This summer the prophecy will be fulfilled…

A Brief Introduction to Ordinals

As mentioned in our previous post Bitcoin v Ethereum, developers have recently enabled the Bitcoin blockchain to host a type of NFTs, something that had previously been restricted to younger blockchains such as Ethereum. This new technology is known as Ordinals Protocol, and in this article we will give more detail on this exciting development and Trevor’s adoption of it.

A Bitcoin ordinal featuring Azrael, one of 21 characters that will be part of Trevor’s Archangel Collection, to be released for auction on Tribul on 7 June 2024

The smallest unit of Bitcoin is known as a satoshi (equal to 0.00000001 bitcoin). Ordinals Protocol allows an individual identifier to be assigned to each satoshi as it is created, thus making each unique. Data (such as artwork) can then be recorded onto a satoshi in a process known as ‘inscribing’, turning the satoshi into a non-fungible token called an ‘ordinal’. Just as with other NFTs, the ordinal can be exchanged between collectors, with transactions recorded on the blockchain.

An advantage that ordinals have over other types of NFTs is that its inscribed artwork is stored entirely on the Bitcoin blockchain. Many other types of NFT store their artwork apart from their host blockchain via a link to an externally-stored image file. This difference guarantees the greater security of ordinals, ensuring that they cannot be altered or disappear due to the external host becoming inactive.

Just a small sample of the CryptoAngels Army, a collection of 7,777 ordinals that will be released on OrdinalsBot on 7 August 2024

Of course, Trevor has embraced this new development, and ordinals will take centre stage in his upcoming project ‘CryptoAngels’. If you would like to know more, all the details – including a technical help guide for those new to purchasing ordinals – are on our dedicated CryptoAngels site.

A reminder of some of the terms used in this article:

  • Bitcoin – the cryptocurrency of the first blockchain
  • Blockchain – a decentralised online record of transactions in cryptocurrency
  • Ethereum – the most common blockchain with which NFTs are created
  • Inscription – the creation of an ordinal on a satoshi
  • NFT (non-fungible token) – a technology that allows people to own and trade digital items, such as digital art
  • Ordinal – a type of NFT minted on the Bitcoin blockchain
  • Ordinals Protocol – the system by which ordinals can be inscribed
  • Satoshi – the smallest unit of Bitcoin, on which ordinals can be inscribed

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