Inscriptions With Looksordinal

Rarity Garden
4 min readApr 28, 2023

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The inscription tool on Looksordinal is a powerful, self-custodial way to inscribe Bitcoin Ordinals. Read this guide before you inscribe or if you run into issues.

Before using the tool, it is important to understand what the differences are to inscription services.

First and foremost, the tool is self-custodial. This means you are not sending your funds to a centralized service that holds your sats in custody. Instead, it creates all necessary addresses in your browser session. You are actually sending the funds to inscribe to yourself. Imagine it as a specialized wallet for creating inscriptions that you control instead of others controlling it for you.

This also means it comes with a few high-level and technical consequences that you have to consider:

  • You are in charge. This also means you are responsible for any decision you take and what you inscribe.
  • You are not sending funds to the developer or any other 3rd party. The developer cannot operate in your behalf or manage your balances.
  • Due to its decentralized nature, it won’t be as convenient as centralized services. Bitcoin works totally different from Ethereum and it is highly recommended to prefer decentralized solutions over centralized ones, even more so on Bitcoin. In return you get: more privacy, control over aspects you usually wouldn’t have and powerful features nobody else provides.
  • While webwallets and browser extensions are a great way to start with, they usually lack to provide full control over your funds (e.g. missing UTXO management). Therefore it is highly recommended to use wallets like Sparrow or similar. This not only holds true for the inscription tool but anything you do with Bitcoin. NEVER use these webwallets and extensions as your main wallets. This is even more important on Bitcoin than it is on Ethereum. Recommendation is to inscribe and manage funds using wallets like Sparrow. For trading, webwallets or browser extensions with selected Ordinals.

Technical consequences emerge from the tool being continuously developed and enhanced. Since its first release, a lot of progress happened and continues to happen. Some of the items in the list below might either have changed or got improved at the time of reading:

  • Inscriptions can get interrupted (but continued, see “Recoveries” below). You can spot interruptions if it doen’t continue to inscribe after you sent the inscription funds. There are 3 main reasons why an inscription task may get interrupted:
  • 1) Closing the browser window or before the inscription are broadcasted (same if using a phone and go to sleep mode).
  • 2) Mempool.space rate limiting you because of extensive use of broadcasts.
  • 3) Adblockers that produce false-positives and block broadcasts using mempool.space.
  • Due to Bitcoin constraints and depending how many inscriptions you are doing in one transaction, a certain amount is being inscribed first and the rest being executed after the parent transaction confirmed. BRC-20 inscriptions for example will pause the inscriptions at around 23 inscriptions and continue once the funding transaction has been confirmed.
  • Use taproot wallets addresses to receive and send Ordinals.
  • Do not send your funds from an exchange to trigger inscriptions. Use your own wallet for this.
  • Do not send your funds from a multisig wallet.
  • Make sure you are not using a browser extension that blocks your browser’s “IndexedDB” feature. Usually this feature is turned on but some extensions might turn it off (e.g. security extensions). IndexedDB has to be kept enabled in order to recoveries to work.
  • Do NOT send more than the amount to fund than it tells you to send. Everything additionaly that you add to the required amount will be used for fees by Bitcoin.

Preparations

To prevent interruptions, the following measures are recommended in preparation:

  • 1) Once inscriptions start, do not close the browser window until all inscriptions have been broadcasted or your inscriptions might get interrupted. It would be like terminating a program in Windows while it is executing.
  • 2) Do not inscribe in parallel, having multiple tabs open. This will trigger mempool.space to rate limit you faster. If you want to inscribe in parallel, open multiple windows as different browser users. This still won’t be 100% safe because it is under mempool.space’s discretion when and why rate limits occur. This issue will be solved by replacing mempool.space with a non-rate-limiting broadcaster in the near future.
  • 3) Disable all adblockers for Looksordinal. If you use Brave browser, make sure to turn off its shield (the lion symbol next to the url bar).

Recoveries

If your inscriptions still interrupted after taking the measures above, you may continue to inscribe or refund yourself using your local backup.

The local backup creates a backup with all necessary data to restore unfinished transactions. Local means: it is stored on your computer, not on some remote server. Depending where in the process the inscriptions got interrupted it will either return your funds or continue with inscriptions.

To perform recoveries, follow these steps:

  • Scroll down to “Backup Usage” and click on it.
  • Locate the date and time of the transaction that got interrupted.
  • You should receive a list of UTXOs waiting to be recovered.
  • Enter a receiver address at the top of the site.
  • Set a fee rate equal or lower to your original fee rate.
  • Recover each entry. On success, it will return a transaction has for each.
  • If you get any other result than a transaction hash, then please read carefully what it says. E.g. If you get a negative number, then lower your fee rate.

If you have further questions or need support, please make sure to visit our Discord.

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