Seeking Alphas in Runes Protocol | BitNativeNarrative No. 1

by Rebbeca Ren, Jean Chen

TL;DR

🔥Casey Rodarmor, the genius behind Ordinals, is dropping a new protocol called Runes. It's meant to take over BRC-20 and it's gonna be.

🔥Runes is still in development but it's set to launch in April! 👀 Get ready for the next big thing on Bitcoin!

🔥 The Runes ecosystem is already poppin' off with a bunch of dope projects attracting major hype and investment. Runes is quickly becoming the hottest innovation in Bitcoin rn!

🔥 Here are some Runes projects you should keep an eye on if you don’t want to miss the opportunity:

  1. RSIC

  2. RSIC Boost

  3. Runestones

  4. Rune Mania Miner

  5. The Rune Guardians

  6. BTCSlugs

We've got the full breakdown on how to get involved with these projects and some pro tips! Check out all the juicy details below 🚀

On March 9th, the largest Ordinals inscription Runestone to date, measuring 3.97MB in size, was successfully auctioned for 8 BTC (≈ $560,000). The creator, Leonidas, a well-known figure in Ordinals ecosystem, said that all proceeds from the auction, along with 2.25 BTC previously raised via Twitter, will be used to pay for the network fees of the Runestone airdrop plan. This will be the largest Ordinals airdrop in history, and it has also made the global Bitcoin community excited about the Runes Protocol, which is scheduled to go live on the main network in April 2024, coinciding with the Bitcoin block height 840000 halving.

What made the Runes Protocol pop up?

The Runes Protocol is a fungible token (FT) protocol based on the Bitcoin UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model proposed by Casey Rodarmor, the creator of the Ordinals Protocol, on Sep 26, 2023. He was dissatisfied with the BRC20 token standard, which was born in March 2023, and the use of the Ordinals protocol to create a large number of "dust" UTXOs. The Runes Protocol manages and transfers FTs through a simple tuple (ID, OUTPUT, AMOUNT) and OP_RETURN operation. Casey's blog on Runes Protocol.

https://casey.github.io/blog/runes/

Unlike the RGB Protocol and Taproot Assets Protocol, which require off-chain data storage and retrieval infrastructure, or the BRC20, which creates "dust" UTXOs that take up valuable Bitcoin block space, the Runes Protocol is designed to be simple and does not require additional off-chain data or native tokens to support some operations. It optimizes the use of on-chain data and improves the user experience.

Although Runes Protocol is still in the work, since January 2024, a growing number of Runes-based projects have emerged, attracting significant market attention and investment, propelling Runes to the forefront of Bitcoin innovation.

Here are some lit Runes projects you should keep tabs on:

1. RSIC

RSIC stands for Rune Specific Inscription Circuits. It is an NFT on Ordinals with a total supply of 21,000. The team reserved 10% and generously spent more than 3 Bitcoins to airdrop 90% of the RSICs to NFT holders. The specific airdrop rules were not disclosed, but it is assumed that they were mainly based on the blue-chip NFTs held by the wallets.

Since it was an airdrop, some wallet holders did not know they had received RSICs. Therefore, they need to transfer it once (either buy/sell or transfer it to themselves) to activate it. After activation, the "mining" will start, and what is being mined is the share of a certain token that the project team will deploy on Runes in the future. The RSIC project is said to have the same founder as NodeMonke, who worked closely with Casey on the Ordinals protocol, which earned him rapid support from the Ordiscan browser community.

🎮 Rules of Gameplay

If you hold an activated RSIC, you will receive a minimum of 21 RS tokens per block. The longer you hold them, the greater the share of tokens you'll receive. Even if you sell them, the allocation during the holding period will still be recorded in your wallet.

Each RSIC inscription has a symbol in the bottom right corner corresponding to different numbers and letters. When the last digit of a block's hash matches the symbol of the held RSIC, that block yields 336 RS tokens. At this point, the symbol in the bottom right corner highlights, turning yellow.

Each RSIC inscription references the same JavaScript script, which fetches the latest block hash and analyzes whether the last digit matches the symbol in the bottom right corner of the RSIC. When it matches, the style changes (to yellow). Similar settings are used in the BRC333's owl inscription, recursively referring to the JavaScript script to achieve inscription changes over time.

The project will launch a dashboard for querying RS token allocations, eliminating the need to continuously monitor inscriptions for color changes.

As an Easter egg: The boost logic mentioned in the whitepaper will be engraved on the Satoshi at 4,703,400,000,000.

Key elements in the gameplay

  • Factory. Purpose: produce RSICs.

  • RSIC Distribution Centers. Purpose: distribute RSICs.

  • RSICs (Rune Specific Inscription Circuits). Purpose: mine runes.

  • Foundry. Purpose: etch runes.

  • Rune Distribution Centers. Purpose: distribute allocated runes.

Our take on RSIC

The project team demonstrates advanced technical expertise, employing methodologies like parent-child inscriptions, Metaprotocol fields, recursive inscriptions, JavaScript inscriptions to call block data, deployment and distribution of the Rune protocol.

The gameplay is intricately crafted, featuring strategies like targeted airdrops to high-value NFT holders, utilizing activation operations to re-engage dormant wallets, implementing random settings to amplify engagement and relevance, and progressively easing controls in the three months prior to the launch of the Rune protocol.

However, RSIC also has many centralized aspects that may be subject to FUD in the future, such as airdrop rules, future token deployments, and the project team's 10% reserve, among others.

This could be seen as a relatively less decentralized solution within the gameplay of issuing tokens through airdrops in the future fixed total supply projects of the Runes protocol, making it more likely to be accepted by the community.

https://twitter.com/rune_coin

https://runecoin.io

https://magiceden.io/ordinals/marketplace/rsic

2. RSIC Boost

RSIC Boost is an easter egg embedded within RSIC: a speed-up tool with a total supply of 3900. It does not require an airdrop but rather minting by RSIC holders. Once minted, it can be used to speed up RSIC mining.

Now it can be traded on Magic Eden: https://magiceden.io/ordinals/marketplace/rsic-boost

3. Runestone

Led by Leonidas, the founder of Ord.io browser, Runestone is the most anticipated airdrop project following RSIC. Over the past month, Leonidas has been fundraising on Twitter to cover the gas expenses for the airdrop. The fundraising has now concluded, with RSIC contributing 0.15 BTC.

The total supply of Runestone is 112,383, and its airdrop rules are relatively transparent. At block height 826,600, wallets need to hold 3 runestones, excluding those starting with text/plain or application/json (e.g., BRC20). Currently, the whitelist addresses published by Runestone have reached 113,376. On March 3rd, the parent runestone was fully inscribed; on March 9th, Runestone auctioned a record-breaking 8 bitcoins, indicating the imminent launch of the large-scale airdrop.

➡️ Check if you are in the whitelist:

4. Rune Mania Miner

Rune Mania Miner is airdropped to those who hold both RSIC Boost and RSIC. It has a total supply of 3,800, of which 253 are reserved by the team and 3,547 are airdropped to the community. Like RSIC, mining also needs to be activated through a transfer, and the mining rules are more complicated.

🎮 Rules of Gameplay

Each RMM has an initial factor of 1 and a base mining quantity of 10,000 rune tokens per block. There are a series of acceleration algorithms that increase the mining speed factor, thus increasing the number of tokens mined per block:

  1. Mining Boost: determined by the first 2 numbers in inscriptionID (0-99), minimum mining boost = 15%, range: 15-99% shown in the Green Progress Bar, static boost.

  2. Mana Boost: determined by the last 2 numbers in inscriptionID (0-99), minimum mining boost= 10%, range: 10-99% shown in the Red Runestone (left side), static boost.

  3. Block Boost: determined by the first 2 letters in inscriptionID & current block height, range: 11-100% shown in the Blue Runestone (right side), dynamic boost.

    What is static boost? It is determined by the first two letters in the inscription ID (A=1, B=2......F=6), e.g. ae is 15%, so the range is 11%-66%.

    What is dynamic boost? It is determined by the current block height, increasing by 1% every 100 blocks. Maximum value is 89% (reached at halved blocks).

    In addition to these 3 types of "Boosts", there are also 4. Stone Boost and 5. Runes Boost that have not yet been disclosed. When you open any RMM on Magic Eden, you can see the parameters described above in the Attributes section in the bottom right corner.

5. The Rune Guardians

The Rune Guardians gameplay is similar to RSIC, airdropping to holders of Ordinals blue-chip NFTs, with the project initiator covering all gas costs

🎮 Rules of Gameplay

The Rune Guardians has a total supply of 10,000, divided into 100 Guardians, 200 Sentinels, and 9,700 Keepers. Holders who receive the airdrop can participate in sharing the total of 100 billion Runes. By connecting your wallet to Magic Eden and clicking on the images of the different levels of The Rune Guardians you hold, you can view your Rune mining balance.

6. BTC Slugs

Created by NiftySats, BTCSlugs (3333 total) are unique digital art pieces of colorful sea slugs inscribed directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain using Ordinals Protocol. It offers whitelist access to holders who mint RISC Boost within the first 48 hours, with the remaining 2201 available for public minting at a price of 0.0004 BTC each.

🎮 Rules of Gameplay:

The Bitcoin creatures designed by NiftySats consists of cephalopods, arthropods, amphibians, and reptiles, with a total of 11,164 hand-drawn cartoon Ordinals, divided into 12 character collections, minted in sequence starting with BTC Slugs.

Following the 3333 BTCSlugs, each subsequent series has diminishing supplies ranging from 2222 (MaxiTurdles) down to 111 (BOB). So each volume becomes harder and harder to obtain the closer we get to the end. But NiftySats holders can secure free mints for each of these volumes a number of different ways.

The Ace in the Hole will always be the OG NiftyPass. Holding one of these during an announced snapshot will always guarantee you to receive an ordinal from each and every collection, without needing to ever pay mint fees; they will simply be airdropped right into your wallet.

Conversely, holding specified supplies of $PERQ, our on-chain allow list in the form of a BRC-20, also secures guaranteed free mints to holders for collections 1-10.

See the chart here for holding requirements for each volume:

With each decreasing supply, $PERQ holding requirements increase. So demand for PERQ's fixed supply of 5M should continuously rise the further along we get.

As a result, one strategy is to secure the maximum amount of $PERQ you can as early as possible, before supply shock begins to set in. If you have 22.5K $PERQ, you are guaranteed to get a free mint from collections 1-10, while having 30k or 50k enters you into the raffle for the final two collections. And you can compound your tickets by holding BTCSlugs with your $PERQ.

You can find and obtain $PERQ on OKX and Unisat, and we will soon be airdropping 1000 $PERQ to anyone who held 3+ Slugs during a recent snapshot.


As the launch date of the Runes Protocol approaches, more Runes projects are on the way. Based on our research on the series of projects mentioned above, we have listed some key points for you:

➡️ The concept of Runes Protocol is more accepted by Western users and overseas communities, considering it was introduced by Casey, the creator of the Ordinals protocol to take over BRC-20.

➡️ From both a design and ecological perspective, the Runes Protocol is not parallel to, but subordinate to, the Ordinals Protocol. It possesses the characteristics of "graphic token interchange" and "graphic token duality," which are currently hot topics in the market. By organically integrating with Bitcoin NFTs, the Runes ecosystem is able to attract more artists, influential NFT projects, and community participation in its development, thus leading to the emergence of more innovative gameplay.

➡️ The Runes Protocol supports two issuance methods:

  • 💰Fixed total supply: Tokens inscribed and distributed by the project team. It's a relatively centralized approach and RSIC may become the frontrunner on this track.

  • 💰Public inscription: Tokens deployed with fair mint parameters, similar to BRC20. The main difference is that BRC20 limits the total supply, while Runes limits the block height or timestamp, but not the total supply. The total token supply is determined by how much is inscribed within the valid timeframe.

➡️ Despite Runes not being live yet (it's set to launch in April), these projects are aggressively leveraging innovative approaches such as airdrops, GameFi, and minting to woo Rune holders and fight for market share.

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