L2 new narrative? One article will help you understand Ethereum inscriptions

6 months ago
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Why is the price of $eths soaring? Is it a new narrative for L2 or old wine in new bottles? This article will lead you to understand the narrative of Ethereum inscriptions by introducing the concept of Ethscriptions, how Ethscriptions can expand the capacity of Ethereum, etc.

Popularity source

On June 17, the Ethereum inscription protocol Ethscriptions was launched. The minting cost of its text token $eths was about 0.5 U. Within a few days after the minting was completed, the over-the-counter price reached 100 U, bringing hundreds of times benefits to early participants. , the price soared to 500 U in early August. Later, as the price of $ordi continued to decrease, the popularity of $eths also gradually faded, and the price fell back to around 300 U. After more than two months of silence, $eths exploded on October 8, with the price climbing to 800 U, igniting the fomo mood of those who had not gotten on the bus.

L2 new narrative? One article will help you understand Ethereum inscriptions

In the official Telegram group, community members are always on call to comment and retweet under $eths-related tweets to increase traffic and promote the spread of related tweets. At the same time, KOLs also regard $eths as a traffic password and publish content related to $eths. Even mentioning $eths can attract huge amounts of interaction. Thanks to the publicity and discussion by community members and some KOLs, many bystanders who had not participated in Ethscriptions before also joined the vigorous discussion. But this is just the behavior of the butt deciding the head, and it cannot be the reason for our investment decisions.

Ethereum inscription concept

The Ethereum inscription protocol Ethscriptions is similar to the Ordinals protocol on Bitcoin. It allows people to engrave different types of files on the Ethereum mainnet, as long as the size does not exceed 96 KB. To be precise, this protocol is to note information (hexadecimal characters) on a transaction. Since the transaction occurs on the chain, it is a complete on-chain behavior. The information is non-tamperable and shares the security of ETH.

The Ethscriptions concept was proposed by Genius.com co-founder and former CEO Tom Lehman, and on June 17, 2023, a search engine and website were developed for the protocol.

L2 new narrative? One article will help you understand Ethereum inscriptions

Toms original intention was to reduce the cost of NFT casting through the Ethscriptions protocol, thereby lowering the financial threshold required to mint NFT and further promoting the popularization of NFT. Tom Lehman and his team then used the calldata field in ETH transactions to store unique reference identifiers and developed a smart contract protocol based on ETH inscriptions to achieve low transaction fees and fast functions.

development path

On June 17, Ethscriptions was founded. The first officially launched project was Ethereumpunks. It was all completed about 2 hours after it went online. The current secondary floor price is 0.006 E. Although Ethereumpunks is the first officially launched project, the market response is not strong. What really makes Ethereum Inscription stand out is $eths, which brings eye-catching profits.

On July 17, the trading marketplace Ethscriptions.com was attacked by hackers, and a large number of listed inscriptions were stolen. In this attack, approximately 123 addresses lost a total of approximately 202 inscriptions. Previously, $eths had already experienced a surge, with the price of individual inscriptions once touching 5 ETH. The vulnerability can be traced to a smart contract created by the two co-founders, which contained a small piece of code that allowed people to withdraw inscriptions from the market that did not belong to them. But then the incident was resolved. The founders said they have been in contact with many users affected by the vulnerability.

On July 25, founder Tom Lehman announced on Twitter that Ethscriptions Marketplace V2 was officially launched, launching a new protocol ESIP-2 for the Ethereum subscription market. The launch of the new market once again ignited the enthusiasm for Ethereum Inscription trading. OpenSea data shows that as of now, the total transaction volume of Ethereum Inscription has reached 655 ETH.

On August 8, the ESC VM (Ethscriptions Virtual Machine, Ethereum Inscription Virtual Machine) testnet was launched, taking Ethscriptions to a new development trajectory. In the ESIP-4 proposal, Ethereum Inscription introduced a virtual machine. This is a new protocol built on Ethscriptions. ESC VM gives Ethscriptions the computing function. Ethscriptions also introduces a contract system called Dumb Contracts, which users can interact with through inscriptions.

On September 8, Ethscriptions officially announced $eths as their official token. The inscription token can be split later through the Dumb Contract bridge. $eths will become the pioneer Ethscriptions token of the official bridge, and plans to launch the Ethscriptions token based on Uniswap V2. Dumb contract DEX. Due to the increased divisibility of tokens and the Dumb Contract token standard being consistent with ERC-20, the convenience of transactions is improved and the transaction threshold is lowered.

On September 27, the DEX DumbSwap based on dumb contracts was launched on the test network.

On the evening of October 8, the volume and price of $eths rose sharply from about 300 U to 800 U, triggering widespread discussion.

L2 new narrative? One article will help you understand Ethereum inscriptions

On October 9, Ethscriptions completed the ESIP-5 upgrade, and the gas fee for transfers dropped to about 0.05 U. The gas fee is lower than some L2.

Three stages of Ethscriptions development:

Phase 1: In this phase, $eths is comparable to $ordi;

Phase 2: In this phase, $eths is the token. The base layer can be compared to Arbitrum or Optimism, and will give birth to different types of native projects;

Phase 3: In this phase, Ethereum mainnet projects will expand to the dumb contract ecosystem.

L2 new narrative? One article will help you understand Ethereum inscriptions

Expansion implementation principle

The source of the new L2 narrative is Ethscriptions ESIP-5 and ESIP-6 development proposals.

The ESIP-5 proposal refers to Bulk Ethscription Transfers from EOAs. Currently, non-contract addresses only support the transfer of a single inscription in one transaction. After ESIP-5 goes online, it will support batch transfer of inscriptions in one transaction. ESIP-5 elevates EOA to the level of smart contracts by introducing an EOA batch transfer mechanism. According to a tweet from co-founder @0x Hirsch, each transaction can transfer up to 4,000 inscriptions, costing only 0.11 eth at current gas costs.

The ESIP-6 proposal refers to Opt-in Ethscription Non-uniqueness. Currently, only the first inscription with the same content (characters) is considered valid. Such indexing rules can ensure the uniqueness and uniqueness of inscriptions, but there are limitations and problems for usage scenarios such as smart contracts that require the transmission of repeated information. For example, the operation of the Ethscriptions virtual machine requires the exchange and verification of information between smart contracts and dumb contracts (Dumb Contracts).

The core of Ethscriptions is ESC VM, which can be compared to EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).

Dumb Contracts in ESC VM enable Ethscriptions to break away from the limitations of inscriptions as NFT hype, enter the realm of functionality and practicality, and officially enter the base layer to compete with L2 solutions.

ESC VM provides a running environment similar to EVM for dumb contracts. Dumb contracts can execute two commands: deployment (creating a new contract) and calling (calling the state change function of an existing contract). The interaction of this type of contract is a relatively special way of interaction. Because they are stored via inscriptions, they bypass EVM execution and storage costs (transactions are stored on-chain using the calldata field). This also allows dumb contracts to obtain far lower fees than smart contracts.


1. The functions of the dumb contract cannot be called directly. If you want to send ETH through the dumb contract, you must go through a process similar to bridging.

(1) The user sends ETH to Smart Contracts.

(2) The smart contract creates an Ethscription, sends a call to the dumb contract, and notifies the dumb contract that Smart Contracts has received ETH.

(3) The dumb contract verifies whether the Smart Contract is in the list of trusted Smart Contracts, and then sends the assets to the user.

2. Limitations of openness and versatility. Ethscriptions do not allow arbitrary creation of dumb contracts and no programmability. Its code is defined during the ESIP process along with other Ethscriptions Protocol rules. Dumb contracts have many fewer functions than normal smart contracts and currently can only implement some basic content, such as Deploy, Swap, etc.

3. Unable to solve some complex needs. Although Ethscriptions and L2 are both solving the scalability and cost problems of Ethereum, some simple requirements with well-established rules are more suitable to be solved by Ethscriptions. L2s solution is more open and versatile, has larger capacity and is more three-dimensional.


Although the skyrocketing price and active publicity by the community have attracted huge attention, judging from the currently implemented technology, Ethscriptions cannot directly replace the status of L2 due to limitations in openness and programmability, and can only implement some simple instructions, so It cannot meet the needs of some developers, which is a big test for ecological construction. But Ethscriptions is still in the early stages of development and still has great potential for development.

There is still great uncertainty in the future development of Ethscriptions, which requires developers to continuously update and improve it. Among them, the following two points need to be focused on:

1. Can existing limitations be optimized or solved?

2. Whether the establishment of the ecosystem can attract users.

The low gas characteristics of Ethscriptions are similar to L2, and will be a good traffic tilt point when the L2 track is started. At present, the L2 project has been technically implemented and the facilities have been completed. At this time, Ethscriptions is still in planning and design, and time is not an advantage. Using L2 as a publicity point is more to divide the traffic. Ethscriptions is equivalent to a blank piece of paper at this time. It is not impossible that capital favor, subsequent imagination and ETHs technical advantages can become the beginning of a new track.

Related Information

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