Post-Halving Fee Madness on the Bitcoin Network After the Introduction of Runes



Bitcoin Fees

The average Bitcoin transaction fee dropped on Sunday after reaching a record high the day before.

Following the much-anticipated halving, the average fee per Bitcoin transaction hit a record high of $128.45 stemming from Runes. However, data from YCharts revealed that the figure subsequently fell to $34.8 million on April 21.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees Plunges

Bitcoin’s total daily transaction fees on April 20 surged to $81 million, an increase from $7.7 million the previous day. On April 21, the network’s total fees fell to $22.37 million.

The brief rise in fees was primarily propelled by the introduction of the Runes Protocol, a new token standard similar to BRC-20s, leading to an increase in transaction fees as people rushed to create meme coins.

For the uninitiated, Runes was launched simultaneously at block 840,000 with the halving to boost on-chain activity. It allows users to create NFT-like inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain. This new protocol enables users to easily create tokens on Bitcoin, similar to Solana and Ethereum.

While existing standards like BRC-20 and SRC-20 are based on Ordinals theory, they can lead to UTXO proliferation that could spam the Bitcoin network. To address this issue and create a more sustainable token creation method, Rodarmor announced Runes in September 2023.

Runes Protocol Fails to Offset Revenue Losses for Bitcoin Miners

Meanwhile, the ‘hash price’ index, a metric by Luxor to gauge miner earnings per unit of hash rate, plummeted from approximately $183 per hash/day to $81 following the halving. The figures were, in fact, recorded to be lower than the pre-halving levels.

Bitcoin miners had expected reduced revenue following the quarterly event, but they hoped that the Runes protocol would help make up for this loss. However, in the aftermath, floor prices for the runestone NFT collection dropped nearly 50% in 24 hours to around 0.0364 BTC, as per Magic Eden’s stats.

On the other hand, ordinal collections like Bitcoin Puppets and NodeMonkes witnessed 15% and 9.5% increases respectively over the same period.



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