Halving: Runes causes heavy congestion on the Bitcoin network

Tension on the Bitcoin network is currently at its peak. The race for the first mined block after the halving caused a rare excitement on the network. Rapidly increasing since April 15, Bitcoin transaction fees have reached unexpected levels after the mining of 840,000e block. Immediately after the long-awaited event, the simultaneous launch of the Runes protocol increases transaction fees to 18.62 BTC. Details.

Explosion in Bitcoin transaction activity after the launch of the Runes protocol

At 7 p.m. UTC on April 20, 2024, the BTC halving occurred. The 840,000th block was mined on the Bitcoin blockchain within the time interval predicted by miner ViaBTC. According to the data, it would have been the most expensive block in history. Mining this legendary block cost 37.7 BTC in transaction fees, or $2.4 million, against a reward of 40.7 BTC.

If halving has often been a trigger for transactional movements, launch of the Runes protocol had a greater impact on the network. For good reason, all users aspired to be the first to register rare assets on the first mined block after the launch of the new Runes protocol. For their part, BTC miner pools competed to obtain an “epic satoshi”, the very first on the halving block.

Thus, since the launch of Runes, Bitcoin has experienced a drastic increase in its transactional activity. Nearly 237,000 transactions are currently on the network. The memory used on the network increased to 300 MB and even reached a peak of 1.15 GB. Clearly, the impact of the Runes protocol on the transactional economy of the Bitcoin network is palpable.

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Runes, a boon for BTC miners and the Bitcoin network after the halving?

Heavy congestion on the Bitcoin network after the launch of Runes pushed the average BTC transaction fee up to 18.62 BTC. At the same time, when mining the first 15 post-halving blocks, the average revenue per block increased to 21.74 BTC.

Runes therefore appears to be a real boon for miners, because it creates a new dynamic on the network. Several X users have also pointed out that “the race for degens alone has offset the drop in miner rewards following the BTC halving”.

Miners can therefore count on the strong attractiveness and potential of Ordinal Runes to compensate. Maybe even Runes will be Bitcoin's secret weapon to surpass Ethereum and Solana?

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