How Ordinals Are Changing Bitcoin & Web3 Startups
By Nick Calabro on March 1, 2023
At Deep Lake, we're innovating with Ordinals on top of what we're already building that's enabling Bitcoin DeFi to new levels.

Before I tell you more about what we're working on and what it's like working at a DeFi/Ordinals startup, let's first dive into the new chapter that's kicked off as a result of this exciting new protocol.

How Ordinals Changed Bitcoin Overnight

Ordinals seemingly came out of nowhere, utilizing BTC in a way we hadn't really seen before.

In short, Ordinals is a protocol developed by Casey Rodarmor that manages to count individual satoshis; ordering them, from the first one in the genesis block. This somewhat novel way of looking at Bitcoin sparked a wave of tools, products, and debate.

As you might imagine, counting satoshis back that far gives another meaning to these sats. Collectors are proving this in the volume they're being traded for.

Casey outlines a brief legend setting the first sats associated with a cycle, halving epoch, and the genesis block itself denoted by legendary, epic, and mythic, respectively.

Ordinals is a protocol like any other—like Bitcoin itself. Casey built a tool that interacts with Bitcoin Core, Ord Wallet. With it comes an inscription explorer you can host yourself or view hosted live at

The wallet, explorer, and protocol all together make up the necessary components for this to take off in a way that Bitcoin took off. It's a consensus that we're adhering to when interacting with the Ordinals protocol.

And, so long as a BTC client has Ordinals support, it'll know which individual satoshis you have and display any inscription that might be on it.

"NFTs" On Bitcoin: Inscriptions

We're all familiar with the NFT terminology. Non fungible tokens sparked the boom we're still coming down from. NFTs were made famous by Ethereum and gave a whole new meaning to crypto to so many.

Instead of interacting with finance apps and investing your tokens, NFTs allow you to interact with art, community, profile pics, and features that are only unlockable through NFTs.

So how are inscriptions any different?

Well, unlike an NFT being its own, minted token on the Ethereum network, an inscription is an actual file being inscribed onto a satoshi, uploaded onto the Bitcoin blockchain. This means all "NFTs" on Bitcoin, are actually cold card Bitcoin at their core.

Inscriptions can be mostly any file. We're still experimenting with the bounds of this. Certain mining facilities even participated in the largest block ever mined at nearly 4MB when an organization approached them to specially mine this particular block.

They can be images, text, audio, video, pdfs, iframes, and much more.

Naturally, markets are opening & collections are launching at a rapid rate. Inscriptions are being purchased based on any number of things but mostly come down to the art or the rarity of the inscription. By the time this is live we'll be well past 200k inscriptions. Anything under 10k has an entire market alone.

The Massive Ordinals Ecosystem Growth

As with any new, adopted, and accepted technology, builders are going to build for it. We've already seen no shortage of Stacks builders jump on the opportunity to enhance their applications to support Ordinal Theory.

At first, Satoshibles & Gamma came out with inscription services. Making it easy to make your mark on the hardest blockchain on the planet is an invaluable service. Plenty of NFT collections are rising up and building communities already. Then, we start seeing marketplaces & exchanges pop up.

Any tool already interacting with NFTs has a lot of catching up to do as Ordinals support isn't only a whole new feature that has to be built, but many of the apps' current infrastructures don't even allow for something like Ord to work on top of.

Building On Bitcoin & Ordinals
Overall, building on Bitcoin is already a hard task, building on Ordinals is a new added layer of complexity. Making our work even more exciting but unpredictable.

BTC DeFi + Ordinals Startups

Building Deep Lake comes with the incredible power of leveraging Bitcoin DLCs along with the amazing community, technology stack, and ecosystem surrounding Stacks. This means we're not only building solutions for anyone to access their native Bitcoin on a L2 like Stacks, but also building the rails that other protocols are already building on top to power their dApps as well.

At Deep Lake, we're already on the bleeding edge of Bitcoin DeFi, and including Ordinals in this endeavor was an easy decision at this stage.
This screenshot illustrates the step of importing a wallet and choosing associated addresses to interact with—in this case, borrow with. Note the address with a trailing (O) denotes that UTXO contains an Ordinal Inscription.
After deciding on an amount of BTC to lock and an amount of stablecoin to borrow, we'll be directed to this screen displaying possible outcomes and how to repay.
Finally, the locked BTC is tracked and once the repayment is posted, a signature will return on the associated address

Building With Stacks Apps: Liquidium

The Stacks ecosystem is already bustling with bleeding edge applications. One of our favorites has been, An app that allows anyone to borrow STX against their NFTs.

The Deep Lake & Liquidum team have been keeping up with the developments of Ordinals to the extent of combining forces & building for it entirely. With the help of the BTC Startup Lab accelerator & the Stacks Accelerator’s resources, we’ve been able to move very quickly and build solutions for this market that are to be launched very soon.

A Day in the Life

A day in the life of any Bitcoin, crypto, or web3 related startup is going to be hectic, exciting, and different every single time. There are a few things we like to focus on and a few things that sometimes distract us. If one thing is for sure, it’s never boring working on Bitcoin.

At Deep Lake, we like to try and start every day with a standup. We’re all technologists at heart, so keeping our organization run like a dev shop is a natural fit. We’ll go over any news we’re keeping an eye on, developments in the ecosystem, and review any learnings or customer insights we’ve gathered since last speaking.

Here’s where we get an opportunity to go over our goals, enhance each others’ vision on where we’re headed, and keep all the moving pieces on track to get there. With the introduction of Ordinals, our day to day has changed slightly to include extra research, twitter spaces, and working with the heavy load that is ord wallet.

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