Recursion and References

Create hierarchies and includes of Atomicals digital objects with recursion and references

The following URNs are defined to simplify including and referencing different Atomicals resources.

NOTE: When referring to references in an Atomical, it is recommended to. use the ctx top level field in the data to import or include references to other Atomicals and data files. The ctx top level is reserved specially for this reason.

Examples of Recursion with References in the ctx field:

  // Any Atomical data above...
  "ctx": {
     // Implied to always get the latest data for an atomical:
     "resourcename": "atom:btc:id:<atomical_id>/mydata",
     // Gets permanent data file image.png at the dat_id
     "icon": "atom:btc:dat:<dat_id>/image.png",
     // Gets the minted "name" property for a collection
     "collection-name": "atom:btc:container:<dat_id>$name",
     // Gets the latest version of import.js located at a realm name
     "assetbuilder.js": "atom:btc:realm:<realm_name>/import.js",
  // Another other Atomical data ...

Note: It is preferably to use the "dat" command to refer to on-chain assets where applicable. When using containers, realms or the dynamic references (using slash "/") it is possible the resource.


The convention is to use the prefix "atom:btc" to indicate the Atomicals Protocol on the Bitcoin (BTC) network. It is possible to reference digital objects by atomical_id, container name, or (sub)realms and immutable file data by the data_id.

The basic form of the Atomicals Universal Resource Name (URN) is:

atom:<chain>:<ref_type>:<identifier>[$ or /[<file>]]


chain: The referenced blockchain, set to "BTC" for Bitcoin

ref_type: The type of reference. Currently supported "id", "container", "realm", and "dat"

identifier: The identifier corresponding to the ref_type. Such as atomical_id, container name, realm name, or the reveal location of the immutable data in the case of "dat"

$ or /: Whether to refer to the mint (original) data (using dollar sign $) or the dynamic (latest) data (using slash /) of a file for an Atomical. You will notice that for the dat ref_type either $ or / is acceptable and will return the same data regardless.

file: The name of the file is optional, if omitted then general information about the resource is returned

The philosophy is that we should be able to unambiguously reference Atomicals digital objects based on their types. At the base level every type such as container and realm can also be referenced by the atomical_id. Furthermore, we should always be able to get the original mint data, and also get the latest version of files stored, including every revision of that file either by txid, version number, or block height.

References by Atomical ID

Get general information


Ex: atom:btc:id:14a0d7c98304bf5ac9a5addceb1de0ce4e840641f82d71d84cebbdac427c1fc3i0

Get original minted data as JSON


Get original minted file



Get latest dynamic data state


Get latest version of a file


Get specific version of a file

atom:btc:id:<atomical_id>/image.png@[txid or version number or blockheight]

The [txid or version number or blockheight] can be of the form:

  • hexadecimal of the txid that was one of the valid updates to the file

  • Version number starting with "v" such as "v1"

  • Block height for the state of the file as of that block height

References by Container Name

Get general information


Examples: atom:btc:id:my-coolcontainer-name

Get original minted data


Get latest dynamic data state


Get original minted file


Get latest version of a file


Get specific version of a file

atom:btc:container:<containerName>/items@[txid or version number]

References by Realms

Get general information


Where realmName can be a Top Realm or any Sub Realm

Examples: atom:btc:realm:myrealm atom:btc:realm:myrealm.somesubrealm atom:btc:realm:myrealm.somesubrealm.thirdlevel-subrealm

Get latest version of a file


Get specific version of a file

atom:btc:realm:<realmName>/profile@[txid or version number]

The [txid or version number or blockheight] can be of the form:

  • hexadecimal of the txid that was one of the valid updates to the file

  • Version number starting with "v" such as "v1"

  • Block height for the state of the file as of that block height

References by ARC20 (Fungible Tokens)

Get general information


Where ticker can be a ticker name of an ARC20 token

Get mint original data



Get event feed at ticker

atom:btc:arc:<ticker>/events (To be determined - TBD)

References to Immutable Data

To store immutable (non digital object data) use the "dat" command (store-file) and reference it using the dat URN of the form:


Notice that the dat immutable data storage can use either the $ or the / since there is only one version of the immutable data and both will return the same data.

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