New Bitcoin Runes Protocol, You Need To Know About…

Bitcoin Runes are distinct, fungible tokens that exist on the Bitcoin network. They are intended to represent fungible assets with specific properties and metadata.

The Bitcoin (BTC) network, launched in 2009, was designed to support only one crypto asset: the native BTC cryptocurrency. However, in early 2023, a significant breakthrough transformed the world’s largest chain: Ordinals. This protocol allows for the direct creation of NFTs on Bitcoin using inscriptions, which are chunks of data encoded inside satoshis.

Shortly after, BRC-20, a new token standard that makes use of the Ordinals protocol, was unveiled to provide Bitcoin-based fungible digital assets. BRC-20 has resulted in a significant increase in the amount of fungible cryptocurrencies, namely meme coins.

Despite its revolutionary nature, several Bitcoin enthusiasts have harshly criticized the BRC-20 standard, citing its potential to congest the network. Responding to these issues, Casey Rodarmor presented a new game-changing solution in late 2023: Bitcoin Runes Protocol, a system that enables the creation of fungible cryptocurrencies atop Bitcoin while correcting the inefficiencies of the BRC-20 standard.

So, let’s understand this topic a little deeply and look at how this functions and what makes it different from Bitcoin Ordinals and the BRC-20 token standard. Let’s begin!

What is the Bitcoin Runes Protocol?

Bitcoin Runes Protocol is designed to work inside Bitcoin’s unique UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) architecture. This approach contrasts with the BRC-20 token standard, which has been criticized for producing a large number of “junk” UTXOs and congesting networks. Bitcoin Runes Protocol aims to provide a more scalable and effective solution for token issuance on Bitcoin.


Bitcoin Runes Protocol aims to provide an improved and more efficient alternative to Bitcoin token issuance, free of the shortcomings of previous standards. This may attract more users and developers, enhancing Bitcoin’s use and appeal. Runes enable developers to investigate new project and application concepts, fostering creativity and growth within the secure and decentralized Bitcoin ecosystem.

Bitcoin Runes Protocol are a novel way to token issuance that fits the demands of performance and scalability, and they represent a big step forward in the evolution of Bitcoin’s capabilities. Bitcoin Runes Protocol have the ability to boost the ecosystem’s development and functionality, while also opening up new application and adoption opportunities for bitcoin.

How Bitcoin Runes Protocol Work?

At its core, the Bitcoin Runes Protocol takes advantage of Bitcoin’s UTXO mechanism and the OP_RETURN opcode to make it easier to create fungible tokens on the blockchain. A Rune, a unique digital asset, is allocated to a UTXO via a protocol message containing precise parameters like the Rune ID, output index, and amount, which are all saved in an OP_RETURN output.

Unlike protocols that rely on off-chain data or specialized tokens, the Bitcoin Runes Protocol uses Bitcoin’s inherent capabilities for on-chain data storage. This strategy reduces the number of undesired junk UTXOs, which can congest the network, resulting in slower, more expensive, and less reliable transactions.

Furthermore, rune balances are tracked in UTXOs rather than wallet addresses. Runes are transmitted using Bitcoin transactions, with OP_RETURN outputs indicating the transfer information.

Bitcoin Runes Protocol can be etched (made), mined (produced), and transferred via runestones, which are messages saved in Bitcoin transaction outputs. Etching entails defining attributes such as name, divisibility, and symbol. Minting generates new tokens based on the engraved attributes. Transferring Runes requires edicts that specify transfer information such as output number, Rune ID, and amount.

Benefits & Challenges

Let’s explore the advantages and obstacles associated with Bitcoin Runes Protocol.


▪️ Reduces on-chain footprint due to its UTXO-based architecture.

▪️ Facilitates the creation of native fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network.

▪️ Its straightforward design could foster innovation within the Bitcoin ecosystem.

▪️ Operates without the need for off-chain data.

▪️ Permits open minting following parameters defined by the etcher.


▪️ Faces competition from the widely recognized BRC-20 token standard.

▪️ Errors causing token burns can negatively impact user experience.

▪️ Has yet to be recognized as a credible Bitcoin token standard.

Bitcoin Ordinals Protocol Vs Bitcoin Runes Protocol

They use different data storage mechanisms. The Ordinals protocol requires that data be preserved in the witness component of a transaction. By adding details to each Satoshi, these inscriptions create distinct objects on the Bitcoin network. This is firmly embedded in the nature of Ordinals, therefore you should understand what Bitcoin Runes Protocol are and how they differ from Ordinals.


Runes pick a different path. Rather than modifying transaction witnesses, Bitcoin Runes Protocol incorporates token records directly into Bitcoin’s Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs). This streamlined solution ensures the integrity of the blockchain while being compatible with Bitcoin’s present infrastructure.

The second difference pertains to transfer mechanisms and procedures. The runes take a more straight path. They can be transferred without requiring sophisticated UTXO splitting, just like any other Bitcoin transaction. This simplicity reduces user friction and increases usefulness. To transfer Ordinals, a function divides a UTXO into multiple new UTXOs, each with a unique number of Ordinals. These inscriptions appear throughout the architecture of UTXO.

The third key distinction is the protocol’s scalability. Ordinals provides a flexible platform on the Bitcoin blockchain, however its data storage technique may limit scalability. Storing massive amounts of data in transaction witnesses may cause performance issues. Bitcoin Runes Protocol compensate for this problem. They address the scalability and performance issues that come with excessive data storage by directly adding token records into UTXOs. Because of its efficiency, the Bitcoin network will remain robust even if Runes becomes more popular.


The Bitcoin Runes Protocol’s success is solely dependent on its three key features: simplicity, sustainable design, and a native UTXO model. More significant, however, is how the development and Bitcoin user communities react to it.

It is clear that the protocol offers a simple alternative to fungible token systems. Nonetheless, the standard’s effectiveness will be judged by how easily it is adopted by members of the blockchain and crypto communities.

To learn more about Bitcoin Runes Protocol, go check out SunCrypto Academy.


Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. All content provided is for informational purposes only, and shall not be relied upon as financial/investment advice. Opinions shared, if any, are only shared for information and education purposes. Although the best efforts have been made to ensure all information is accurate and up to date, occasionally unintended errors or misprints may occur. We recommend you do your own research or consult an expert before making any investment decision. You may write to us at [email protected].

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