First and largest Bitcoin Rune is down 85% in a month

Bitcoin was supposed to gain a new suite of features after its 4/20 Halving date thanks to Casey Rodarmor’s Runes, his new fungible token protocol. User numbers and prices have both dropped rapidly since launch.

It was claimed that Runes would be superior to BRC-20s, STAMPs and various other Bitcoin-branded fungible token protocols because it would require fewer on-chain transactions.

Rodarmor gained a cult following after his success at applying his take on ordinal theory to Bitcoin. He purposefully created a First In First Out (FIFO) convention to allow Bitcoiners to track imaginary satoshis, the smallest denominations of bitcoin, across transactions. Inadvertently, by coding his Ordinals theory into software, Rodarmor somewhat accidentally created a popular NFT protocol that became a multi-billion dollar marketplace. As speculators lost millions and enriched an elite group of NFT promoters selling Inscriptions to followers, they rallied behind Rodarmor and asked for more.

The masters of trading NFTs-on-satoshis wanted a new project to enable even more types of degenerate trading on Bitcoin. They wanted traditional meme coins like DOGE or PEPE “on” Bitcoin. Rodarmor delivered.

Read more: Bitcoin ordinals pump and dump using stolen images and copyright

Casey Rodarmor writes fungible token protocol Runes

He even admitted in his founding blog post for Runes that he was simply catering to their desires for scams and memes. “I’m not sure creating a new fungible token protocol for Bitcoin is a good idea. Fungible tokens are 99.9% scams and memes. However, they don’t appear to be going away any time soon.” That, at least, is an honest rationale.

So, Rodarmor created Runes, his better-than-the-rest protocol for traders to create, or “etch” fungible tokens and track ownership using satoshis (1/100 millionth of 1 BTC). 

Of course, tracking ownership via satoshis is mathematically impossible without adopting Rodarmor’s Ordinals theory of how satoshis might, by shared belief, somehow persist across blockchain transactions on a modified First In First Out accounting method.

In truth, all satoshis are fully destroyed and newly recreated after every bitcoin transaction. There are no satoshi data bytes that persist across Bitcoin’s blockchain that anyone can physically or mathematically track. Bitcoin’s protocol allows a wallet owner to create brand new satoshis (technically, transaction outputs) every time it creates a transaction, provided that it burns an equal amount of satoshis (transaction inputs). 

Indeed, there is no actual ordering of satoshis on Bitcoin’s blockchain, which are constantly incinerated and recast at each and every transaction. Rodarmor’s Ordinals theory is simply an accounting method, among many possible methods, that requires node operators to run his proprietary, non-Bitcoin Core software to “track” the ownership of satoshis.

Read more: Bitcoin dev Luke Dashjr proposes to ban ‘spam’ ordinals

Runes launches and its first token is 99% premined

Despite the opt-in nature of Rodarmor’s centralized Ordinals protocol for trading Inscriptions or Runes, many traders believed that his new class of fungible tokens would become immensely valuable.

A pseudonymous etcher paid 6.732 BTC in the first block of Bitcoin’s fifth epoch for the privilege of etching Z•Z•Z•Z•Z•FEHU•Z•Z•Z•Z•Z. The etcher then used that top slot of provenance in Rodarmor’s new protocol, “the first Bitcoin Rune,” as marketing material for a questionable marketing campaign.

A website and X account launched offering bullish predictions about the price of the 14-character fungible token. The team claimed the market capitalization of “Fehu” would exceed Dogecoin. 

Of course, the token was a quintessential crypto pump. The founder pre-mined 99% of the supply. (Specifically, the founder owns 111,110,648 Fehu and only released 463 Fehu for anyone else.) This overwhelming control of supply allowed even tiny trades and miniscule secondary market volumes to mark its market capitalization into the billions.

On the day of Fehu’s creation, the token was trading on crypto exchange OKX at an average price of 249,786 satoshis (approximately $160). With a total supply of 111,111,111 Fehu, its 99%-founder-owned, mark-to-market capitalization exceeded $17 billion.

Rune #1 crashes 85% within a month

Today, Fehu is trading on OKX at a price of 32,000 satoshis (approximately $20.50). Its market capitalization is now $2.3 billion – and its founder still own 99% of its supply.

Even with that much insider ownership and commensurate ability to manipulate mark-to-market figures, Fehu has lost 85% of its market cap in less than a month.

Today, Fehu remains the largest Rune by market capitalization. The second- and third-largest runes and both worth less than a quarter billion dollars apiece as of press time.

For now, traditional meme coins on non-Bitcoin protocols remain far more popular. Dogecoin has a $23 billion market capitalization. Pepe exceeds $3.6 billion. Only time will tell whether crypto promoters can bring enough degeneracy into Rodarmor’s Runes protocol to inflate the value of Runes beyond these legacy meme coins.

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