In less than two months, Bitcoin Runes have collected over 2,500 Bitcoin (BTC) in transaction fees, signaling the growth of Bitcoin-native decentralized finance (DeFi). This new protocol for issuing fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network has generated a total of 2,513 Bitcoin in fees since its launch, representing a value of more than $163 million, according to data from Dune.

Continued interest in BTCFi’s potential

The milestone comes just two months after the launch of the Runes Protocol during the Bitcoin halving in April 2024. This achievement shows that there is continued interest in the potential of Bitcoin-native DeFi, also known as BTCFi.

The additional transaction fees from protocols like Runes could provide a significant lifeline to Bitcoin miners after the halving, with Bitcoin block rewards reduced from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

Dominance of Bitcoin Runes over BRC-20 tokens and Ordinals

Bitcoin Runes have quickly become the dominant standard for issuing fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network. Analysis of the transactions shows that Runes-related transactions made up 12.2% of the total, while BRC-20 transactions represented 5% and Ordinals inscriptions only 0.6%.

Data from Dune shows that on June 17, more than 82% of transactions were regular BTC transactions. There were 9,567 Runes-related transactions daily, compared to 3,938 BRC-20 transactions and 474 Ordinals-related transactions. Regular Bitcoin transactions amounted to 64,620.

Industry response

Nazar Khan, co-founder and chief operating officer of TeraWulf, noted that Bitcoin Runes’ transaction fee increase provides a lifeline for Bitcoin miners. Khan stated: “Runes significantly increased transaction costs, so at least there was an increase in the hash price in the first 24 to 30 hours [na de halvering]. Since then we have seen transaction costs drop, but compared to average costs in 2023 they are still quite high.”

According to Khan, transaction fees are the “wild card” for Bitcoin miners, as the remainder of the Bitcoin block reward remains a fixed issue.


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