Runes, the New Protocol on Bitcoin Blockchain You Should Know About

Runes: the New Protocol on Bitcoin Blockchain You Should Know About


  1. Innovative Tokenization: Runes introduces a simplified, UTXO-based tokenization method on the Bitcoin blockchain, promising to streamline the process and reduce network clutter.
  2. Enhanced Transaction Efficiency: By allowing multiple tokens to be managed within a single UTXO and supporting the Lightning Network, Runes improves transaction speeds and reduces costs.
  3. Potential Challenges: Despite its advantages, Runes faces challenges such as high transaction fees and scalability concerns, which could impact broader adoption and performance.


Runes: A new protocol simplifies token creation on the Bitcoin blockchain, offering improved efficiency and scalability. Learn how it works and its potential impact.




Runes, a new protocol for creating fungible tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain, promises to simplify a previously complex process. Proposed by Casey Rodarmor, creator of Bitcoin’s Ordinals protocol, Runes leverages the network’s native Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model for efficiency. This streamlined approach could have significant implications for the Bitcoin ecosystem.


Continue reading to discover how Runes might make Bitcoin more appealing to developers and users, potentially expanding the range of use cases for the world’s oldest blockchain.




What is it?


The goal of Runes is to provide a user-friendly, UTXO-based alternative to existing tokenization protocols such as Ordinals, ORC-20, BRC-20, and Stamps.


The UTXO model adopted by Runes is a fundamental concept in Bitcoin, representing the amount of digital currency available for spending by an individual. This model is crucial for the decentralized tracking of ownership and transactions within the Bitcoin network.


What sets the Runes protocol apart is its ability to store any number of Runes tokens within a single UTXO. This is different from the restrictions commonly seen in other token protocols, which typically use address-based or off-chain methods. Within the Bitcoin network, the UTXO-based approach used by Runes offers a more seamless and integrated experience for users.


How does it work?


Runes enhances the UTXO model by permitting each UTXO to encapsulate different balances of Runes tokens. This enhancement is achieved using the OP_RETURN function, a type of Bitcoin transaction that appends data to UTXOs. This is akin to embedding a covert note within a Bitcoin transaction without altering the actual Bitcoins, thus optimizing transaction efficiency and lessening the burden on the network.


Unlike certain protocols that depend on external data or specialized tokens, Runes leverages Bitcoin’s built-in capabilities for storing data directly on the blockchain. This approach effectively minimizes the creation of unnecessary UTXOs, thereby decluttering the network and fostering more streamlined operations.


Additionally, when transactions occur, the balances of Runes can be shifted to new UTXOs, with any untransferred remaining amounts being discarded, thus maintaining network efficiency and cleanliness.


Runes also supports the Lightning Network, an extra layer on top of Bitcoin that facilitates faster and less expensive transactions. This compatibility enhances the ability of Runes to not only generate and transfer fungible tokens on the Bitcoin platform but also to do so with greater speed and reduced costs, markedly improving user experience.






Runes is designed to enhance the existing BRC-20 standard for creating tokens on Bitcoin, offering significant improvements in simplicity and efficiency. A major distinction between Runes and BRC-20 lies in the ability of Runes to handle multiple token types and destinations within a single transaction. While BRC-20 limits users to transferring one type of token to one destination per transaction, Runes enables the transfer of multiple token types to various destinations, streamlining transaction processes and improving overall efficiency.


Another key advantage of Runes is its design to avoid UTXO bloat—a common issue with BRC-20 and other token systems that contributes to increased storage and bandwidth demands for running a node on the Bitcoin network. By resolving the UTXO proliferation issues associated with BRC-20 and reducing the need for an extra layer of server consensus, Runes offers a more efficient and less cumbersome alternative. It does not rely on off-chain data or native tokens, aligning well with Bitcoin’s native UTXO model.


Additionally, Runes’ compatibility with the Lightning Network presents another significant advantage over BRC-20. It allows for the inclusion of Runes in various multisig wallets and the distribution of balances to different providers, broadening the potential and utility of the Lightning Network by introducing new use cases, developers, and users.




Implementing Runes for token creation on the Bitcoin network comes with several technical hurdles. One of the primary challenges is managing high transaction fees. Post-Bitcoin halving, fees can spike significantly, influenced by increased network load and congestion similar to what was observed with the introduction of the BRC-20 standard. Such surges in transaction costs could deter widespread adoption by making token creation and transfer prohibitively expensive for users.


Another significant issue is scalability. Although Runes is engineered to minimize blockchain congestion through efficient data storage, the continuous issuance of more tokens raises concerns about its impact on Bitcoin’s scalability. It remains crucial for Runes to prove that it can handle a large volume of transactions without degrading network performance.


Moreover, security and integration with Bitcoin’s existing infrastructure pose additional challenges. The network was initially designed for simple transactions, not complex token operations, which complicates the integration of new protocols like Runes. Ensuring that Runes tokens are secure from attacks and vulnerabilities is also essential, given Bitcoin’s high-profile status and the scrutiny that comes with it.




Following Bitcoin’s halving, the Runes protocol emerges as a transformative force, signaling a new era aimed at reshaping blockchain structures and value concepts. This innovative protocol allows the creation and transfer of fungible tokens directly on Bitcoin, which could attract new developers and users while boosting miner revenues.


Despite its potential, Runes faces skepticism from some in the Bitcoin community who view additional token creation as superfluous. Concerns remain about its ability to alleviate network congestion and UTXO bloat without compromising Bitcoin’s integrity.


Looking for the latest scoop and cool insights from CoinRank? Hit up our Twitter and stay in the loop with all our fresh stories!




CoinRank is not a certified investment, legal, or tax advisor, nor is it a broker or dealer. All content, including opinions and analyses, is based on independent research and experiences of our team, intended for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as solicitation or recommendation for any investment decisions. We encourage you to conduct your own research prior to investing.


We strive for accuracy in our content, but occasional errors may occur. Importantly, our information should not be seen as licensed financial advice or a substitute for consultation with certified professionals. CoinRank does not endorse specific financial products or strategies.



CoinRank Exclusive brings together primary sources from various fields to provide readers with the most timely and in-depth analysis and coverage. Whether it’s blockchain, cryptocurrency, finance, or technology industries, readers can access the most exclusive and comprehensive knowledge.