Runes on Bitcoin: The Next Big Opportunity?

Bitpush News
4 min readApr 18, 2024

Even though the Bitcoin halving is one of the most significant events in crypto every four years, this year’s is overshadowed by something else: Runes. Indeed, in the same block that Bitcoin’s issuance will be halved to 3.125 BTC, a new standard for creating tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain will be released, and some are calling this the next 100x opportunity. Let’s dive into what Runes are, some of the most promising projects, and whether or not they are worth the hype.

Last year, developer Casey Rodarmor released Ordinal Theory — the concept of numbering each satoshi, the smallest denomination of a Bitcoin representing one-hundred-millionths of a coin, based on their issuance. As a result, each sat effectively became a non-fungible token that could be tracked across wallets and assigned unique properties. From there, innovators like the Taproot Wizards and other developers began inscribing artwork onto each block using the Bitcoin scripting language, creating NFTs on Bitcoin. Unlike Ethereum-based NFTs, all of the artwork and characteristics are inscribed directly onto the satoshi, making it fully decentralized as opposed to using another method for storage like Filecoin and simply having the blockchain-based version point to where it exists on the internet.

Taking this a step further, BRC-20s were created, which inscribed fungible token collections to satoshis similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 tokens. Though these have garnered some interest, most notably with the ORDI meme/utility coin, the BRC-20 standard is less of a true standard and more of a primitive way to inscribe data. As a result, numerous optimizations are needed, primarily around reference implementation, more efficient transaction processing, simplicity, and extensibility. To achieve these upgrades, Rodarmor proposed Runes, a new fungible token standard for Bitcoin. He has been working on the standard for the past few months and plans to officially release it in the same block as the halving, expected on April 19th or 20th.

Given that over $1 trillion in Bitcoin is sitting on the blockchain with no efficient way to be deployed into fungible tokens, many speculate that Runes will become incredibly popular and immediately gain massive market adoption. Unlike Ethereum, there is no good way for Bitcoin holders to diversify into Bitcoin-denominated native assets other than holding non-fungible Ordinals. The opportunity is so exciting that Franklin Templeton, an asset manager with over $1.4 trillion in assets under management, wrote a piece about runes.

To date, numerous projects have begun attempting to capitalize on the impending Runes release by starting to promote memecoins. Runestones, the primary example of this behavior, airdropped 100,000 Runestone Ordinals to early Ordinals users, promising they will be airdropped three memecoins upon the standard’s release. The first one, a puppy in a Bitcoin hoodie, will come out shortly after the halving when transaction fees normalize. The second will be released sometime before the end of the year, and the third will come out when Runestones becomes the top NFT collection by market capitalization. It is currently second to only Crypto Punks, signifying massive interest and hype behind the project.

Another similar project is RSIC, an Ordinal that “mines” runes that will be airdropped to holders upon release. PUPS is a memecoin trading on Solana that will be converted into runes, and PUPS Ordinal holders will be airdropped tokens. These three projects are the biggest in the runes space, though numerous others are also attempting to capitalize on the new trend.

These three projects, and effectively all others on runes, share one distinctive characteristic: they are all memecoins with no intrinsic value. This is unfortunate, as it means the value of these tokens will be fully driven by speculation and mainstream frenzy instead of actual utility. On the other hand, memecoins have been one of the most popular and best-performing sectors of this bull market, and there have been numerous theories and theses about the true value of memecoins being in the community they create. It’s also expected that as runes mature, more legitimate projects will use the standard to create tokens with utility.

Runes have captured the minds of the memecoin community and have started permeating in the general public as “the next 100x opportunity” due to the potential for Bitcoin-denominated assets to explode in popularity and transaction volume. Though this is certainly an enticing vision, exchange support will ultimately decide how successful runes are. If the Runestone dog coin gets listed on a major exchange like Coinbase, Binance, or Robinhood, retail buyers may dive in and buy into the vision of a Bitcoin-based memecoin overtaking Dogecoin. Bitcoin is nearly twice the size of Ethereum, so why shouldn’t it have the top memecoin?

Runes are one of the most exciting developments to Bitcoin to date and may be more hyped than the halving in the Bitcoin and crypto communities. Whether or not the initial memecoins are a success remains to be seen. Still, with the amount of institutional interest, impending halving, and new tokens being developed, Bitcoin has never appeared stronger.

By Lincoln Murr



Bitpush News

New York-based blockchain media company covering everything crypto. Check us out at