How much does it actually cost to inscribe an ordinal?

How much does it cost to create an Inscription? It's a pretty simple rule of thumb – the bigger the file you try to inscribe the more it will cost.

How much does it actually cost to inscribe an ordinal?
How to calculate the cost to create an Inscription

How much does it cost to inscribe an ordinal? It's a pretty simple rule of thumb – the bigger the file you try to inscribe the more it will cost. The other major factor is the current fee cost to send a transaction. Basically, the more people who are trying to use Bitcoin the more expensive it is to use.

Quick plug! If you're looking for services to inscribe an ordinal make sure to check out OrdinalHub's Inscribe tool to inscribe information into Bitcoin's blockchain; forever!

We can estimate the cost to inscribe and ordinal, or different forms of information, pretty reliably with the following formula:

Simple inscription calculator

Content size ÷ 4 * fee rate

For example, let's say you have a photo of your cat that is 20 kilobytes (20kb) and you want to inscribe it. The cost to inscribe is going to be: 20,000 (bytes) ÷ 4 * fee rate, or 5,000 * fee rate. The answer is the number of satoshis the transaction would cost.

Other factors

There are several more factors that go into calculating the cost to inscribe, most relating to the specific structuring of UTXOs in the transaction. Basically, the more UTXOs required to inscribe, the more data the transaction will be and therefore the more expensive. We will do an in-depth explanation on this in a future piece.

This piece also assumes that the address doing the inscribing has UTXOs prepared to inscribe and does not have to do additional UTXO consolidation or splitting. These factors can greatly impact the cost to inscribe an ordinal.

What is fee rate?

You can set any fee rate to a transaction but most bitcoin wallets automatically estimate what fee rate you should pay to send a transaction successfully. It is common to see what the "average" fee rate is for the transactions and pick somewhere in the middle (this is an oversimplification, learn more here).

Fees are calculated in satoshis per unit of data in your transaction, abbreviated as "sats/vByte." Basically, the higher fee you pay the more likely your transaction will be included before others.

Remarkably High Bitcoin Transaction Fees, screenshot from

As we see above, at the time of writing, it was comparatively expensive to send a bitcoin transaction. Let's imagine that we want to make an inscribe an ordinal soon, but it doesn't have to be ASAP. We would probably use a fee rate of 87, or 87 sat/vByte.

Calculating the cost to inscribe an ordinal

So for us to inscribe our cat picture (remember it was 20kb), we use the following equation:

20,000 (bytes) ÷ 4 * 87

Step by step this is 20,000 ÷ 4 = 5,000.

Then 5,000 * 87 = 435,000.

Our estimated cost to inscribe is 435,000 sats. That's a little pricey, but we also want our cat to be immortalized on Bitcoin forever!

Third Party services to inscribe ordinals

If you're inscribing through a service, they will usually charge a service fee that is either a flat rate and/or a % of the fees. This is in addition to what it costs to inscribe to the Bitcoin network.

Check out OrdinalHub's Inscribe tool, one of the easiest and most-friendly ways to inscribe an ordinal into Bitcoin's blockchain; forever!

Happy Inscribing!