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Article: How to Query Rare Sats

Published on: 3/23/2024

How to Query Rare Sats

Over the past few months, Bitcoin Rare Sats have become one of the most exciting new types of collectible in the NFT and on-chain community. To those unfamiliar with them however, they may seem a little more difficult to understand than other kinds of digital assets. In this guide, we're going to break down what Rare Sats are, how they're determined, and how you can use the SimpleHash API to query them.

What are Sats?

The smallest individual units of Bitcoin are known as satoshis (after the pseudonymous creator of the cryptocurrency), or "sats" for short. Any Bitcoin wallet address that contains any amount of Bitcoin will be made up of UTXOs (Unspent Transaction Output), which are dominated in sats.

As Bitcoin is mined, satoshis are produced, and they can be uniquely identified by the order in which they are minted (which underpins almost everything regarding the Bitcoin Ordinals ecosystem). Each sat can then be associated with a specific sat number (or sat range). Because each sat can be identified via the UTXOs in a wallet, each Bitcoin address will hold a unique set of sats.

What makes Rare Sats rare?

As the Ordinals community has developed, certain rules have emerged for defining which sats are deemed rare or special. The rareness may be derived from the sat number itself (e.g., a palindrome sat number), from being involved with meaningful (but repeated) milestones in Bitcoin's production history (e.g., the first sat produced in a Bitcoin block), or from being associated with a major event in Bitcoin's history (e.g., a sat involved with the 10,000 BTC payment for two pizzas).

How are the different types of Rare Sats defined?

The actual specifications of each type of Rare Sat are still fluid, and as of early 2024, new definitions are still being proposed. SimpleHash uses the definitions based off of the Rodarmor Rarity Index, and the definitions provided by Magic Eden, the NFT marketplace. Summarizing a few of them:

  • Uncommon (from the Rodarmor index) - the first sat of a given Bitcoin block (produced every 10 minutes)
  • Rare (from the Rodarmor index) - the sat produced immediately after a difficulty adjustment on the Bitcoin network (produced roughly every 2 weeks)
  • Epic (from the Rodarmor index) - the sat produced immediately after a halving on the Bitcoin network (produced roughly every 4 years - and next occurring in around 1 month's time, as of the publication of this article)

  • Pizza - sats involved in the purchase of two Papa Johns pizzas for 10,000 BTC in 2010 (which would be worth approximately 635M USD today)

  • Palindrome - sats with numbers that can be read the same in both directions (e.g., 73737)

  • Nakamoto - sats known to have actually been mined by Satoshi Nakamoto himself

The full list of Rare Sats supported by SimpleHash can be found here. As new Rare Sat definitions emerge, SimpleHash will add support for them.

How do I query Rare Sats?

With the SimpleHash API, we've made it easy to query the Rare Sat information for a wallet. It works very similarly to the other types of queries to access NFT balances and metadata for given wallets.

To get started, we have added a new chain ID called utxo where each "NFT" is an unspent transaction output. We are tracking all UTXOs on Bitcoin, but ones containing a Rare Sat have been added to a special collection with the ID 0123456789abcdeffedcba9876543210.

Simply make a call to our NFT by Wallet(s) endpoint, and in the chains param, include utxo to include Rare Sats in the response.

You can find details about which Rare Sats (if any) the UTXO contains in the NFT response under extra_metadata > utxo_details.

And if you have any questions about querying Rare Sats, or their implementation, don't hesitate to reach out.

Why should I add Rare Sats to my app?

Bitcoin Ordinals has been one of the fastest growing parts of the NFT ecosystem of the past year, with real staying power, and a committed community. Rare Sats builds on that energy, and further strengthens the community building in and around Bitcoin. Apps that add the capability to display and interact with Rare Sats can capture part of this excitement, and drive further user engagement and retention.

Plus, just like with NFTs, some Rare Sats can be extremely valuable - they now trade on major marketplaces, with collectors coveting specific types, and engaging in savvy trading. If you're building a wallet or platform that provides Bitcoin functionality, providing details on the Rare Sats your users may hold is another way of helping them understand and visualize their full digital asset portfolio - essentially helping them uncover previously hidden treasure!

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