Bitcoin’s New Asset Class (Without the VC-Tax)

Bitcoin Runes are Bitcoin's new fungible token standard that's highly relevant for builders, brands & corporates. Here's all you need to know.

Hey, it’s Marc. ✌️

Bitcoin is experiencing a renaissance.

Last year, the Ordinals (BRC-20) protocol brought NFTs to Bitcoin with over 66M inscriptions to date and a $2.65B market cap. Recently, Layer2 protocols, such as Lightning or Stacks, picked up as well.

Now, Bitcoin Runes introduces a new fungible token standard on Bitcoin, enabling a host of new innovations such as DeFi, Tokenization, Stablecoins, and more.

They also create new asset class accessible to anyone (without the VC-tax).

This is massive. And it opens new opportunities for builders, brands and corporates.

Here’s all you need to know.

Not a PRO subscriber yet?

Upgrade to PRO now and lock in a 50% launch discount.

A Quick Overview

  • Bitcoin Runes launched on April 19th on Bitcoin, they are a new protocol that enables fungible tokens on Bitcoin. 

Why it’s important: Runes create a new asset class on the world’s most secure blockchain. Unlike Ordinals, also called BRC-20 token's or Bitcoin’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Runes are fungible (similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard).

NFTBoi, a thought leader in the NFT, Ordinals and Runes space, said to me:

Runes adds to the functionality of L1 bitcoin in a way BRC-20 couldn’t because it lacked the UTXO model.


What he means by that is that Ordinals inscribe data directly into individual satoshis (the smallest units of Bitcoin), potentially leading to larger transaction sizes and strain on the network over time.

Runes, however, use the existing UTXO structure of Bitcoin to represent tokens, minimizing the footprint on the blockchain. This provides more flexibility as tokens can hold additional logic and rules for transfers (via edicts).

(You can deep dive here or read the Ordinal Theory Handbook)

Why it’s important: Using UTXO, Runes become much more scalable, efficient and customizable than any other asset creation protocol on Bitcoin, such as Taproot Assets or RGB.

Zooming in:

  • Taproot Assets: While less complex, shares similarities in leveraging Bitcoin upgrades for efficiency. Runes offers more flexibility for custom asset logic.

  • RGB: Runes provides a less complex yet more "trustless" model, relying more heavily on Bitcoin's security than user-side validation.

Combined with the security and provenance of Bitcoin, Runes become powerful.

So what? While Ordinals where a major development for Bitcoin, Runes are even bigger.

They essentially enabling the creation of programmable assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, allowing smart contract-like functionality, tokenization, and broad range of new applications.

Subscribe to PRO Membership to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of PRO Membership to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In

A subscription gets you:
Weekly Field Notes
2x/month case studies & data-driven industry analysis
3. Slack community with exclusive content, virtual events, AMA’s with special guests & access to Marc
Access to top cheatsheets, lists & full archive