Bitcoin Ordinals (ORDI), a blockchain-based platform known for its unique inscriptions, is on the verge of a significant update. Introduced in January 2023 by Casey Rodarmor, a programmer and artist, as reported by Blockchain.News, Bitcoin Ordinals serve as a system for numbering and tracking individual satoshis, transforming them into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The platform has now proposed an addition of metadata to these inscriptions.
What are Bitcoin Ordinals?
Bitcoin Ordinals are unique in the blockchain space, offering a way to inscribe digital content directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain. They are based on ordinal theory, which assigns a unique number to each satoshi based on when it was mined. This allows for the tracking, transferring, and imbuing of individual satoshis with meaning. Unlike traditional NFTs on platforms like Ethereum, Bitcoin Ordinals store content or art directly on-chain.
Casey’s recent proposal aims to introduce plain-text key-value pairs as metadata for inscriptions. Made public on September 5, 2023, the proposal is “intentionally simple, supporting only plain-text key-value pairs,” covering “the vast majority of use-cases” and designed to be “human readable and easy to display without a schema.”
No Retroactive Changes
When asked about the possibility of retroactively adding metadata to existing inscriptions, Casey clarified,
Nope, unfortunately not. Inscriptions are immutable, so it is not possible to add metadata to old inscriptions.
Trading and Wallets
As Bitcoin Ordinals grow in popularity, trading tools are emerging to facilitate the buying and selling of these digital artifacts. Ordinals Wallet and Hiro Wallet, launched in February 2023, are among the trusted platforms that allow users to store, send, and trade Ordinals.
Implications for the Blockchain Industry
The move to add metadata to inscriptions could set a precedent for other blockchain platforms seeking to enhance the utility and readability of their data. However, the immutability factor remains a double-edged sword, offering both security and limitations.
Bitcoin Ordinals are a burgeoning technology with growing use-cases, including porting Ethereum NFT collections to Bitcoin. As demand increases, the ecosystem is expected to mature, offering more user-friendly journeys.
Image source: Shutterstock