Reversing history? A brief overview of Ethscriptions, inscriptions on Ethereum

What are Ethscriptions? An overview of inscriptions on Ethereum.

Author: Pedro Solimano

Translated by: DeepTechFlow

Over the weekend, a new protocol for carving images on Ethereum garnered a lot of attention. It allows for the creation and sharing of digital objects on Ethereum using call data — called Ethscriptions, an obvious nod to Inscriptions.

The project was developed by Tom Lehman, co-founder and former CEO of, and exploded in popularity upon its release. Lehman claims that nearly 30,000 Ethscriptions were created in less than 18 hours and called the release a “huge success” on Twitter.

How do Ethscriptions work?

  • Any successful Ethereum transaction whose input data (when interpreted as UTF-8) is a valid data URI will create an Ethscription, provided the data URI is unique. Duplicate content will be ignored. All valid MIME types are supported.
  • To keep the URI unique, there must be no Ethscription with the same content in the previous block or in an earlier transaction in the same block.
  • Any Ethereum transaction whose input data is the transaction hash of a valid Ethscription is a valid Ethscription transfer, provided the transaction sender is the owner of the Ethscription.

Ethscriptions allow for non-financial and arbitrary data to be written to the Ethereum blockchain, and users can carve any type of file as long as the file size is no larger than 96 kilobytes. While currently only allowing images, the creator claims that this will change in the future.

These carvings make use of so-called Ethereum “call data,” which refers to the data provided in a call to a smart contract. Lehman says that this is cheaper and more decentralized than using contract storage. The protocol “ensures the uniqueness of all valid Ethscriptions content,” the creator wrote on Twitter.

Unlike Ordinals, the Ethereum community seems to be open to this innovation and experiment.

“What’s exciting about Ethscriptions, like Ordinals, is developers using blockchain technology again,” said self-proclaimed NFT archaeologist Adam McBride. “It’s these kinds of experiments that drive innovation and adoption.” Like the hype around Ordinals, Eths has attracted a lot of attention, even causing Ethscriptions to go down several times.

Here, we take ETHS as an example to briefly introduce the engraving method for Ethscriptions:

  • Copy the code, data:, {“p”:”erc-20″, “op”:”mint”, “tick”:”eths”, “id”:”Any number between 1 and 21000″, “amt”:”1000″}, and convert it to hexadecimal on a conversion website.
  • Open your wallet, transfer 0 ETH to your own address, and copy and fill in the hexadecimal code obtained by conversion.
  • Confirm the payment and you’re done.

Similarly, where there is Fomo, there is Fud. Many communities believe that Ethscriptions is “backtracking”. Crypto KOL Chainleft also believes that Ethscriptions is not innovative. First of all, although the protocol made its debut over the weekend, people have been storing custom data/art in call data for years. They did this mainly by breaking the boundaries of the tools/technologies of the time, and this is not an ideal way to store artwork. Although it can be accessed, it is not assigned to tokens, which is why Ethscriptions tries to address this issue through off-chain consensus (fairness).

Secondly, in terms of functionality, state data has more complete functions, such as runtime dynamics or art programmability. Compared with Inscriptions (IS), IS is much less likely to be pruned than ES. IS also has more storage nodes than ES, ES can be called by ETH native contracts, while IS cannot, and neither can execute runtime functions.

Overall, whether Ethscriptions is a flash in the pan or an exciting new trend is up to the consensus of the community.