Bitcoin Runes Hype Simmers Down as Network Activity Plunges

Runes struggles to live up to the hype as miners explore alternate options. 

Viking riding a steam train with Bitcoin Runes.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • After setting the bar high with its launch, Runes has been performing below expectations.
  • Runes activity has plummeted significantly since launch, hitting rock bottom over the weekend.
  • The decline could be interpreted as a natural correction as the protocol finds its footing amid the miners’ exodus and declining network activity.

Bitcoin’s novel protocol, Runes, sparked quite the excitement with its launch. It promised to bring significant revenue for miners by introducing memecoins into the foray through its platform. 

In its first week, starting April 19, the protocol’s high-profile debut spurred record network activity even after the halving, generating millions in transaction fees and leading everyone to assume that Runes would help offset the hit to block rewards. 


However, with Bitcoin now struggling to perform and miners exploring alternate options, Runes struggles to live up to the hype. 

Rune Activity Plunges to the Depths

Three weeks ago, Runes made quite the splash with its grand entrance after raking in a whopping $135 million in transaction fees during its debut week. With the protocol making up nearly half of all transactions on Bitcoin, the anticipation surrounding it was sky-high, with many expecting it to maintain its momentum. However, the novel protocol’s journey has been far from expectations.

Since setting the bar high in its first week, Runes activity has taken a nosedive, hitting rock bottom over the weekend. Data from Dune showed a severe decrease in total Runes minted, falling from a peak of 23,061 on April 26 to just 62 by May 12. Similarly, fees earned from Runes plummeted from a peak of $321,263 on April 26 to just $970 on May 12. 

While Runes still generates considerable fees on Bitcoin, according to data from the Block, the sum of fees generated has breached $1 million only twice in the past two weeks.


Nonetheless, even with network activity plunging, Runes’ decline isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. 

Don’t Let it Rune Your Day

Runes’ recent downturn could be seen as a natural correction as the protocol finds its ceiling and floor. The protocol continues to perform exceptionally well, with collections already surpassing market caps exceeding $100 million, according to data from Magic Eden.

Runes are likely bearing the brunt of the miner exodus as Bitcoin miners weigh whether it’s worth continuing their operations. Over the past week, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty dropped by 6%, making the largest reduction since July 2021, suggesting that miners are leaving the network due to the hit on their profitability. 

To put things into perspective, daily mining revenue has stumbled from as high as $107.8 million before the reward halving to $29.9 million on Saturday, May 11, a 29-week low, according to data from Ycharts

Until miners regain confidence in the network and Bitcoin stabilizes in the current market conditions, Runes could remain a second thought for many. 

On the Flipside

  • Many developers are concerned that memecoins tarnish crypto’s long-term vision and drive developers away.
  • Experts suggest that memecoins’ success stems from human desperation to get rich quickly.

Why This Matters

Runes is undergoing a natural correction, so it would be unfair to call it a flop at this time, especially considering the protocol is just three weeks old. However, in hindsight, it does raise concerns for the network since Runes hoped to offset the hit by blocking rewards for miners, but it isn’t a strong enough reason to retain miners.

ARK 21Shares kick staking component out of their proposal:
ARK 21Shares Update ETH ETF Proposal: No More Staking

Mark Cuban isn’t happy with the SEC:
Mark Cuban Blasts SEC Chair Gensler’s Hostile Crypto Probe

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Insha Zia

Insha Zia is a senior journalist at DailyCoin covering crypto developments, especially in the Cardano ecosystem. With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering, he delivers high-quality articles with his technical background and expertise in data analysis and programming languages, aiming to educate and inform readers accurately, transparently, and engagingly. Insha believes education can drive mass adoption of the crypto space, and he is committed to giving DailyCoin readers a better understanding of the technology.