Bitcoin Runes racks up over 2,500 BTC in fees under 2 months


Bitcoin Runes have amassed over 2,500 Bitcoin (BTC) worth of transaction fees in less than two months, signaling the growth of Bitcoin-native decentralized finance (DeFi).

Runes, a new protocol for issuing fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network, has generated 2,513 Bitcoin (BTC) in total fees since launch, worth over $163 million, according to Dune data.

Bitcoin Runes total fees. Source: Dune

The milestone comes two months after the launch of the Runes protocol, which happened during the 2024 Bitcoin halving in April, signaling continued interest in the potential of Bitcoin-native DeFi, or BTCFi.

Additional transaction fees from protocols like Runes could extend a significant lifeline for Bitcoin miners post-halving after the Bitcoin block rewards were cut from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

Related: Bitcoin breaks 18-month hashrate uptrend: Are BTC miners capitulating?

Bitcoin Runes outperform BRC-20 tokens and Ordinals

Bitcoin Runes are becoming the dominant standard for issuing fungible tokens on the world’s first blockchain network.

Looking at the distribution of transactions, Runes-related transactions accounted for 12.2%, while BRC-20 transactions amassed 5%, and Ordinals inscriptions accounted for 0.6% of total transactions on the Bitcoin network.

Over 82% of transactions remained regular BTC transactions, as of June 17, according to Dune data.

Share of transactions on the Bitcoin network. Source: Dune

In terms of daily transaction count, there were 9,567 Runes-related transactions, with just 3,938 BRC-20 transactions and 474 Ordinals-related transactions. Regular Bitcoin transactions stood at 64,620.

Runes have been outperforming BRC-20 tokens in terms of onchain activity since their launch in April 2024.

Related: Corporate adoption is in ‘amateur league’ despite Bitcoin ETFs

Runes: A lifeline for Bitcoin miners

The rise in transaction fees from Bitcoin Runes is offering a lifeline for Bitcoin miners, according to Nazar Khan, co-founder and chief operating officer of TeraWulf.

Khan told Cointelegraph in an exclusive:

“Runes significantly increased the transaction fees, so if anything, there was an increase in the hash price in the first 24–30 hours [after the halving]. Since then, we’ve seen transaction fees come down, but compared to the average fees in 2023, they’re still pretty high.”

Nazar Khan, interview with Cointelegraph. Source: Cointelegraph

As the rest of the Bitcoin block reward is fixed issuance, the transaction fees are the “wild card” for Bitcoin miners, according to Khan.

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