source
- The Dan Files
Hard Fork vs Soft Fork | What is Crypto Lending | What is Proof of Stake in Sharding | Decentralized vs Centralized Crypto | Zcash Mining | What is Layer 1 Blockchain | TVL Blockchain | How Lisk Works | EVM Virtual Machines and EVM Chains | Solidity Data Types | Slope Wallet Vulnerability | What is a Blockchain Fork | Types of Decentralization in Blockchain | Physical Layer in OSI Model | What is a Crypto Exchange | Biggest NFT Marketplace | What is Nonce in Blockchain | Types of Distributed Ledger Technology | Fiat Money Advantages | What is Whales in Crypto | Best Crypto Youtube Channels | What is Asset Tokenization | Defi Hacks | Best Dapp Browsers | Difference Between Cryptocurrency and Blockchain