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

By Ben Knight April 19, 2024 In Bitcoin Rune, Blockchain, OKX
Close-up a cryptocurrency coin levitating above a magician's hand, surrounded by magical runes and neon lights
  • The average weekly network fee for Bitcoin transactions has tripled since the start of April, overtaking Ethereum for the first time since January.
  • The increased fees comes on the back of heightened network activity due to the Runes protocol’s impending launch.
  • Runes are set to bring a whole new level of engagement to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the advent of Ordinals (and BRC-20 tokens) has revolutionised the Bitcoin ecosystem. In fact, before Ordinals, you could argue that Bitcoin’s blockchain didn’t even have an ecosystem. And with Runes set to dominate the news cycle once tomorrow’s halving event is done and dusted, BTC purists will simply have to deal with it – meme coins are coming to Bitcoin.

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

Several Major Exchanges Preparing to List Runes Protocol Tokens

The hype surrounding Runes has reached fever-pitch (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration), with developers and memers among the community licking their lips at the protocol’s potential. For those new to Runes, simply put, it’s an upgrade on Ordinals. This means Bitcoin users can attach data to small BTC transactions in a more efficient manner than previously possible. So if you want to make a Bitcoin-based token, Runes are now the de facto standard. 

Unfortunately, Bitcoin’s transaction fees have taken a hit as a result of the heightened interest. It’s not uncommon for the average transaction fee of BTC to fluctuate – earlier this year it hit USD $30 (AUD $47) – but the weekly average has tripled since the start of April. For the time being, it’s actually more expensive to use the Bitcoin network than Ethereum’s, which is a relatively infrequent occurrence.

Source: doggfather analytics

Nevertheless, the community is mostly excited about the prospect of Runes coming to the blockchain. This is being exacerbated by several decentralised exchanges – such as OKX and Magic Eden – confirming they will support major Rune protocol tokens from day dot.

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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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