Ordinal Inscription Guide

Individual sats can be inscribed with arbitrary content, creating Bitcoin-native digital artifacts that can be held in a Bitcoin wallet and transferred using Bitcoin transactions. Inscriptions are as durable, immutable, secure, and decentralized as Bitcoin itself.

Working with inscriptions requires a Bitcoin full node, to give you a view of the current state of the Bitcoin blockchain, and a wallet that can create inscriptions and perform sat control when constructing transactions to send inscriptions to another wallet.

Bitcoin Core provides both a Bitcoin full node and wallet. However, the Bitcoin Core wallet cannot create inscriptions and does not perform sat control.

This requires ord, the ordinal utility. ord doesn't implement its own wallet, so ord wallet subcommands interact with Bitcoin Core wallets.

This guide covers:

  1. Installing Bitcoin Core
  2. Syncing the Bitcoin blockchain
  3. Creating a Bitcoin Core wallet
  4. Using ord wallet receive to receive sats
  5. Creating inscriptions with ord wallet inscribe
  6. Sending inscriptions with ord wallet send
  7. Receiving inscriptions with ord wallet receive
  8. Batch inscribing with ord wallet inscribe --batch

Getting Help

If you get stuck, try asking for help on the Ordinals Discord Server, or checking GitHub for relevant issues and discussions.

Installing Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Core is available from bitcoincore.org on the download page.

Making inscriptions requires Bitcoin Core 24 or newer.

This guide does not cover installing Bitcoin Core in detail. Once Bitcoin Core is installed, you should be able to run bitcoind -version successfully from the command line. Do NOT use bitcoin-qt.

Configuring Bitcoin Core

ord requires Bitcoin Core's transaction index and rest interface.

To configure your Bitcoin Core node to maintain a transaction index, add the following to your bitcoin.conf:


Or, run bitcoind with -txindex:

bitcoind -txindex

Details on creating or modifying your bitcoin.conf file can be found here.

Syncing the Bitcoin Blockchain

To sync the chain, run:

bitcoind -txindex

…and leave it running until getblockcount:

bitcoin-cli getblockcount

agrees with the block count on a block explorer like the mempool.space block explorer. ord interacts with bitcoind, so you should leave bitcoind running in the background when you're using ord.

The blockchain takes about 600GB of disk space. If you have an external drive you want to store blocks on, use the configuration option blocksdir=<external_drive_path>. This is much simpler than using the datadir option because the cookie file will still be in the default location for bitcoin-cli and ord to find.


Make sure you can access bitcoind with bitcoin-cli -getinfo and that it is fully synced.

If bitcoin-cli -getinfo returns Could not connect to the server, bitcoind is not running.

Make sure rpcuser, rpcpassword, or rpcauth are NOT set in your bitcoin.conf file. ord requires using cookie authentication. Make sure there is a file .cookie in your bitcoin data directory.

If bitcoin-cli -getinfo returns Could not locate RPC credentials, then you must specify the cookie file location. If you are using a custom data directory (specifying the datadir option), then you must specify the cookie location like bitcoin-cli -rpccookiefile=<your_bitcoin_datadir>/.cookie -getinfo. When running ord you must specify the cookie file location with --cookie-file=<your_bitcoin_datadir>/.cookie.

Make sure you do NOT have disablewallet=1 in your bitcoin.conf file. If bitcoin-cli listwallets returns Method not found then the wallet is disabled and you won't be able to use ord.

Make sure txindex=1 is set. Run bitcoin-cli getindexinfo and it should return something like

  "txindex": {
    "synced": true,
    "best_block_height": 776546

If it only returns {}, txindex is not set. If it returns "synced": false, bitcoind is still creating the txindex. Wait until "synced": true before using ord.

If you have maxuploadtarget set it can interfere with fetching blocks for ord index. Either remove it or set whitebind=

Installing ord

The ord utility is written in Rust and can be built from source. Pre-built binaries are available on the releases page.

You can install the latest pre-built binary from the command line with:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -fsLS https://ordinals.com/install.sh | bash -s

Once ord is installed, you should be able to run:

ord --version

Which prints out ord's version number.

Creating a Bitcoin Core Wallet

ord uses Bitcoin Core to manage private keys, sign transactions, and broadcast transactions to the Bitcoin network.

To create a Bitcoin Core wallet named ord for use with ord, run:

ord wallet create

Receiving Sats

Inscriptions are made on individual sats, using normal Bitcoin transactions that pay fees in sats, so your wallet will need some sats.

Get a new address from your ord wallet by running:

ord wallet receive

And send it some funds.

You can see pending transactions with:

ord wallet transactions

Once the transaction confirms, you should be able to see the transactions outputs with ord wallet outputs.

Creating Inscription Content

Sats can be inscribed with any kind of content, but the ord wallet only supports content types that can be displayed by the ord block explorer.

Additionally, inscriptions are included in transactions, so the larger the content, the higher the fee that the inscription transaction must pay.

Inscription content is included in transaction witnesses, which receive the witness discount. To calculate the approximate fee that an inscribe transaction will pay, divide the content size by four and multiply by the fee rate.

Inscription transactions must be less than 400,000 weight units, or they will not be relayed by Bitcoin Core. One byte of inscription content costs one weight unit. Since an inscription transaction includes not just the inscription content, limit inscription content to less than 400,000 weight units. 390,000 weight units should be safe.

Creating Inscriptions

To create an inscription with the contents of FILE, run:

ord wallet inscribe --fee-rate FEE_RATE --file FILE

Ord will output two transactions IDs, one for the commit transaction, and one for the reveal transaction, and the inscription ID. Inscription IDs are of the form TXIDiN, where TXID is the transaction ID of the reveal transaction, and N is the index of the inscription in the reveal transaction.

The commit transaction commits to a tapscript containing the content of the inscription, and the reveal transaction spends from that tapscript, revealing the content on chain and inscribing it on the first sat of the input that contains the corresponding tapscript.

Wait for the reveal transaction to be mined. You can check the status of the commit and reveal transactions using the mempool.space block explorer.

Once the reveal transaction has been mined, the inscription ID should be printed when you run:

ord wallet inscriptions

Parent-Child Inscriptions

Parent-child inscriptions enable what is colloquially known as collections, see provenance for more information.

To make an inscription a child of another, the parent inscription has to be inscribed and present in the wallet. To choose a parent run ord wallet inscriptions and copy the inscription id (<PARENT_INSCRIPTION_ID>).

Now inscribe the child inscription and specify the parent like so:

ord wallet inscribe --fee-rate FEE_RATE --parent <PARENT_INSCRIPTION_ID> --file CHILD_FILE

This relationship cannot be added retroactively, the parent has to be present at inception of the child.

Sending Inscriptions

Ask the recipient to generate a new address by running:

ord wallet receive

Send the inscription by running:

ord wallet send --fee-rate <FEE_RATE> <ADDRESS> <INSCRIPTION_ID>

See the pending transaction with:

ord wallet transactions

Once the send transaction confirms, the recipient can confirm receipt by running:

ord wallet inscriptions

Receiving Inscriptions

Generate a new receive address using:

ord wallet receive

The sender can transfer the inscription to your address using:


See the pending transaction with:

ord wallet transactions

Once the send transaction confirms, you can confirm receipt by running:

ord wallet inscriptions