- Mark Goodwin’s opinion editorial discusses the two kinds of numbers: ordinal and cardinal.
- Ordinals is an open-source project from Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor which uses an ordinal number to track the lineage of individual satoshis.
- The Bitcoin network contains a series of peer-to-peer databases generated by integers which can be interpreted as a conceptual social lens.
What are Ordinal and Cardinal Numbers?
Ordinal numbers denote rank or position in a system, while cardinal numbers tally how many units of something there are. For example, the block height in bitcoin terms would be an ordinal number. The amount of satoshis in a transaction fee would be a cardinal number.
What is Ordinals?
Ordinals is an open-source project from Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor consisting of two distinct parts; Ordinal Theory and Inscriptions. Ordinal Theory is an arbitrary but sensible framework for tracking the lineage of individual satoshis using an ordinal number it acquired at issuance. At current difficulty, miners use this reserved but otherwise empty input as extra nonce space for hashing.
What is the Conceptual Social Lens?
The Bitcoin network is a series of peer-to-peer databases full of integers that contain the current state of the protocol. This can be viewed through a conceptual social lens with rules that explain how individual satoshis are theoretically distributed after a bitcoin transaction. Every satoshi is given its own unique ordinal number starting from 0 and going up to just below 2.1 quadrillion, with 100,000,000 satoshi groupings being referred to as “a bitcoin.”
How Does It Work?
When a valid block is found, the lucky miner may assign 625 million satoshis to themselves in the coinbase transaction without any input. This assigned number will continue until counting up to just below 2.1 quadrillion with 100 million satoshi groupings conventionally referred to as “a bitcoin”.