Ordinals Wallets

The rise of Bitcoin Ordinals

On January 21st 2023, Bitcoin Core software engineer Casey Rodarmor launched the ordinal protocol, essentially enabling NFTs directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. Unlike Ethereum non-fungible tokens (ETH NFTs), Ordinals data lives directly on-chain and they don't require file storage systems such as IPFS. The data is inscribed directly on individual satoshis.

Until then, Bitcoin NFTs had only been possible through Stacks, a blockchain network that leverages Bitcoin's high security while allowing the creation of smart contracts, NFTs and dApps. Stacks is a layer 1.5 for Bitcoin with its own set of rules and cryptocurrency (STX).

This new development and the emergence of true digital artifacts, or Bitcoin NFTs, caused a lot of excitement and controversy within the crypto ecosystem. Unlike regular NFTs where the image lives off-chain, Bitcoin Ordinals have their data inscribed directly on-chain, making them highly valuable digital collectibles. The idea of bringing digital assets directly to the Bitcoin network has been trending, and it was only a matter of time before Web3 developers started to fill the demand for user-friendly interfaces for Ordinals.

How to inscribe an Ordinal

The process of actually creating an ordinal inscription (also called inscribing) is highly technical, complex, and time consuming. In order to inscribe Ordinals, users must download Bitcoin core and run a fully synced Bitcoin node, which is costly and not quite beginner-friendly. After the sync is completed, the next step is to create an Ordinals wallet and send some satoshis to its address.

Stacks' leading Bitcoin NFT marketplace Gamma.io quickly released its no-code Ordinals launchpad, allowing anyone with a bitcoin address to inscribe Ordinals, and making it a lot easier for users. If you're interested in joining the Gamma community, find us on Twitter and Discord!

Ordinals marketplaces and inscription tools include Gamma, Magic Eden and Ordinalsbot.

NFT wallets such as Xverse Wallet and Leather Wallet (formerly Hiro wallet) announced Bitcoin Ordinal supported functionality, making it easier to set up a Bitcoin address for your Ordinal. Gamma supports Xverse Wallet, Leather Wallet, Unisat, Sparrow, OKX and Phantom wallet.

Setting up a Bitcoin Ordinal Wallet

In order to inscribe and keep Ordinals, you will need a Bitcoin Ordinal wallet with a taproot wallet address. That wallet will need "coin control" capabilities, in order to avoid spending your Ordinal NFT satoshis on transaction fees.

It's a good idea to use a new and unused ordinals address to receive your inscription. This way, you will know for sure that the ordinal containing your inscription will be the only satoshi associated with that address, because Ordinals are sent using bitcoin transactions. This will help to ensure your wallet is "forward-compatible" with new developments for managing ordinal inscriptions.

Bitcoin wallets such as Sparrow wallet (quick setup guide here) can be used to create new and unused Taproot addresses. Please note that if you use these options, you should not use the wallet you create to send BTC, unless you perform manual coin-selection to avoid sending ordinals as payment or fees. You should also be sure to set up your wallet with Taproot-based addresses. Taproot addresses can still receive bitcoin from other Bitcoin addresses. You can also use the specialized command line viewer if you have the technical knowledge to do so, which you can access from the Ordinal Theory Handbook. Let's take a look at some of the best Ordinals wallets.

Xverse wallet

The Bitcoin Web3 Xverse Wallet quickly launched support for Ordinal functionality for iOs, Android and the Chrome Browser extension. A few months later, Xverse announced the integration of Ledger hardware wallet support for Ordinals and BRC20 tokens.

You can easily process BTC payments to inscribe Ordinals and safely store them in a wallet, without risking accidentally sending them away as a satoshi payment. Users need to own some BTC to pay for transactions, which can also be purchased in-app using a fiat on-ramp service.

Once the ordinal is inscribed and sent to their taproot address, users can find their inscriptions inside their Xverse NFT collection. Xverse also lets Bitcoin users interact with Stacks, with plans to introduce instant payments via the lightning network.

Leather Wallet

Just a day before Xverse wallet, Leather Wallet (previously Hiro Wallet), another Bitcoin focused Web3 wallet and Stacks wallet, rolled out inscriptions to its testnet.

Leather Wallet functions similarly to Xverse, with Gamma doing the inscribing and the Ordinals being deposited directly into a user's account. Once the Ordinal has been sent to the user's taproot address, they can see them in the "Collectibles" section of the wallet.

Leather Wallet CEO stated that the platform will provide extensive support for both Stacks NFTs and Ordinal inscriptions.

In 2024, Leather introduced support for Bitcoin Runes --- Bitcoin's new fungible Token Standard --- shortly after the Runes protocol was launched. Now, Leather users can view their Rune token balances within the extension and connect to platforms such as OrdinalsBot and Luminex to etch, mint, and transfer Runes.

Ordinals Wallet

The Ordinals wallet is a digital wallet platform that provides a secure means for users to store, sell, buy, and trade Bitcoin Ordinals. The process of purchasing Bitcoin Ordinals on the platform is simple and user-friendly. Users are required to create an account and deposit funds into their wallet to get started. BTC can be purchased on crypto exchanges such as Binance or Coinbase, using fiat or other cryptocurrencies.

Phantom Wallet

Phantom Wallet is a popular multi-chain wallet, originally designed for the Solana blockchain. It has now expanded its support to include the Bitcoin ecosystem, and BRC-20 tokens, in addition to Ethereum and Polygon. This development makes Phantom Wallet a versatile tool for managing a wide range of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Ordinals, NFTs, and DeFi applications

OKX Wallet

OKX Wallet is a multi-chain crypto wallet known for its robust security features and support for a wide range of digital assets. Originally designed to handle major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), it now supports Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens, expanding its utility in the crypto ecosystem.

OKX Wallet provides staking and yield farming capabilities, allowing users to earn passive income through their token holdings.

The Bottom Line

As Ordinals have gained popularity, the number of Ordinals wallets has grown significantly, with wallets such as Metamask in collaboration with Generation XYZ adding support. Any of the wallets mentioned above surpass the expectations of even skilled users in these criteria, with most excelling particularly in a few key areas.

When choosing a wallet, users should consider a number of factors, such full interoperability with Ordinals assets (view, transfer, buy, sell, store); easy processes for creating new Ordinal inscriptions; integration with dApps and Web3; robust security features, private key management and authentication methods; management of a diverse digital asset portfolio from one wallet: popularity in the cryptocurrency market

Ultimately, it is up to the reader to determine which option best suits their needs.

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