A bug in Bitcoin Ordinals has led to 1,200 valid inscriptions not being included in the protocol. 

Ordinals collector “Leonidas.org” disclosed the bug to the community in a Twitter post on Monday, although the issue was first made public on GitHub five days prior.

Bitcoin Ordinals are essentially NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain, created by mapping on-chain data from inscriptions to non-fungible satoshis using Ordinal Theory. (You can learn how to create a Bitcoin Ordinal using this Unchained guide.)

Leonidas explained that these “orphan” inscriptions began to emerge after inscription number 420,285. The bug was discovered in the indexer function of the protocol, which only counts inscriptions in the first input of a transaction.

The community is now debating a fix for these missed inscriptions, largely centered around whether or not to change inscription numbers.

The first solution would select a block height to retroactively index the missed inscriptions by moving around the numbers of inscriptions created since the first “orphan” was discovered. 

“This feels like the ‘purist’ solution because it means the ordinals protocol would correctly match the logical ordering on-chain,” said Leonidas.

The other solution is to change the indexing rules going forward, keeping the inscription numbers intact as they are now and leaving the orphaned inscriptions out. At the time of writing, a Twitter poll suggested that the Bitcoin Ordinals community was leaning towards this option.

“Let’s not change the number. History should be immutable. We are so early, and we should take this chance to properly build a blockHeight based activation infra. Ordinals are here to stay, I can see a lot of protocol innovation and changes happening in the near future. Every time we change the consensus layer, we can’t just rip off the past history and redo again,” said Zhuojie  Zhou, founder of NFT marketplace Magic Eden. 

Some opined that these missed inscriptions could even be worth more after a fix is in place – a plausible scenario in a world where rare NFTs have been sold for millions of dollars.