A user named “Super Testnet” claims to have broken Bitcoin Ordinals and has released a tool to increase an off-by-one error.
In a Twitter post on Thursday, Super Testnet shared a link to a Github repository showing how he created an ordinal inscription on a 0-value input and 0-value output transaction.
Ordinals are essentially Bitcoin NFTs, with inscriptions representing on-chain data stored in the Bitcoin blockchain. This data is mapped to a non-fungible satoshi, or “sat,” using Ordinal Theory, while the inscription numbers are a way of tracking the order in which they occurred.
— Super Testnet (@super_testnet) May 4, 2023
While he claims to have broken ordinal theory, several proponents of the protocol pointed out that the bug was actually confined to the inscription numbers.
"inscription numbers" are just a vanity metric putting an order to which inscriptions came first.
some collectors like having the 100,000th inscription, for example or whatever
these are all messed up now, because @super_testnet's transaction exposed some logic in the software
— danny ⚡️ deezy (@dannydiekroeger) May 4, 2023
According to Ordinals collector “Leonidas.og,” this was an edge case that the ordinal indexer did not account for. This scenario, where the indexer inscribed the inscription onto a sat corresponding to the transaction fee paid to the miner, resulted in the miner becoming the owner of the inscription.
The inscription awarded to the miner was a text-based one that read “you will use soma and you will like it.” While that may seem strange, the word soma likely corresponds to Spacechain-inspired Open Market for Assets – a proposed way of putting collectibles on-chain without them commanding as much blockspace.
Leonidas explained that every inscription number still has a unique ID, which was still “rock solid,” and thereby Ordinal Theory itself was by no means broken.
“At the end of the day because inscription numbers do not actually effect how the protocol works nothing about ordinals is broken except for this vanity tag of inscription number that we are so fond of. No money is lost,” said Leonidas.
In Leonidas’ view, inscription number 3,492,721 could potentially live on to be a unique artifact in the eyes of a collector, and a fix can be deployed to patch the bug discovered.