Bitcoin Runes Protocol Launch Nears: Here’s What You Need to Know

Ancient oracle amidst digital runes blockchain symbols glowing mystical aura high contrast
  • Bitcoin’s Runes protocol is set to launch this weekend, drawing attention away from the highly-anticipated halving event.
  • Runes are a development on Bitcoin Ordinals, a token standard that allows “inscriptions” in data to essentially support Bitcoin-based NFTs.
  • Runes, a new token standard, will be significantly more efficient and simpler to use than Ordinals, improving development and network activity in the sector.
  • Memecoins are coming to Bitcoin – deal with it.

Related: Bitcoin Halving in 2 Days: Analysts Divided on Potential Impact on Price Movements

Memecoins and Bitcoin. They seem to be two concepts at odds with one another. Memecoins are seen as a symbol of internet culture, a mirror for the immaturity and volatility of the crypto market. On the flipside, Bitcoin is touted by purists as a store of value with long-term staying power. And yet, advancements in Bitcoin’s blockchain tech have seen an unlikely merger – and with the Runes protocol on its way, the narrative surrounding Bitcoin might be set for a change.

New Token Standard To Be Simpler and Cheaper Than Ordinals

Most of the media attention has been squarely placed upon this week’s Bitcoin halving – now just a couple of days away. But the crypto market is fast-moving, and once all is said and done, BTC’s Runes launch is likely to capture the community’s imagination. 

The introduction of Bitcoin Ordinals has been controversial. Ordinals essentially allow developers to tack on data to Bitcoin transactions using the smallest possible denomination of BTC (known as Satoshis, or SATS). Simply put, this has introduced the NFT market to the Bitcoin blockchain. 


Purists believe this goes against everything Bitcoin stands for, while more progressive investors suggest that the renewed focus on development and innovation is good for the network. And the advent of the Runes protocol is set to take things to the next level.

The Rune protocol intends to build upon Ordinals and add a new token standard to the network that supports inscriptions. However, unlike Ordinals, Runes will simplify the transaction and inscription process to make it much more intuitive for developers. The team behind Runes, headed by Casey Rodarmor, highlighted the advantages the new token standard will present:

To transfer a BRC-20 (Ordinal) token takes three transactions due to the way inscriptions work…[With Runes] the transactions are very small and the transfers are very efficient.

Casey Rodarmor

Or, as he put it somewhat less elegantly:

I am creating a venue for people to create sh!tcoins.

Casey Rodarmor

Related: Bitcoin Miners Are Overvalued Warns Analyst, Stocks Could Plummet Further

Most in the industry believe that Runes will quickly overtake Ordinals as the main fungible token for minting inscriptions on the Bitcoin network due to its superior cost-effectiveness. And while plenty disprove of memecoins coming to the blockchain, the heightened network activity may end up being a very good thing for Bitcoin’s future growth. Only time will tell.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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