New daily Runes etched on Bitcoin falls 99% from post-halving peak

The number of new Runes etched on Bitcoin daily has fallen below 250 for the last six days, with 157 Runes etched on Monday marking a 99% fall from its peak in late April.

The fall comes after a highly successful streak that came a week after launch, which saw an average of 14,700 new Runes etched each day between April 26-30, including a record 23,061 etched on April 26, according to a Dune Analytics dashboard created by RUNES.IS.

New daily Runes etched on Bitcoin since April 20. Source: Dune Analytics

Runes is a new token standard that launched at the fourth Bitcoin halving block on April 20. The protocol allows memecoin and nonfungible token enthusiasts to inscribe and etch their favorite artwork, images, audio and videos onto the Bitcoin network.

It initially provided a much-needed revenue boost for Bitcoin miners looking to mitigate the impact of the recent halving, which saw the block subsidy halve to 3.125 Bitcoin (BTC) — worth $196,800 at current prices.

However, the 157 Runes etched on May 13 only contributed $3,835 in transaction fees to Bitcoin miners, far less than the hundreds of thousands of dollars that miners were receiving every day in late April.

A total of $4.5 million in transaction fees have been paid to Bitcoin miners since Runes launched on April 20 — coming out at about $189,00 each day.

A little over 91,200 Runes have been etched on Bitcoin so far.

Runes still make up the bulk of transactions

Despite the fall in the number of Runes etched, Runes transactions continue to make up the majority of transactions in May, which were largely taking place on marketplaces such as Magic Eden, OKX, Ordinals Wallet, and UniSat.

Key statistics from the Runes protocol from May 13. Source: X

Related: Bitcoin sats the ‘most valuable digital canvas ever’ — Ordinals artist

Runes was launched by Ordinals inventor Casey Rodarmor, which aims to utilize blockspace more efficiently than its main competitor, BRC-20s, according to Binance Research.

Unlike BRC-20s, Runes are compatible with Bitcoin’s unspent transaction output (UTXO) model where UTXOs can hold balances of arbitrary fungible tokens like Runes.

However, Rodarmor stressed in a recent interview that Runes are not the “future of finance” — but rather something degens can use to have fun on Bitcoin.

Big Questions: How can Bitcoin payments stage a comeback?


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