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What are Bitcoin Runes? A complete guide for beginners

Bitcoin Runes
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Have you ever heard of Bitcoin Runes? In the world of cryptocurrencies, new terms and concepts are constantly emerging. Bitcoin Runes are one such concept that has been gaining popularity recently. In this complete guide for beginners, we will explore what Bitcoin Runes are, how they work, and why they are significant in the world of cryptocurrencies.

The Runes protocol on Bitcoin was created with the aim of improving the efficiency of the Bitcoin network and attracting more users and developers. This guide covers all aspects of Bitcoin Runes, from its inception to how to buy and sell Runes tokens. Learn about token creation, transfers, trading efficiency blockchain, data security and integrity, and much more.

What is the Bitcoin Runes Protocol?

The Runes Protocol is a new token standard that brings fungible tokens to the Bitcoin blockchain. The launch of Runes took place in April 2024, at block 840.000 – following the Bitcoin halving event.

Runes allow users to burn, mint, and transfer digital commodities native to Bitcoin, making it easier to create exchangeable tokens for a variety of uses.

Unlike some methods that can overwhelm the blockchain with voluminous data, Runes is designed to keep its data footprint small, which helps prevent blockchain bloat and ensures scalability. This means that Bitcoin transactions remain efficient and do not add unnecessary strain to the network.

Additionally, Runes can utilize the Lightning Network, a separate layer on top of Bitcoin, for faster transactions.

With this protocol, users now have a more simplified and efficient way to create fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network, opening up new possibilities for asset tokenization and the creation of digital currencies.

Who created the Runes Protocol?

The Runes Protocol was created by Casey Rodarmor, an expert in the crypto space with a strong background in developing innovative decentralized protocols.

Casey Rodarmor first rose to prominence in the crypto community through his work on the Bitcoin Ordinals Protocol, where he played a key role in its development.

Why was the Runes Protocol created?

The Runes Protocol was created with the aim of addressing inefficiencies in existing token standards and offering improved functionality. Through the Runes Protocol, Casey Rodarmor envisions a future where transactions are faster, more secure, and more scalable.

One of the main reasons behind its creation was the need to replace the Ordinals-based BRC-20 token standard. This particular pattern had proven inefficient for creating fungible tokens and lacked certain essential features necessary for an ideal user experience.

Additionally, the Runes Protocol aimed to enhance existing fungible token protocols such as RGB and Taproot Assets. These protocols had limitations in terms of their on-chain footprint and the management of Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs). Runes aimed to minimize the on-chain footprint, ensuring that unnecessary information and bloat were avoided.

An Overview of the Design of Runes

The Runes protocol is an innovation for Bitcoin that aims to simplify the network while giving traders more freedom with their assets. Let's explore the innovations that Runes brings and how Bitcoin can benefit from its launch.

Cleaning the Bitcoin Blockchain Network

The Bitcoin Runes protocol was designed to unclog the Bitcoin network.

As Bitcoin's popularity increases, network congestion increases, leading to slower transactions and higher fees. Runes addresses this by encoding asset information directly into Bitcoin transactions, minimizing data usage and speeding up transaction times. This efficient approach helps reduce network congestion, making Bitcoin more scalable and user-friendly.

Attracting a Larger User Base

Bitcoin Runes' focus on meme coins as a primary utility has sparked a lot of interest and intrigue within the crypto community. The concept of meme coins as a means of building community and engaging users in a fun and interactive way is innovative and refreshing.

Enhanced Security and Stability

Security and stability are fundamental in the Runes protocol, which uses the UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model for token creation and transactions.

By inheriting Bitcoin's robust security features, Runes minimizes vulnerabilities and ensures transparent links between transactions. This makes it easier to detect and prevent malicious activity by providing a stable environment for users.

Attracting More Developers

A vibrant community of developers is crucial to the success of any protocol. Runes aims to attract developers by offering comprehensive, easy-to-use documentation, including sample code, tutorials, and guidelines.

As more developers contribute to the Runes protocol, the ecosystem benefits from diverse and innovative token creations. This leads to a greater variety of tokens, promoting excitement and adoption. Developers can leverage the security of Bitcoin combined with the flexibility of fungible tokens to explore new tokenization possibilities, attracting more users and diversifying the Bitcoin ecosystem.

How the Runes Protocol Works

The Runes Protocol uses a system of Runes that serve as fundamental units that represent fungible tokens. Each Rune is uniquely identified by a Rune ID, which is a cryptographic hash linked to a specific UTXO on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Creating Runes: Engraving

Creating a new Rune is called “Engraving”. To record a Rune, users specify details such as name, symbol, ID, supply quantity, divisibility and other parameters in the OP_RETURN output. Creators can also include a “premine”, where a set amount of Rune is allocated to the creator before it is available to the public.

Rune Minting

After engraving, Runes can be minted in two ways:

  • Open Minting: Anyone can mint new Runes after the initial engraving by creating a minting transaction to mint a fixed amount of new Runes.
  • Closed Minting: New tokens can only be created when certain conditions are met, such as after a specific period of time, limiting the supply of tokens.

Rune Transfer: Edicts

Edicts define how Runes can be transferred after burning or minting. They allow batch transfers, mass distributions, and transfers of all minted Runes to a single account.

Unlike Ethereum's ERC-20 standard, where tokens are created and managed through smart contracts, the Runes Protocol relies on the native infrastructure of the Bitcoin blockchain. This offers several advantages such as greater security, wider adoption, and compatibility with various Bitcoin wallets and services. Additionally, because each Rune is tied to a specific UTXO, it allows for improved token tracking and eliminates the need for off-chain balances or complex token transfer mechanisms.

BRC-20 vs. Runes: What's the Difference?

Both BRC-20 and Runes token standards differ in trading efficiency. blockchain, ease of use and security. Below is a breakdown of these differences to help you understand why Runes may be the best choice for certain applications.

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Blockchain Efficiency

  • BRC-20: Uses the Bitcoin Ordinals protocol, which attaches data to a Bitcoin satoshi. This approach can be demanding on Bitcoin's network resources.
  • Runes: Based on Bitcoin's UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model. Stores data in the OP_RETURN field of a Bitcoin transaction, which is more efficient and less resource-intensive.

Asset Creation and Minting

  • BRC-20: Tokens are created using inscriptions, and minting is limited to open procedures.
  • Runes: Tokens are created through a “burning” process. Runes can be minted through open and closed procedures, with an option for pre-mining.


  • BRC-20: Transfers require new registrations.
  • Runes: Transfers create new sets of UTXOs based on OP_RETURN data, making the process more streamlined.

Compatibility and Usage

  • BRC-20: Requires wallets that support Bitcoin Ordinals.
  • Runes: Compatible with Bitcoin's Lightning Network and supports Lightning clients and SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) wallets, making it more versatile.

Data Security and Integrity

  • BRC-20: The issuance process can lead to “junk data” on the blockchain, potentially affecting security and efficiency.
  • Runes: It has an integrated mechanism to eliminate malformed tokens, promoting a cleaner and safer environment.

While both standards allow for the creation of tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain, Runes offers better efficiency, ease of use, and security. Its reliance on the UTXO model, compatibility with existing Bitcoin infrastructure, and mechanisms to ensure data integrity make it a robust alternative to BRC-20 tokens.

Bitcoin Runes: A Catalyst for Memecoins on Bitcoin

Bitcoin Runes is a token protocol that simplifies the process of creating memecoins on the Bitcoin blockchain, reducing the barrier to token creation. Memecoins are cryptocurrency tokens inspired by internet memes, and with Bitcoin Runes, even those with limited technical knowledge can easily create their own tokens.

The Runes protocol offers a user-friendly interface and efficient tools, making token creation accessible to everyone. Its scalability ensures that the creation and management of memecoins does not slow down the Bitcoin network.

According to Casey Rodarmor, creator of the Runes protocol, the protocol is simple, efficient and safe. It is a legitimate competitor to Taproot Assets and RGB. The protocol is self-contained and has no dependencies on ordinals or inscriptions, making it extremely simple.

Bitcoin Runes allows users to quickly and easily create tokens without the need for advanced technical skills. The protocol is particularly popular among memecoin creators, who use Bitcoin Runes as a platform to create their own tokens inspired by internet memes. Bitcoin Runes is a catalyst for the growing popularity of memecoins in the crypto community.

How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin Runes

UniSat online marketplace

If you are interested in buying or selling Bitcoin Runes, this guide will help you get started. Here are the steps needed to buy and sell Bitcoin Runes.

Step 1: Set up a Bitcoin Wallet

Before purchasing Bitcoin Runes, you will need a Bitcoin wallet to store your coins safely. Choose a reliable wallet provider and create an account.

Step 2: Get Some Bitcoin

Since Runes operate on the Bitcoin network, you will need Bitcoin in your wallet to send Runes and cover transaction fees. You can buy Bitcoin on any cryptocurrency exchange of your choice. Once you have Bitcoin, you are ready to explore Runes.

Step 3: Buy Rune Tokens

Visit online markets like UniSat, magic eden ou OK to buy Runes. These platforms allow you to create, buy, sell and trade various digital assets, including Runes. Follow the market instructions to purchase your desired Runes using Bitcoin.

How to Sell Your Runes

Selling your Runes is as simple as buying. Go to a Bitcoin Runes marketplace and create an ad for the Runes you want to sell. Set a price in Bitcoin and add any necessary details or descriptions. When a buyer is interested, they will purchase your Runes with Bitcoin and the transaction will be completed securely through the marketplace.

With these simple steps, you will be ready to buy, sell and enjoy your Runes!

Final Words

Bitcoin Runes bring a new level of innovation to the Bitcoin network, adding excitement and possibilities. Despite an initial surge and subsequent drop in activity and fee revenue following the Bitcoin halving, Bitcoin Runes' potential remains vast. This evolution shows that even the oldest blockchain can adapt and meet the changing needs of its community.

It is important to note that the cryptocurrency market suffers from high volatility and occasional arbitrary movements. Any investor, trader or regular user of cryptocurrencies should research multiple viewpoints and be familiar with all local regulations before committing to an investment.


What are Bitcoin Runes?

Bitcoin Runes are fungible tokens created on the Bitcoin network. The Bitcoin Runes protocol uses Bitcoin's UTXO model and the OP_RETURN opcode to simplify the creation and management of fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network.

What is Rune cryptocurrency?

Rune is a cryptocurrency created by the Thorchain team, which is used as a native currency on the Thorchain network. Thorchain is a decentralized network that allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies without the need for intermediaries.

What is Rune?

Rune is a fungible token created on the Thorchain network. It is used as a native currency on the network and can be used to pay transaction fees, among other things.

What is the Runes protocol?

The Runes protocol is a tokenization protocol on the Bitcoin network that allows the creation of fungible tokens based on UTXOs. It simplifies the creation and management of tokens on the Bitcoin network.

How to invest in Runes?

To invest in Runes, you must first purchase the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and then exchange it for Runes on an exchange that supports Rune trading. It is important to do your research on the exchange before investing to ensure it is reliable and safe.

What is the Bitcoin Portal?

The Bitcoin Portal is a website that provides news and information about the cryptocurrency market, including Bitcoin. It is a trusted source of information for cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts.

How does NFT work on the Bitcoin network?

The Bitcoin network does not support the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) natively. However, there are projects that use sidechains or overlays to allow the creation and management of NFTs on the Bitcoin network.

Where to get reliable Bitcoin news?

There are many sources of news and information about Bitcoin, but not all of them are reliable. Some reliable sources include Bitcoin Portal, Cointelegraph and CoinDesk. It is important to always do your research on the source before trusting their information.

What are Bitcoin Ordinals?

Bitcoin ordinals are a way of identifying transactions on the Bitcoin network. They are made up of a block number and a transaction index within that block. They are used to track and verify transactions on the bitcoin network.

How to know how Bitcoin is doing today?

There are many websites that provide information about the real-time price and market capitalization of Bitcoin. Some trustworthy sites include CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko, and TradingView.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.

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