How to Create Your First Bitcoin Ordinal Inscriptions: An In-Depth Guide for 2023

Have you heard about the new craze for provably scarce Bitcoin digital artifacts called ordinal inscriptions? In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explain exactly what ordinal inscriptions are, why they‘re gaining so much momentum, and provide a step-by-step walkthrough for creating your own Bitcoin NFTs in 2023.

Whether you‘re a crypto pro looking to stay on the cutting edge of web3 innovation or a total newbie eager to mint your first ordinals, we‘ve got you covered. Let‘s dive in!

What Are Bitcoin Ordinal Inscriptions?

Ordinal inscriptions allow you to create unique digital artifacts with proof of scarcity baked into the Bitcoin blockchain. Each inscription anchors data like images, text, or GIFs to the hash of a Bitcoin transaction.

The key technology enabling this is Taproot. Adopted in November 2021, Taproot introduced a new Script type to Bitcoin that powers advanced smart contract functionality like ordinals.

By embedding data into Taproot output scripts, ordinal inscriptions become provably scarce NFTs tracked on Bitcoin‘s ultra-secure blockchain. This gives them the same transparency and immutability as Bitcoin itself!

It‘s a novel use case that didn‘t exist before Taproot. Over 140,000 ordinals have already been created since the Ordinals protocol launched in January 2023.

Why Are Ordinal Inscriptions Gaining Popularity?

There are several key reasons driving the excitement around Bitcoin ordinal NFTs:

  • Scarcity and transparency: Each ordinal inscription is provably unique and tracked on Bitcoin‘s trusted blockchain – the gold standard for transparency and security.
  • Ownership: Ordinals are self-custodied assets that you fully own. No centralized NFT platforms or token-based blockchains required.
  • Censorship resistance: Inscriptions are irreversibly recorded on Bitcoin‘s censorship-resistant blockchain.
  • Programmability: Taproot enables sophisticated smart contracts and programmability not possible before. The possibilities are just being discovered.
  • Novelty: Ordinals present a new way to have fun with Bitcoin and NFTs! People are eager to mint rare ordinals and flex their collections.

As creators realize the benefits of uncensorable NFTs on Bitcoin, we‘re likely to see ordinals continue gaining traction through 2023.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Ordinal Inscriptions

Ready to mint your own provably scarce ordinals? Here‘s what you‘ll need to do:

1. Get an Ordinals-Compatible Bitcoin Wallet

Since the Ordinals protocol is so new, only a handful of crypto wallets currently have full support. You‘ll need one that can generate Taproot addresses.

For beginners, we recommend a no-code wallet that handles the complexities behind the scenes:

  • Hiro Wallet (Web/Browser extension): Open source wallet great for beginners. SegWit-native so transactions are faster/cheaper.
  • Xverse Wallet (Mobile/Web): Custodial wallet built specifically for trading Bitcoin NFTs.
  • Ordinals Wallet (Web-only for now): Specialized ordinal wallet but currently in beta.

For advanced users who are comfortable with code, Sparrow Wallet can be customized for ordinals. The Ordinals project has published a step-by-step guide on how to configure it.

The key is ensuring your wallet supports Taproot addresses. This enables it to hold ordinal inscriptions.

2. Choose Your Inscription Method

Once you have a compatible wallet set up, it‘s time to create your ordinal! You have two main options:

No-Code Inscription Services

This is the easiest route. Services like Gamma and Ordinals Bot handle the coding required behind the scenes. You simply provide the data, recipient address, and transaction fee.

Let‘s walk through how to mint an ordinal NFT using Gamma:

  1. Select your data type – image, text, or GIF up to 60kb. GIFs can be up to 200kb.

Gamma data type selection

  1. Upload your image or enter your text. Get creative with rare memes!

Uploading image on Gamma

  1. Choose your transaction fee. Higher fees get inscribed faster when the network is congested.

Gamma transaction fee slider

  1. Enter the recipient‘s Taproot address where you want the ordinal sent.

Providing recipient address in Gamma

  1. Pay the inscription fee. You‘ll get a QR code or wallet address to send the exact BTC amount to.

Gamma inscription fee payment

  1. Wait for your confirmation email! Inscriptions take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on network congestion.

Gamma confirmation email example
And voila! Your provably scarce Bitcoin ordinal will be immutably inscribed and sent to your wallet.

Ordinals Bot works similarly but is more expensive. You can only inscribe images (no text) and provide the recipient address after paying. The UI is contained on one page which some may prefer over Gamma‘s multi-step flow.

Code-Based Inscription

For advanced Bitcoiners comfortable with code, services like Sparrow Wallet allow minting ordinals by writing your own Taproot scripts. This gives you maximum flexibility and control but requires coding expertise.

The Ordinals project has published a great step-by-step guide on how to customize Sparrow for ordinal inscriptions.

Here‘s a high-level overview of the process:

  1. Install and sync Sparrow wallet with Bitcoin core
  2. Import a Taproot descriptor wallet
  3. Construct a Taproot output script embedding your chosen ordinal data
  4. Sign a transaction with your script and broadcast it to the network

While more complex, this allows complete customizability for your ordinal designs.

3. Wait for Your Inscription to Complete

Once your transaction with the inscription fee is confirmed, the inscription process begins.

How long it takes depends on the fee level you chose and current network congestion. During busy times, high-priority fees ensure fastest inscription.

Here are average timeframes based on Gamma‘s fee tiers:

  • Economy (10-50 sat/vB): 1-7 days
  • Regular (50-100 sat/vB): 12-24 hours
  • Priority (100-200 sat/vB): 1-12 hours
  • Lightning (200+ sat/vB): Under 1 hour

Be patient, connect your wallet, and check for your new ordinal once the inscription is complete!

Tips for Newcomers Creating Their First Ordinals

If you‘re new to Bitcoin and NFTs, here are some tips:

  • Start with small ordinal data like text or simple images as you‘re getting the hang of it.
  • Use a no-code wallet and inscription service to avoid any coding.
  • Review the wallet setup guides carefully and triple check the addresses.
  • Mint your first ordinals to your own wallet before sending them elsewhere.
  • Pay higher priority fees if you need inscriptions done urgently.
  • Have fun coming up with clever ordinal designs and flexing your new Bitcoin NFTs!

The Future Looks Bright for Bitcoin Ordinals

Ordinal inscriptions are just getting started. As creators realize the benefits of uncensorable NFTs anchored to Bitcoin‘s rock-solid blockchain, we expect ordinals to continue gaining traction.

Additional wallet support, new inscription services, and a growing community of collectors will drive further adoption. And Taproot makes room for even more innovation down the road!

Hopefully this guide has armed you with everything you need to start minting your own ordinal inscriptions. As you create your first Bitcoin NFTs, join the conversation and explore the new possibilities enabled by this technology.

Similar Posts