Earlier this year, Ordinals — a unique inscription on the smallest unit of a Bitcoin, called a Satoshi — emerged as a controversial new development. Dismissed by some as spam and embraced by others as a way to bring BRC-20 tokens and NFTs to Bitcoin, the technology stimulated a flurry of developments.
Now there is excitement around “recursive inscriptions,” which is a very confusing yet potentially much more powerful development. Recursive Inscriptions essentially promise to allow more complex functionality to be built on Bitcoin’s blockchain, akin to smart contracts on Ethereum.
Some believe recursive inscriptions could see Ordinals develop from NFTs and “digital artifacts” to underpin a full-blown DeFi ecosystem on Bitcoin very soon. Others are confident it will enable Bitcoin to take on decentralized storage provider IFPS. One person Magazine spoke to believes it will eventually lead to an interconnected supercomputer being built on-chain.
Danny Yang, a Stanford PhD, creator of OCM Dimensions and Bitcoiner since 2013, says recursive inscriptions unlock the next evolution of Bitcoin:
“People won’t believe it when it’s presented to them now. It’s not going to operate exactly like Uniswap, but other high-value digital assets will emerge on Bitcoin. That’s what Ordinals and recursive inscriptions will evolve into. They will become a new form of programmable assets and code.”
These tech developments — while at a very early and speculative stage — are making Bitcoin interesting again. A Bitcoin maxi friend complained to me that I never write about Bitcoin. In truth, there’s been very little new to write about until recently.
“That’s pretty true,” Yang agrees.
85% of on-chain bitcoin transactions in the past 24 hours are ordinals related
EIGHTY FIVE PERCENT
the main usecase of the bitcoin chain is ORDINALS pic.twitter.com/PCZt4if5jf
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) August 20, 2023
Recursive support switched on in June