It's Recursive All The Way Down

Ok, one final post on Bitcoin Ordinals, at least until next week when some other extraordinary innovations make me want to write about it.  I want to highlight a new type of Bitcoin inscription-making waves: recursive inscriptions. Recursive inscriptions are inscriptions that call and use data from other inscriptions.

As readers know, there is a hard limit of 4MB for inscriptions. The hard size limit is a very limiting factor when it comes to inscriptions and has meant that existing inscriptions are often tiny compared to other NFT offerings. Recursive inscriptions, meanwhile, allow users to break data up into chunks and store these chunks of data on separate sats. Once the data is on different sats, other inscriptions can call the data to combine it. So far, people have been experimenting with this to create high-resolution images on Bitcoin, basic arcade games, more efficient data storage for Inscriptions, and generative art.

The current crop of recursive inscriptions are pretty basic, but the technology offers a lot of promise for Bitcoin. Developers could theoretically operate complex code directly on-chain – with software linking to inscription data through a daisy chain of calls. Some even speculate this could allow for more expressive smart contracts on Bitcoin! And, as someone fascinated by BRC-20s, I am now waiting on someone to figure out a way to leverage recursive inscriptions to bring more functionality to the burgeoning token standard.

Watching how Ordinals have kicked off a new wave of innovation on Bitcoin has been astounding – which couldn’t have come at a better time. Bitcoin was close to becoming irrelevant to many market participants. Non-government money and self custody was a tired narrative (for now), and the hardline stances of many in the community were pushing others away. But Ordinals have brought new narratives, uses, tech, and a new culture of innovation to Bitcoin. I expect to write many of these posts detailing future developments on Bitcoin.

Leave your comment...

Hmm it’s quiet here. Be the first to comment on this post!