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What is a Recursive Inscription?

Recursive inscriptions are a powerful tool for utilizing Ordinals on Bitcoin. They work by allowing users to create chains of complex data structures, in which an individual inscription can reference data from another, previously created inscription. These chains can incorporate multiple pieces, with one inscription pointing to another, which then points to another, and so on. 

Basically, recursive inscriptions allow builders to use on-chain software to call to sets of inscriptions, instead of having to store all that data in one. This has allowed users to overcome Bitcoin’s 4MB block limit and store large data directly on the blockchain. This data could be anything from images to videos to entire programs. By breaking up the data into multiple pieces, the complexity of what you can store increases.

While recursive inscriptions are still in their early days, enthusiasts have hailed them as an opportunity to expand interoperability across the Bitcoin network. Supporters say they could allow for the development of use cases for Ordinals beyond minting NFTs, such as expanding the use of video games on-chain, increasing DeFi opportunities and even improving smart contract functionality.

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