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Bitcoin Runes

Bitcoin Runes is a protocol designed for creating fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Today, we'll delve into Bitcoin Runes and explore how it enhances efficiency.


The Bitcoin ecosystem has grown to support both fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This article explores the Bitcoin Runes protocol, its functionality, distinctions from BRC-20 tokens, and its potential advantages.

What Are Bitcoin Runes?

Bitcoin Runes is a protocol that facilitates the creation of fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain. Unlike BRC-20 and SRC-20 tokens, which depend on the Ordinals protocol, Runes are designed for simplicity and efficiency, utilizing Bitcoin’s UTXO model and OP_RETURN opcode.

How Do Bitcoin Runes Work?

Bitcoin Runes operate using two main features of the Bitcoin blockchain: the UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model and the OP_RETURN opcode. The UTXO model ensures each transaction results in separate outputs, making it easier to track individual units of cryptocurrency. Runes use this model to manage tokens efficiently. The OP_RETURN opcode allows users to attach up to 80 bytes of additional data to Bitcoin transactions. This is used to store crucial token information, such as the token's name, ID, and symbol, within the OP_RETURN output of a transaction.

Etching and Minting Runes and Differences from BRC-20

Creating a new Rune, known as etching, involves specifying details like the Rune’s name, symbol, ID, supply amount, and divisibility, all recorded in the OP_RETURN output. This process can also include a "premine," where creators allocate some of the Rune to themselves before public release. Runes can be minted through open or closed methods. Open minting allows anyone to generate new Runes after etching, while closed minting restricts new token creation to certain conditions. Compared to BRC-20 tokens, Runes use the UTXO model for operation, while BRC-20 tokens rely on the Ordinals protocol. Token transfers with Runes create new UTXOs based on OP_RETURN data, whereas BRC-20 transfers require new inscriptions for each transaction. Furthermore, Runes support both open and closed minting, including premining, while BRC-20 minting is limited to open procedures. Management-wise, Runes are compatible with the Bitcoin Lightning Network and SPV wallets, whereas BRC-20 tokens require Ordinals-compatible wallets.

Benefits of Bitcoin Runes

  • Efficiency: The OP_RETURN model helps Runes avoid creating unspendable UTXOs, reducing network load. OP_RETURN uses 80 bytes compared to BRC-20 inscriptions' 4MB, enhancing network performance.

  • Simplicity: Runes streamline the creation and management of fungible tokens directly on-chain without needing off-chain data or native tokens, avoiding excessive "junk" UTXOs.

  • User Attraction: By providing a new use case for Bitcoin, Runes can attract more users, including meme coin enthusiasts, and expand the network’s utility.


With Bitcoin Runes providing a streamlined method for creating fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain, the endless possibilities for Bitcoin's advancement are eagerly anticipated. This simplicity 

and efficiency not only enhance the cryptocurrency's utility and appeal but also pave the way for its continuous evolution and growth.

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