What are inscribed on Bitcoin?

Tokenview.io
3 min readJan 29, 2024

Ordinals are means of creating Bitcoin NFTs by attaching data such as images, videos, and more to an individual satoshi on Bitcoin blockchain.

From the day the first Oridinals inscribed on Bitcoin at Dec 15 2022, there are lots of Ordinals that have been minted and transferred by end users, developers, and those who have strong interests on the Bitcoin NFTs. But do you know how many types of Ordinals are inscribed? This article will give you some draft idea.

How many categories of Ordinals?

There are 3 categories of Oridinals in total for now.

  1. Ordinals

This is the orignal Oridinals, the inscription following the oridinal protocol. They could be text, images, videos, html, their goal is to inscribe “artifacts” onto satoshi which is valued by the ratity when inscription born. The total number of satoshi is 21,000,000 * 100,000,000.

You will be able to find Ordinals inscription and Ordinals transaction from Bitcoin network.

2. BRC-20 Tokens

This is a token protocol, defined to leverage ERC-20’s contract functionalities. Currently this is a “paper agreement” as no live code running on Bitcoin. It has a distinct feature, it is “TEXT”, using “TEXT” to describe it, not image, not videos, not other format.

You will be able to find BRC-20 Deployment, BRC-20 Mint and BRC-20 Transfer from Bitcoin network. Normally BRC-20 Mint and BRC-20 Transfer will be displayed together with Ordinals inscription and Ordinals transaction, and differenciated by Type.

3. BRC-20-like Tokens

The definition of the BRC-20 token standard format is a template, there are lots of other token formats are generated based on BRC-20, like BRC20-s, BRC-420. These tokens are “TEXT” too.

You will be able to find BRC-20-like token inscription and transaction from Ordinals inscription and Ordinals transaction on Bitcoin network.

How many types of artifacts?

There are lot of formats for artifacts, Ordinals can be text, images, videos etc, BRC-20 and BRC-20-like tokens are only text.

image/png

This is ordinals pixel art, lossless compression, image quality is usually much higher than jpeg. Example.

image/webp

webp lossless images have 26% smaller in size compared to pngs. Example.

image/jpeg

Lossy compression for digital images. Example.

image/svg+xml

Two-dimensional graphics in XML, scalable, and do not lose any quality if they are zoomed or resized. Example.

image/gif

A raster file format, allow images or frames to be combined, creating basic animations. Example.

text/json

Text-based format for representing structured data based on json object syntax, this is usually used by BRC-20 token. Example.

text/html

The content designed to be displayed in a web browser. Example.

text/plain

Normal text, a char sequence. Example.

application/json

JSON format text sequence. Example.

model/gltf-binary

Format for three-dimensional scenes and models. Example.

Feel free to give feedbacks if you find more stories about ordinals list.

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