Bitcoin Ordinals Creator Casey Rodarmor Expands Ecosystem with “Runes”

Key Takeaways

Casey Rodarmor, known for Bitcoin Ordinals, introduces “Runes,” a new fungible token protocol for Bitcoin.

“Runes” aims for a simplified user experience and responsible UTXO management.

The announcement comes after the success of Bitcoin Ordinals, another innovative protocol by Rodarmor that transformed satoshis into NFTs.

Casey Rodarmor, who gained prominence for his creation of Bitcoin Ordinals, has announced a new fungible token protocol for Bitcoin named “Runes.” The announcement was made on September 26, 2023, and quickly gained over 250,000 views. This comes after the success of Bitcoin Ordinals, a system that transformed individual satoshis into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), adding another layer of innovation to the Bitcoin blockchain.

The Genesis of Runes

Rodarmor acknowledges the controversial nature of fungible tokens, describing them as mostly “scams and memes.” However, he believes that a well-designed fungible token protocol could bring “significant transaction fee revenue, developer mindshare, and users to Bitcoin.” Runes aims to offer a more streamlined, user-friendly experience while promoting responsible UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) management, similar to the user-friendly journeys observed in Bitcoin Ordinals.

Technical Aspects of Runes

Runes is designed to be UTXO-based, fitting naturally into Bitcoin’s existing architecture. It aims to avoid the creation of “junk” UTXOs and does not require a native token for protocol operations. The protocol uses OP_RETURN followed by a data push of the ASCII uppercase letter “R” to contain protocol messages in transactions. Invalid protocol messages result in the burning of the input runes, allowing for future upgrades.

Runes and Bitcoin Ordinals: A Comparative Analysis

While Bitcoin Ordinals focused on transforming satoshis into NFTs based on ordinal theory, Runes aims to simplify the fungible token landscape on Bitcoin. Both protocols reflect Rodarmor’s commitment to innovation within the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin Ordinals had introduced unique identification and tracking for satoshis, and Runes aims to bring similar levels of innovation to fungible tokens.

Ethical and Practical Considerations

Rodarmor raises ethical questions about the existence of such a protocol. He describes the fungible token landscape as a “near totally irredeemable pit of deceit and avarice” but suggests that Runes might draw users away from less-efficient schemes, thereby benefiting Bitcoin in the long run.

Future Outlook

The introduction of Runes opens up new avenues for discussion within the Bitcoin community. It remains to be seen how the protocol will be received, but its focus on simplicity and efficiency could make it a strong contender in the evolving landscape of Bitcoin-based fungible tokens.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / /

What is Bitcoin Ordinals?

Bitcoin Ordinals, also known as digital artifacts, are a way to inscribe digital content on the Bitcoin blockchain. They were introduced in January 2023 by Casey Rodarmor, a programmer and artist, who saw an opportunity to create a unique experience on the Bitcoin blockchain similar to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum and other blockchains.

What are Bitcoin Ordinals?

Bitcoin Ordinals are a system for numbering and tracking individual satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin), transforming them into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Ordinals are based on ordinal theory, which gives individual identities to satoshis and allows them to be tracked, transferred, and imbued with meaning.

The Ordinals protocol assigns a unique number to each satoshi based on when it was mined. Smaller numbers correspond to older satoshis. As transactions occur, the Ordinals protocol tracks each satoshi through subsequent transactions in a “first-in-first-out” scheme. The satoshis’ identifying numbers are called Ordinals, as both the identification and the tracking mechanism are dependent on the chronological order of creation and transactions.

How do Bitcoin Ordinals work?

Ordinals simply refer to the system for numbering and tracking satoshis. Each satoshi is assigned a unique identifying number when they are created (mined) which can be traced through every subsequent transaction. Each satoshi identified by the Ordinals protocol can also be referred to as an Ordinal.

The Ordinals protocol assigns a number to each satoshi based on the order in which it was created, called the integer. It also assigns a decimal based on the satoshi’s position in the block height of its Bitcoin block. Finally, its position in the entire Bitcoin supply is expressed as a percentile, and its name is assigned using the letters a-z. The names of satoshis get shorter as time goes on, such that the last satoshi ever mined will be “a.”

After a satoshi has been identified by the Ordinals protocol, users can inscribe a satoshi with arbitrary data to give it its unique characteristics, defined as a digital artifact. Writing arbitrary data into a satoshi only became possible after the SegWit (2017) and Taproot (2021) upgrades to Bitcoin Core.

How to buy, sell, and trade Ordinals?

Much like the process of minting Bitcoin Ordinals, the trading process hasn’t had matured tooling. Yet there are a few tools to trade these digital artifacts. As Bitcoin Ordinals grow in popularity, most of the trades have been largely over-the-counter. However, tools like the Ordinals Wallet, Hiro, and Xverse allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin Ordinals.

Ordinals Wallets

Ordinal wallets provide a simple way to store and collect digital artifacts created using Ordinals. Here are some of the trusted Ordinal wallets:

The Ordinals Wallet: Launched on February 16, 2023, the Ordinals Wallet is a Bitcoin wallet that allows users to hold, store, view, transfer, send, inscribe, and buy and sell Ordinals directly from within the wallet. It has a user-friendly interface and is a community-funded project.

Hiro Wallet: Launched on February 14, 2023, Hiro Wallet allows users to securely store, send, and receive Bitcoin, and create and store Ordinal NFT inscriptions in minutes. It is compatible with popular Ordinals platforms such as Gamma, OrdinalsBot, and other emerging apps, allowing for inscription directly in the web browser.

Ordinals vs. traditional NFTs

Ordinals are different from traditional NFTs from a technical design perspective. There are several features that make the pricing for ordinals a different exercise. Bitcoin Ordinals help identify satoshis uniquely and have content or art stored on-chain. Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, which is used to create NFTs, typically holds the metadata or a pointer to the art, which is generally held off-chain. Some Ethereum NFTs are experimenting with on-chain storage, but they are more of an exception.

Future of Bitcoin Ordinals

Bitcoin Ordinals are a new technology and the use cases for them keep growing. They have been used to port Ethereum (and other chain) NFT collections to Bitcoin, but unique projects are also beginning to stake a claim to digital artifacts tied to the original cryptocurrency. As demand from ordinary users and followers increases, the ecosystem and the tooling should start maturing with more user-friendly journeys.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 41,064.00 6.56%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,202.88 7.07%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 72.11 7.44%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 228.98 9.13%