Runes token standard diminishes BRC-20 hype, thwarts Ordinals engagement a day after launch

Updated Apr 22, 2024 24:39

■  Runes token standard continues to record skyrocketing social activity and engagement.

■  Bitcoin Runes could be the next big trend after BRC-20 and Ordinals as BTC ecosystem innovation grows.

■  Interactions for Runes are at 27,350, against BRC-20 and Ordinals at 44,133 and 6,691 respectively.

Bitcoin token standards have been a notable theme of late, with Ordinals and BRC-20 making headlines in the first quarter of 2024. However, there is a new player in the works, Runes, which could be the next narrative as the ecosystem continues to evolve.

Bitcoin Runes thwart Ordinals in interactions

Bitcoin innovation from a mere store of value and medium of exchange to a platform for creative expression and complex financial instruments is gaining steam. The intensity grows as new token standards continue to develop atop the strengths and weaknesses of forerunners.  The Bitcoin Runes is a good case in point, coming after the growth of Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens.

Bitcoin Ordinals

Ordinals debuted in January of 2023, allowing users to inscribe satoshis with unique content, to create Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that are native to the Bitcoin blockchain. For the layperson, satoshis are the smallest unit of Bitcoin.

Ordinals received almost immediate and overwhelming response and support, recording soaring social activity and engagement. Amid limitations of high fees, however, the Bitcoin community has frowned upon Ordinals. However, support continues to abound for Ordinals as markets appreciate the potential of NFTs on Bitcoin.

BRC-20 tokens

As for BRC-20 tokens, which debuted in February 2023, the token standard was coined to create a standard for fungible tokens on Bitcoin.  Affordability, speed, and increased accessibility relative to its predecessor (Ordinals) was the way to go, toned by the bonus of being programmable.

Despite remarkable reception in the market, now boasting up to 44,133 interactions, according to data from social media analytics and investment tool LunarCrush, the numbers have rather flattened since early 2024. Meanwhile, Ordinals standard is recording 6,691 while Bitcoin Runes boasts up to 27,350 just a day after launching, data on LunarCrush shows.


Runes was commissioned to launch at the Bitcoin halving, bringing on stage a unique mix of Ordinals and BRC-20 but with the added advantage of launching fungible tokens on Bitcoin. This distinguishes it from Ordinals.

The distinguishing factor comes courtesy of “edicts”, described as small, lightweight transactions serving to transfer token ownership without clogging up the Bitcoin network. You therefore achieve faster, cheaper, and more efficient token transfers. The reception is remarkable as creators and collectors envision new possibilities.

With this, projects continue to line up to leverage the launchpad as the Runes ecosystem continues to budge.

It is imperative to note that Runes is an entirely different ecosystem from RUNE, the native cryptocurrency of decentralised cross-chain liquidity protocol, THORChain.  

* The content presented above, whether from a third party or not, is considered as general advice only.  This article should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments.

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