Home / Bitcoin Standard BRC-69 & Recursive Inscriptions: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
4 min read

Bitcoin Standard BRC-69 & Recursive Inscriptions: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Published July 4, 2023 4:53 PM
Omar Elorfaly
Published July 4, 2023 4:53 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin Ordinals get a major upgrade
  • Users can save both time and space using BRC-69
  • Recursive Inscriptions open the possibility of saving huge data files in a 4-Megabyte capacity

NFTs are somehow still taking over headlines from time to time. Whether it’s news about celebrities losing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars on their digital assets, or news about yet another NFT community facing turmoil, NFTs are the crypto equivalent of zombies that just won’t lay to rest.

The issue with the NFT trade is that the digital asset doesn’t often carry any intrinsic value beyond its sheer existence and demand for it. 

However, Bitcoin-based Ordinals are sometimes the harbinger of meaningful changes to blockchain technology. This time, Ordinals, the NFTs based on the Bitcoin blockchain, welcome a new standard, BRC-69, based on ‘Recursive Inscriptions’.

So, let’s put aside the jargon and break down what all of this means.BRC-69 Saves Space

Originally, Ordinals provided only 4 Megabytes of space for users to save information on them. With Bitcoin increasing in demand, blocks on the chain are not only more in demand but also decreasing in supply. 

The idea behind BRC-69 is to overcome that 4-Megabyte limit, by using recursive Inscriptions.

To put it simply, recursive inscriptions are a way to use a single command line to extract non-financial data that already exists on other Ordinals. So, if an already existing Ordinal has a set of data, the new Ordinal can just use a single line of command to extract said data and use it for itself, saving on both space and cost of inscription. 

Luminex, the launchpad upon which BRC-69 was developed tweeted “With BRC69, we can reduce the costs of inscriptions for Ordinals collections by over 90%. This reduction is achieved through a 4-step process: (1) inscribe traits, (2) deploy collection, (3) compile collection, and (4) mint assets.”

The same account took to Twitter to explain the technology a bit further. However, it gets really impressive when Luminex describes the potential future of the technology’s application.

“We can think even bigger though. What if lots of people upload lots of packages of code? So now there is a huge repository of packages for developers to build on top of. This would unlock powerful use cases that could never be done in under 4 MB. The most complex pieces of software are just a bunch of code compiled together after all. Now it becomes possible to put a complex 3D video game fully on-chain on Bitcoin. The sky is the limit. Bitcoin is essentially getting an internal internet where every file can request data from the other files on Bitcoin.”

Let’s Break It Down Further

There’s a whole Github  explaining the technology behind BRC-69 and recursive inscriptions, but let’s do a quick “for dummies” explanation. 

So, every Ordinals NFT file is limited to 4 Megabytes, which limited the number of inscriptions on these NFTs. BRC-69 enables using recursive inscriptions. 

Now, imagine a coder filling up 99% of the NFT file with new data, then using a single line of code, that could take up 1 Kilobyte, to extract data from another 4-Megabyte file. Now, this one NFT has access to 8 Megabytes of data, within a 4-Megabyte capacity.

The future application Luminex mentioned where it’s “possible to put a complex 3D video game fully on-chain on Bitcoin” refers to a case where countless Ordinals carry data that can be inter-linked and extracted through recursive inscription on a single Ordinal.