In an update to the Bitcoin protocol Ordinals, the newly appointed chief maintainer, Raph, has merged an update titled “Recursive Inscriptions” (Update no. 2167) into the Ordinals codebase on GitHub. This update, originally proposed by Ordinals creator, Casey Rodarmor, has unlocked several powerful uses by permitting inscriptions to request the content of other inscriptions through a unique syntax, “/-/content/:inscription_id”.
According to developer Leonidas, this simple change has opened up innovative ways to interact with the Bitcoin network. One use case is in creating Profile Picture (PFP) collections. Instead of engraving 10,000 individual JPEG files for a PFP collection, which would be extremely costly, it is now possible to inscribe 200 features from the collection and create 10,000 inscriptions. Each inscription uses a small piece of code to request the features and programmatically render the image.
This ingenious approach allows artworks to be stored on-chain in a more efficient manner. For instance, in the case of Bitcoin Apes, this update could potentially save over $1 million in transaction fees.
Furthermore, the Ordinals update also allows many code packages to be fully inscribed onto the Bitcoin chain. Since the content being called is code (in text form), it is of minimal size. This breakthrough facilitates inscriptions to bypass the Bitcoin block size limit of 4MB. This could potentially enable the entire complex 3D video game to be fully on-chained onto Bitcoin.
Ordinals is a protocol associated with Bitcoin. It allows for “inscriptions” (similar to NFT) or data entries to be added to the Bitcoin blockchain. These inscriptions can contain any type of data, including text, images, or code, allowing for a wide range of applications beyond mere cryptocurrency transactions. The recent update has now significantly broadened the scope and potential applications of this technology.