Five Things to Know About Ordinals: Bitcoin NFTs

Grails or graffiti?

It’s the wild wild west all over again.

About a week ago, Ordinals (“Bitcoin NFTs”) started spreading across NFT Twitter like wildfire— though some would say more like the plague.

Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor created Ordinals and released it to the world on January 21. He has since been making the rounds, educating people about these on-chain digital artifacts in individual satoshis.

Here are five things to know about Ordinals.


No OpenSea, no Blur, no smart contracts, no nothin’. That’s right: if you’re going to buy something out of whatever Discord you’ve found yourself in, you gotta trust whoever is sending it. OTC (over-the-counter) only. 😵‍💫

To buy, you pay the person the asking price (in ETH or BTC usually), and they (hopefully) send it to your Ordinal-compatible wallet. Jesus take the wheel.

You can bet that people are already working on some creative solutions for this. Devs are looking to build offer-fulfilling systems in order to add some trustlessness.


Unless you are running a full Bitcoin node on your computer, it is currently extremely risky to transfer your Ordinal out of your Electrum (more risky) or Sparrow (less risky) wallet to another one.

I have an Ordinal by itself on an Electrum wallet (got it before I knew about Sparrow), and I’m waiting until the tech advances enough to safely transfer or sell it. Ordinal Wallet is also coming soon.

Because of these limitations, many people leave their paid Ordinal with the original inscriber for added liquidity speed. That’s right— people are trusting inscribers to keep it in escrow until a deal is ready, and usually cut them in on the deal a bit for their service. But please be careful out there, because not all are to be trusted.


There are now well over 14,500 Ordinal inscriptions on Bitcoin. There was a rush to get under the first 10K on Monday, spiking gas fees to wild levels. Anyone can inscribe something on Bitcoin; it doesn’t mean a sale has been associated with it.

Generally, collectors value earlier inscriptions more than others, due to perceived historic value. Bitcoin Rocks were the first project on Ordinals, and have inscription numbers in the first few hundred. Ordinal Punks have numbers under 650.

Will collectors continue to seek out new projects, even if they’re inscribed over the 10K mark? Or will 10K and under remain king?


A large number of Bitcoin supporters are not happy about this. They argue that Ordinals goes against the original vision that Satoshi had for Bitcoin, and that all the inscribing is running up gas fees and bloating the network (which is also not good for the environment).

Some have referred to Ordinals as graffiti, a spam attack, and have called for a soft fork to fork them off.

However, they are likely here to stay, all thanks to the recent Taproot upgrade on Bitcoin, which removed the size limit of adding data to blocks.

Bitcoin maxi meme


ETH whales and influencers have entered the chat, and they are buying these digital artifacts on Bitcoin.

  • An Ordinal Punk sold the night of Feb 7 for an all-time high 2.3 BTC (“mint price” was .01 BTC). That is 31.9 ETH or $53,422… and many others have sold for over 1.5-2 BTC.

  • An Inscribed Pepe was auctioned for 1.16 BTC, inscribed within the first 2,500.

  • Bitcoin Rocks have sold for around 1 BTC each. Some Ordinal Loops, another sub-1K inscription collection, have gone for ~0.6-1.2 BTC.

Remember, many can’t even safely transfer or sell yet, so there is currently a supply shock. These collections are usually 100 max because of the high cost of inscribing on Bitcoin. This is of course very different than the 10K collections on ETH.

So…are we early on this? Or have we all just lost the plot?

Although buying Ordinals is fun, use your best judgment, because the scammers are already en route. 👀 If you want to dip your toes into this world, starting in the Ordinals Discord is the best place to be. For more technical info, dive into the docs.

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