Bitcoin Runes

What are Bitcoin Runes?

What are Runes?

Runes are a groundbreaking technology built on the Bitcoin network, designed as a response to the immense popularity and underlying issues of the BRC20 token standard. In 2023 alone, over $50 million was spent on creating BRC20 tokens, underscoring the demand for more refined solutions on Bitcoin.

Runes were proposed and built by Casey Rodarmor who also created Ordinals Theory.

The official documentation is here in the Ordinals Theory Handbook.

Understanding Runes in Everyday Terms

Imagine if you could create a special kind of permanent digital stamp or seal, one that represents a unique digital item or token, right on the Bitcoin network.

These aren’t just any tokens; they're like collectible, tradeable stamps, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. This is what Runes are—a new, improved way of creating and managing tokens that integrate seamlessly with Bitcoin’s robust and secure infrastructure.

Creating tokens is what initially made networks like Ethereum rise into mass popularity. Bitcoin is already the most popular cryptocurrency and it's about to get supercharged with new functionality that did not require any changes to Bitcoin.

Why Were Runes Created?

Runes were developed to address several key issues with the BRC20 tokens:

  • Complexity and Cost: Creating and managing BRC20 tokens was expensive and complicated, making it hard for regular users to get involved.

  • Uniformity and Interchangeability: Unlike BRC20 tokens, which were clunky and required several transactions to do a simple transfer - Runes offer a streamlined, standardized approach. Each Rune is a user-defined unit of currency—identical in format but unique in identity.

How Do Runes Work?

Runes operate using something called the “Rune Protocol,” a set of rules that define how these tokens are created, traded, and managed on the Bitcoin network. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  1. Creation (Etching): Just as an artist etches a design into metal, digital “etchings” create Runes on the Bitcoin network. Each etching sets the properties of the Rune, like its name and what it represents, which cannot be changed once set.

  2. Issue (Minting): Once a Rune has been "etched" (created) - then it can be minted. Most Runes will be "Open Mint" which means they are mintable by anyone. Some may have a cap on the number of mints - this will limit the supply of such runes.

  3. Trading and Transferring: Runes can easily be transferred or traded between people without needing a middleman, thanks to the Bitcoin network’s secure environment. This means you can send Runes to anyone in the world quickly and safely.

  4. Unique Identification: Each Rune is identified by a special code, which includes the Bitcoin block number and a transaction index, making every Rune uniquely traceable back to its creation point.

Why Use Runes?

  • Accessibility: Runes simplify the process of creating and managing tokens on Bitcoin, making it accessible to more people.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: They offer a more economical solution compared to BRC20 tokens, reducing the financial barrier for users and developers.

  • Security and Reliability: Built on the Bitcoin network, Runes benefit from the same level of security and stability that protects Bitcoin itself.

For more information on how you can start using Runes, visit our or reach out to us on

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