Research & Reviews

Runestone On Ordinals – The Latest Hype On The Bitcoin Network

runestone ordinals featured

Content Guide

Ordinals protocol was launched in December 2022 and it was the start for NFTs on the Bitcoin network and allowed users to add things like images or audio files on the network. This led to Bitcoin NFTs, a sector that keeps growing as money inflows and more people accepts and interested in the crypto world. For example, the first 10K Bitcoin Punks, free to mint on Ordinals, sold out in just a day. This year, as the crypto market buzz grows, we’ve seen a surge in NFT activities, from better technology to new projects and more users, showing a lively Bitcoin NFT scene.

According to MagicEden 30 day volume statistic, data puts Bitcoin at the top in NFT sales over the last week, beating Ethereum and Solana, with Bitcoin NFT prices rising. The Runes protocol has driven up the price of Runestone to 0.084 BTC (about $5912), giving it a market value of $660 million.

An other aspect of the “second phase of Bitcoin” after the halving is the Rune token protocol. Basically it is a protocol that allow fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network. We will discover it later. So in summary, Bitcoin Ordinals protocol allows NFTs, while Rune token protocol allows fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network. And here’s the twist: Runestone is a Bitcoin NFT that made with the Ordinal protocol and if you hold one you are eligible to future fungible token airdrops made with the Rune token protocol.

Image: Top collections on MagicEden last 30 days | Source: MagicEden

Runestone in Focus

Runestones quickly became a key player in the NFT world. Started by Leonidas, founder of @ord_io, after an airdrop in mid-March, Runestone has shown impressive results. The airdrop project rewarded early Ordinals supporters, with 112,383 unique Runestones for Bitcoin wallets that held three or more non-text inscriptions on the one year anniversary of Ordinals.

Recently, someone bought Runestone#63140674 for 8 BTC (around $556,000). This inscription is one of the biggest, with a file size of 3.967 MB and was mined in block 832,947. It also helped create the largest block in Bitcoin history. Interestingly there are only seven Bitcoin Ordinals insrciptions that exceed 400 KB.

The money from this sale and Bitcoin donations via Twitter will cover the mining costs of the Runestone airdrop, making it one of the largest ordinals airdrop ever. This shows strong community support and builds excitement for the upcoming Runes protocol.

What Are Runestone Ordinals?

Runestones are unique artworks in the blockchain community. Created by the sculptor Léo Caillard, known for his marble sculptures, he generously offered the design to the Runestone project under a Creative Commons license. Caillard compares his experience with Bitcoin to working with marble, noting both involve creating lasting art, whether it’s sculpted from stone or embedded in digital code.

To benefit early adopters of Ordinals, it was important to set clear rules for who could receive a Runestone. Only Bitcoin addresses holding at least three non-text or JSON script Ordinals before a specific point in the blockchain were eligible. This method aimed to appreciate those who were quick to engage with Ordinals.

runestone ordinals - runestone

The Runestones project established a unique system to make sure the authenticity of its digital creations, using what are known as parent-child relationships. This setup allows owners of an original inscription to create new, related inscriptions, thereby extending their lineage. Among these, a noteworthy ‘child’ inscription was created and sent to Satoshi’s Bitcoin address, effectively preventing the creation of more Runestones and capping the distribution costs at about 88 cents per recipient.

What Are Runestone Tokens?

The primary goal of the Runestone Ordinal is to set the stage for the introduction of Runes token, a new fungible token protocol designed by Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor. This protocol, called Runes, aims to be a more efficient alternative to the BRC-20 standard and is planned to debut after Bitcoin’s fourth halving at block 840,000 (on April 20). It promises smoother transactions and swaps. Currently, the Runestone community is still deciding on the supply and ticker details for the Runes token, but the leaders of the Runestone project are committed to a fair launch that mirrors the approach used for the Runestones Ordinals. This means this no utility token will be airdropped between Runestone holders.

Runestone’s Innovative Path

Runestone showcases the potential of blockchain for fairness, transparency, and decentralization. It sets a strong example with its rewards for Ordinals users, showing how blockchain can support openness and fairness.

Runestone can hold more data than typical NFTs, making it great for digital art and cultural expression. Leonidas has stated that Runestone aims to be more than just a top memecoin on the Bitcoin chain, it wants to change how traditional NFTs work. It supports open-source software, encourages community-led projects, and ensures fair airdrops, aiming for a fairer NFT market.

For example Leonidas announced on April 6th that every Runestone holder will receive three Runes Memecoin airdrops. However there are not specific date for them. But he mentioned that one of the tokens will be related to dogs.

Runestone promotes open development, increasing transparency and community involvement. Its community-driven approach means decisions reflect the wishes of many, not just a few.

With its ability to hold more data, each Runestone links to an important Bitcoin event, adding historical and cultural value and appealing to more users. This success raises questions about its future value and whether Bitcoin NFTs might set new standards for asset issuing.


Runestones remains a leading collection on digital marketplaces like Magic Eden, boasting a market cap of 9,300 BTC (over $589 million). This high demand underscores its prominence in the digital art space. The project was created not just for immediate impact but as a precursor to the anticipated Runes protocol, designed to integrate with this new ecosystem once launched.

runestone ordinals on magic eden

According to Leonidas, Runestones is considered a pre-Runes project, existing before the actual Runes tokens and meant to complement the Runes ecosystem which includes Casey Rodarmor’s core protocol, tools like explorers, DEXs, and wallets, as well as other projects planning to issue Runes tokens upon the protocol’s release. Despite lacking a traditional roadmap and being described by its creator as a meme coin, the Runestones project has garnered support from the Ordinals community, both as a tribute to early Ordinals supporters and as a preparation for a new chapter in Bitcoin’s ongoing development.


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