Miners Celebrate Runes Debut As Casey Rodarmor’s Protocol Drives Up Fees

Miners Celebrate Runes Debut As Casey Rodarmor’s Protocol Drives Up Fees
  • Bitcoin’s weekend halving cut miner profits by reducing BTC issuance, but the Runes protocol launch offset losses with significant fee increases.
  • Runes, developed by Casey Rodarmor, boosted transaction costs to nearly US$128, funnelling a record US$107.8 million into miner wallets.
  • Despite criticism, Runes simplifies token creation on Bitcoin, emphasising efficiency without needing off-chain data or a native token.

The Bitcoin halving on the weekend was set to reduce miner profitability with the slashing of new BTC issued. While the halving happened without problem, the launch of the new Runes protocol flushed revenue into miners’ pockets like never before.

Related: Runes Hype Drives Up Bitcoin Network Fees, Launch Scheduled Post-Halving

Casey Rodarmor’s brainchild – which allows minting onto Bitcoin transactions – saw fees spike among a flurry of network traffic.

A Bitcoin transaction cost as much as US$127.97 (AU$197.06) over the weekend, resulting in a record US$107.8 million (AU$167.31 million) being flushed into Bitcoin miner wallets.

BTC Average transaction fee in USD, source: bitinfocharts.com

‘Runes Were Built For Degens And Memecoins’ Says Creator

Casey Rodarmor, the person behind Runes, said he is highly sceptical of ‘serious tokens’. He sees Runes as a robust and straightforward protocol designed primarily for degens and memecoins, yet it stands as a legitimate contender against Taproot Assets and RGB.

Rodarmor said in a post on X that the protocol’s simplicity, efficiency, and security are evident in its self-contained nature with no reliance on ordinals or inscriptions.

Runes were built for degens and memecoins, but the protocol is simple, efficient, and secure. It is a legitimate competitor to Taproot Assets and RGB.

The protocol is self contained and has no dependencies on ordinals or inscriptions, making it extremely simple.

Balances are…

— Casey (@rodarmor) April 1, 2024

In the past two years, the Bitcoin network has grown to include tokens with a market cap of over US$2 billion (AU$3.1 billion), significantly boosting miner revenues. The recent release of the Runes protocol is expected to transform token creation on Bitcoin.

In a recent report, CoinGecko described Bitcoin Runes as tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain, functioning as executable data that facilitates the creation and spending of assets:

Just like BRC-20 and SRC-20 tokens, Runes rely on the Bitcoin blockchain to operate, however, Runes are designed to be simpler, not dependent on Ordinals, and are healthier and more efficient than both other token standards and adopts key (existing) models of the Bitcoin blockchain like the UTXO model and the OP_RETURN opcode.


Not surprisingly, Runes are not everyone’s favourite flavour, with some observers voicing their criticism of the new protocol online:

Bitcoin ordinals feels like exciting tech.

Runes doesn’t. Just seems like a shitty casino.

If I wanted a casino I’d chill on Solana.

I just don’t see it 🤷🏼‍♂️

— Jonah 🎮 (@RealJonahBlake) April 21, 2024

The Bitcoin halving is complete, and the runes are nothing new, merely a repeat of ARC-20. It’s time to return to the Atomicals protocol, looking forward to the grand debut of AVM! https://t.co/EYBFHYEj4V

— Quarkduck 🦆⚛️ (@QuarkDuck) April 22, 2024

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But, whether you like it or not, memecoins are now a thing on Bitcoin.

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