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What are Rare Sats Bitcoin’s Satoshis from Uncommon to Mythic

May 23,2024

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

— The smallest denomination of Bitcoin is called a Satoshi, or sat for short, and they each have a unique ID number correlating to the order in which they were created.

 

— Because each satoshi is unique, they have an in-built rarity system. Sats involved in notable network events are rarer than others.

 

— Rare sats are now popular collectibles, allowing you to own a piece of Bitcoin history

 

— To manage and trade rare sats, you’ll need a rare sat-compatible software wallet alongside your Ledger device.

Bitcoin, as the first and most popular blockchain network, has historically been used as a secure store of value. Due to its deflationary nature and security, Bitcoin has offered a more digital alternative to buying precious metals. As such it has been dubbed “digital gold”.

 

As the blockchain ecosystem has expanded, it has offered new use cases. For example, the Ethereum network’s smart contract capability allowed it to create fungible and non-fungible tokens, unlocking a whole new market in trading digital collectibles. But Bitcoin doesn’t have a virtual machine for running complex dapps and creating programmable tokens. Primarily, Bitcoin has always been used as a store of value, rather than a vehicle for trading collectibles. That is, until the launch of the Bitcoin Ordinals protocol.

 

To explain, the ordinals protocol introduced a way to identify and track the smallest denominations of Bitcoin, named satoshis or sats. Since each satoshi has an ID corresponding to the order in which it was created, sats have an in-built rarity system.

 

But what makes a sat rare? And how can you identify and get your hands on your own rare sats? In this article, Ledger Academy will take you through everything you need to know about Satoshis, their rarity, and how to hunt and trade them. Let’s dive in.

 

Understanding Satoshis: What Sats are in the Bitcoin Ecosystem

To understand why satoshi rarity is important, let’s first dive into what a satoshi is in the first place. One satoshi is the smallest denomination of Bitcoin possible. So just like a cent is the smallest denomination of a dollar, a satoshi (also known as a sat) serves the same purpose for the Bitcoin network. Specifically, a satoshi is a hundred millionth of one Bitcoin (1 sat = 0.00000001 BTC).

 

These denominations are so small, they are technically worthless. In theory, one sat is worth just a fraction of a dollar cent. But this is where it gets interesting: some sats have more inherent value than others. Let’s see why.

 

What are Rare Sats?

Rare sats are satoshis with notable qualities or history that make them stand out.

 

To explain, each satoshi has a unique ID number corresponding to the order in which they were created. This gives them an in-built rarity system: the sats involved in special network events are trackable and identifiable.

 

For instance, the first satoshi of each mined block is considered rare. Satoshis mined during network events such as the bitcoin halving are also rare. Essentially, rare sats are produced when the Bitcoin network undergoes a notable change. But it isn’t just about network-wide events. Some sats are rare because they were involved in a particular notable transaction, or because they have been interacted with by a notable figure in the space.

 

To understand the scene, let’s dive into the different types of rare and exotic sats.

 

Satoshi Rarity: Understanding how rare your sats are

Rodarmor Rarity Index Sats

The most popular way to identify rare sats is using the Rodarmor Rarity Index, introduced by Ordinals developer Casey Rodarmor. This is the whole basis of the ordinals protocol, which opened up the possibility of creating non-fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network. Let’s look at the events Rodarmor considers notable when identifying rare sats.

 

Common Sats

Most sats you encounter are common sats. They aren’t the first to be created in their respective blocks and they weren’t part of any significant network event. Since they are the most common type, there can be up to 21 trillion common sats.

 

Uncommon Sats

Uncommon sats are the lowest grade of rare sat. The first sat created in each block is labeled “uncommon”. Altogether, there can only ever be 6,929,999 uncommon sats.

 

Rare Sats

The first satoshis created in a new block following a difficulty adjustment period is labeled a “rare” sat. At most, there can be 3,437.

 

Epic Sats

The first satoshis created after a Bitcoin halving event are named epic sats. To explain, Bitcoin halvings only happen every four years. This makes epic sats much more scarce than the previous rarities.

 

Legendary Sats

Legendary sats are the first satoshis mined after every six halving events. This event is so rare it only occurs every 24 years. As the Bitcoin network launched in 2009, you can expect the first Legendary sats to be created in 2033.

 

Mythic Sats

There is only one mythic sat: it’s the first satoshi ever created in Bitcoin’s genesis block. While it’s unlikely you’ll ever get your hands on this rare sat, it’s out there somewhere!

 

Exotic Sats

Although the Rodarmor Rarity Index is the most common method of evaluating sats, there are also some network events he did not include. Despite that, some other types of sats have interested the community, often called exotic sats.

 

Black Sats

While most rare sats are focused on the beginning of each notable period, black sats highlight the conclusion of these events instead. Sometimes the final moment of an event is much more culturally significant than the start. This gives the final sat involved in that block a unique rarity. These sats are called black sats. They come in the same variants as Rodarmor’s rare sats: uncommon, rare, epic, and so on. The only difference is that black sats are the satoshis involved in the conclusion of each of their respective network events, rather than the beginning. For example, an Epic sat is the first sat created after a Bitcoin halving. Conversely, a Black Epic sat is the final sat created before the halving.

 

Pizza Sats

Ever heard of Bitcoin Pizza Day? On 22nd May 2010, developer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin. While that only amounted to around $41 then, the tale is now famous for showing the long way Bitcoin has come as a digital currency. As such, the sats involved in this famous sale are now highly sought-after by rare sat hunters.

 

Nakamoto Sats

If you know anything about the history of Bitcoin, you’ve probably heard about Satoshi Nakamoto. Since Bitcoin’s founder disappeared, the sats he has interacted with are scarce. Thus, sats mined by Nakamoto fall under their own category of exotic satoshis.

 

Hitman

Hitman sats are as crazy as they sound. The founder of the Silk Road, pseudonymous “Dread Pirate Roberts”, allegedly paid $500k worth of BTC to hire a hitman. While the founder of the Silk Road was later revealed to be Ross Ulbricht, he hasn’t been charged with murder-for-hire. Instead, he’s incarcerated simply for running the dark web marketplace. Be that as it may, the sats involved in that morbid transaction are now the focus of collectors!

 

Vintage Sats

While they may not be as old as a vintage wine, all sats from the first 1000 blocks mined on the Bitcoin blockchain are vintage sats. Under this umbrella, these are the vintage sats to know about.

 

Block 9

Block 9 was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, and thus contains some of the oldest sats in existence. This is also the block where Satoshi Nakamoto transferred 10 BTC to Hal Finney, amongst some other notable transactions. Sats from this block are so valuable that leading digital artist Nullish created inscriptions with nine of these satoshis, which were later sold by Sotheby’s in Jan 2024.

 

Block 9 450 x

Block 9 450 x sats are from the first Bitcoin created in block 9. You already know the significance of block 9! This collection of sats has additional scarcity compared with the rest of the block 9 sats.

 

First Tx

In January 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 BTC to Hal Finney. This was the first ever Bitcoin transaction, and thus one of the most significant events in the network’s history..

 

Block 78

Of course, Satoshi Nakamoto isn’t the only notable character in the Bitcoin ecosystem.  Developer Hal Finney is also a Bitcoin pioneer. Thus the satoshis from the first block Hal Finney mined are also considered collectible, as the first block mined by someone other than Nakamoto.

 

Block 286

Block 286 marked the second-ever Bitcoin transaction performed by Nakamoto. As a result, these sats are also sought-after.

 

Block 666

Yes, this one is exactly how it sounds. As block 666, these sats are already in the vintage category, but with the added symbolic meaning of the number 666, these sats have another more devilish aspect of collectibility.

 

Other Interesting Exotic Sats

Of course, there are a range of other ways sats can stand out from the crowd. Some sats are special due to their ID numbers, while others get their rarity from notable events. Let’s look at some of the other desirable sats you can hunt.

 

Palindrome

Palindromes read the same backward and forwards. It’s a phenomenon that gives rarity to several things—not just satoshis. Simple Palindromes are the most common type of Palindrome sat, but there are also more complex versions too.

 

Palinception

Palinception sats have ID numbers that are a palindrome of palindromes. Essentially, these sats offer mathematical perfection, if that’s what you’re into.

 

Paliblock Palindrome

The final level of palindrome sats is the Paliblock Palindrome. In short, this is the most symmetrical kind of sat, with a repeating palindrome forming an even bigger palindrome.

 

Jpeg

JPEG sats are the first group of sats traded for an image. In early 2010, a Bitcoin user Sabunir entered a Bitcoin forum to ask if someone wanted to buy his desktop wallpaper for $1, which was worth 500 BTC at the time. A month later, someone bought the Jpeg for his asking price, marking the first-ever sale of a jpeg via Bitcoin. As such, the sats involved in this transaction are now known as jpeg sats.

 

Alpha

Alpha sats are exactly as they sound: they are the first sats of each Bitcoin block. They also always end in 8 zeros, for those sat hunters looking for an aesthetically pleasing ID number.

 

Omega

Omega sats are the opposite of alpha sats: they are the final sat of each Bitcoin block. As such, their ID numbers always end in 8 nines. Of course, as the last sat of their block, the sat that follows is always an alpha sat!

 

Legacy

Finally, Legacy sats come from a more recent event. In June 2022, Casey Rodarmor, the creator of Bitcoin Ordinals and Runes protocols held a Bitcoin workshop. This was half a year before launching ordinals.  Rodarmor rewarded the attendees of the event with paper wallets. The sats included in these paper wallets are now known as Legacy sats.

 

How to Manage Rare Sats With Ledger

If you want to manage and trade rare sats, it’s important to educate yourself. Managing sats with a  Bitcoin wallet can be tricky. If you don’t take the right precautions, it’s too easy to send your rare sat accidentally if you’re storing your main Bitcoin holdings at the same address. To avoid these kinds of mistakes, you’ll need to use a wallet designed specifically for managing sats and ordinals.

 

But of course, it’s not as simple as that. Most wallets that support assets like rare sats are software (hot) wallets. This means they store your private keys online, impacting the security of your assets. To keep your assets safe from online threats while interacting with rare sats, your best option is to use your Ledger device with a rare sat-compatible software wallet.

 

To do so you have a few main options. Let’s explore how they work.

 

Manage Rare sats with Ledger and Xverse

Xverse is a popular Bitcoin hot wallet compatible with rare sats, ordinals, and runes. It’s also easy to connect to your Ledger device, allowing you to manage and trade your rare sats with security on your side. To connect your device to Xverse and manage rare sats, follow the steps in this Help Center article!

 

Manage Rare sats with Ledger and Leather

You can also manage your rare sats using Leather (formerly Hiro) wallet. In short, Leather wallet is a software (hot) wallet for Bitcoin. As well as allowing you to manage BTC and rare sats, it supports Ordinals, Runes, and Bitcoin Stamps. Plus, you can also use Leather to connect to Bitcoin layer two network Stacks. Connecting your Ledger device to Leather wallet is easy: just follow this help center tutorial to get started.

 

How to Trade Rare Sats

Trade rare sats via Magic Eden

Magic Eden is one of the first marketplaces to build infrastructure for trading rare sats. Using its positioning as one of the most popular NFT marketplaces, Magic Eden has pioneered the rare sat trading market.

 

To start trading rare sats on Magic Eden is easy. Just connect your Ledger device to Magic Eden via Xverse or Leather, use the filters to search for the rare sat you want, and make an offer! For more information on how to trade rare sats via Magic Eden, check out its documentation here.

 

Trade rare sats via Magisat

Another option you have to trade rare sats is via Magisat. To do so, you’ll need to connect to the platform via Xverse wallet. Luckily you can do so in tandem with your Ledger device to guarantee the safety of your private keys. To learn more about how to use Magisat, follow its documentation on rare sats here.

 

The Future of Rare Sats

Rare sats are an emerging asset class and their ecosystem is still evolving. The rare and exotic sats listed in this article are by no means the only examples. Each day rare sat hunters find new and inspired reasons specific sats are deemed special.

 

Plus, as the Bitcoin network continues to gain traction, who knows what notable network events may shape the future of the market? With the rise of alternative Bitcoin assets, such as Bitcoin ordinals, and runes, it’s clear that rare sats will become an important asset class. After all, who wouldn’t want to collect a piece of Bitcoin history?

 

Today, a lot of the most popular and most valuable Bitcoin ordinals are inscribed on rare sats. With this in-built rarity system, an ordinal can have an aesthetic and historic value. For example, the collection Memento Mori by Richard Nadler is inscribed only on the satoshis from the first Bitcoin. This gives these inscriptions a more meaningful value to collectors.

 

While the space is still evolving, it’s important to pay attention to security. As you well know, it’s all too easy to make a mistake when dealing with a new asset and unfamiliar platforms. So before you throw yourself down the rare sat rabbit hole, make sure you have the tools to keep your collectibles safe. With a Ledger device, you can guarantee your rare sats stay secure, and within your possession.

Purchase Ledger

Previously, many users in the Greater China region chose to purchase LEDGER products from overseas due to difficulties in domestic purchasing. However, this approach had long shipping times, required self-clearing customs, and carried the risk of customs delays. Additionally, users were concerned about the authenticity of the products they were buying. Now, as top channel service experts, ShangYi Group aims to address these issues comprehensively. Products will be shipped from Hong Kong with fast logistics and no customs risk. Furthermore, the products are sourced directly from the French headquarters to ensure authenticity and eliminate the risk of counterfeit products.

By purchasing through the official channels in mainland China, customers can also access official after-sales services, providing assistance with any questions or issues that may arise during use.

As the authorized distributor for Ledger in China, please verify the official website at www.sy-collection.com or visit the LEDGER website to get redirected to authorized reseller, clicking on the Greater China region to access the Shangyi official website. For customers in the Greater China region, it is advisable to make purchases through official channels to safeguard your digital assets.

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