What Are Bitcoin Stamps?

What Are Bitcoin Stamps?

3 Min.

Bitcoin STAMPS protocol integrates images into the blockchain, ensuring digital art's integrity and immutability. Unlike Bitcoin Ordinals, Bitcoin Stamps provide a secure data storage method with increased flexibility. This article delves into the concept of Bitcoin Stamps, their functionality, and the distinctions from Bitcoin Ordinals.


Bitcoin's development has extended its utility beyond its original scope, incorporating features such as data embedding within transactions. The STAMPS protocol builds upon predecessors like Ordinals, allowing for enhanced data embedding capabilities. This article delves into Bitcoin Stamps' intricacies, functionality, and points of divergence from Bitcoin Ordinals.

Bitcoin Stamps Explained

Bitcoin Stamps facilitate digital art integration into the blockchain by encoding data within unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs), thereby ensuring its permanent inclusion and immutability within the blockchain.

How Do Bitcoin Stamps Work?

To create a Bitcoin Stamp, digital art is encoded into a base64 string and appended with a "STAMP:" prefix within a Bitcoin transaction. This data is then dispersed across multiple outputs via multi-signature transactions, ensuring its permanent recording on the blockchain. Each Stamp is assigned a unique number based on the transaction time, facilitating orderly organization. For official recognition, Stamps must adhere to specific criteria, such as being included in the inaugural transaction featuring a valid "STAMP:base64" string.

Bitcoin Stamp Protocol Variants

Bitcoin Stamps utilize two primary protocols: SRC-20 and SRC-721.

  • SRC-20: This token standard, based on the open Counterparty protocol, integrates arbitrary data within spendable data transactions, differing from Ordinals, which places data in the witness section.
  • SRC-721: Designed to facilitate the cost-effective creation of detailed NFTs, SRC-721 utilizes the Bitcoin STAMPS protocol to store images in layered format, reducing file size through techniques such as indexed color palettes. These layers can be combined into a single NFT, enabling the creation of high-quality images at reduced costs.

Bitcoin Stamps vs. Ordinals

Bitcoin Stamps and Bitcoin Ordinals serve as inscription methods within the Bitcoin blockchain, allowing users to append additional data. However, their methodologies diverge significantly.

Data Storage

Bitcoin Ordinals employ witness data stored separately in transaction blocks, subject to modification via data pruning by blockchain nodes. Conversely, the Bitcoin STAMPS protocol integrates image data within unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs), rendering it immutable and resistant to pruning.

Data Handling and Costs

Bitcoin Stamps enable flexible storage, accommodating images with resolutions of 24x24 pixels or higher. Yet, larger images may escalate transaction expenses. On the contrary, Bitcoin Ordinals confine embedded data to the Bitcoin block size, ensuring consistent transaction fees while limiting flexibility.

Signature Framework

Bitcoin Stamps employ a multi-signature framework, enhancing data security, whereas Bitcoin Ordinals rely on a single signature system.


Bitcoin Stamps serve as a means to embed digital art securely within the blockchain, preserving its integrity and immutability. Differing from Bitcoin Ordinals constrained by block size and single-signature transactions, Bitcoin Stamps afford enhanced flexibility in data size and security through a multi-signature framework. 

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Bitcoin Stamps
Bitcoin Ordinals