Blog → Rediscovering the Ordinals Ecosystem

Rediscovering the Ordinals Ecosystem

Howard Kane
Last Updated:
December 19, 2023
August 19, 2023

Table of Contents

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Almost a year ago, we sent out a piece entitled The Biggest Bitcoin Story of 2023 So Far, which was an exploration of the then newly launched NFT technology on Bitcoin Core that the people behind Taproot and Ordinal Protocol made possible. Since then (2023 Feb), the web3 space has been rapidly consuming and incorporating these new approaches to Bitcoin utility and building on top of it, with features like minting on specific special satoshis emerging. 

While the introduction of Ordinal Theory and the first Bitcoin token standard BRC-20 opened up decentralized finance operations on the most popular blockchain, in April '23 we could read a DappRadar report saying that Ordinals NFT sales were down 98% since May '23 - the most significant month in Ordinals sales with a $452M volume. 

Merging BRC-20 with AI, cloud, communities, and other concepts we've been seeing in our Genesis data still needed help to manage to bring steady linear growth in BTC NFT adoption. 

This sounds oddly familiar because not long ago we saw the initial rise and hype of Ethereum NFT that faded out rather quickly and made most realize that putting a market on something without prospects of value creation and calling it a day isn't the optimal thing. 

The phenomenon where new technology quickly becomes overvalued, then temporarily tanks, and finds its ground later can be seen everywhere, from the tech bubble to crypto. But building with BRC-20 is still active - we keep seeing new Ordinals NFT collections and a range of tools for the new space appear every week. 

What's more, Bitcoin Frontier Fund (formerly Stacks Ventures) has launched an Ordinals-focused accelerator with mentorships and $100k seed rounds; As the number of total Ordinals inscriptions hit 21 million, the Ordinals team itself recently introduced a non-profit Open Ordinals Institute to further drive the development of BRC and beyond. 

Like with everything Bitcoin, debates started in the community that, in this case, include arguments against Ordinals' inefficient block space use and arguments for Bitcoin DeFi operations.

But, with new developments in the paradigm continuing and more people intrigued with ideas like staking or owning NFTs on Bitcoin, it doesn't seem like Ordinals will be fading away. Except if the prediction made by Jan3 CEO Samson Mow that Ordinals will disappear is true.

With this, the following is a list of interesting Ordinals projects we've discovered while researching for the Genesis newsletter.

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Ordinals. The protocol, the original inscription dashboard, the theory, and the documentation.

Ordinals Rocks. The first-ever NFT collection on Ordinal Protocol that uses Taproot and features cartoon rocks.

Taproot Wizards - one of the pioneering BTC NFT projects that started it all. It was responsible for the largest block in Bitcoin history from the first mint of an NFT wizard. 

OrdSwap - the first and largest marketplace for all Bitcoin NFTs where people can inscribe or browse existing collections.


Ordinals Wallet - the “main” Ordinals wallet released by the core team of Ordinals. 

UniSat - an open-source browser-extension wallet for Ordinals that offers inscriptions, buys and sells, and makes it possible for users to view purchases before transactions are finalized. 

NFT Collections

Bitcoin Punks - a Bitcoin NFT collection of 10,000 punks nearly identical to the original CryptoPunks.

OnChainMonkey - a popular Ordinals NFT profile-picture collection featuring monkeys

Bitcoin Bandits - one of the early Bitcoin NFT collections that has lore, virtual environments for NFTs to appear, features pixelated bandits, and has brought an Ordinal Inscription Service for minting.

Nakamoto Whales - an Ordinals NFT collection based on The Catalina Whale Mixer project where 5 Catalina represents 1 Nakamoto Ordinals NFT. Users are rewarded Nakamoto NFTs through staking.

InscribedPepes - an influential and pioneering Ordinals collection consisting of Pepe the Frog art items.

Ordinal Faces - an early Ordinals NFT collection of pixelated, animated face drawings.

Bitcoin Shrooms - the first pixelated Ordinals collection inspired by Mario Brothers.

Satoshibles - originally an ETH collection that now has an Ordinals Bot for inscribing NFTs on Bitcoin.

NFT Marketplaces

OpenOrdex - an open-source Ordinals NFT marketplace with the unique feature of partially signed transactions. With their 2000s Windows-like web interface, NFT traders can explore inscriptions, and buy and sell Ordinals with 0 fees. - another open Ordinals marketplace for browsing and creating new NFT collections. Integration with Stacks included.

Ultra Rares - a coming-soon Ordinals NFT marketplace.


Ordinal Hub - a website featuring every activity that takes place on the Ordinals Protocol, offering fun analytics dashboards.

Ordinals Directory - a website that tracks Ordinals Protocol operations, presents everything via a dashboard and offers a notification service for being alerted of transactions. 

The list includes only the vast majority of Ordinals projects we’ve encountered while going through the data items our systems produced as emerging startups. If you want to explore the Ordinals/BRC-20 ecosystem more, a good place to start is one of the Ordinals project directories listed above. 

To sum up, the work that Casey Rodarmor, the creator of Ordinals, and his team have done for the utilization of Bitcoin is eye-opening and makes one think about what else might be possible. 

There are valid criticisms of Ordinals bringing up block size issues and resource usage, but they are often pushed by people who want Bitcoin to remain static and not evolve to a more universal system with regard to everything that can be done in DeFi else-chain. 

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