Bitcoin blockchain’s Runes token launch led to a record US$107 million in miner revenue on the day of the fourth Bitcoin halving.

The Runes protocol, enabling the creation of fungible tokens, significantly boosted miners’ earnings despite a 50% reduction in block rewards.

On April 20, coinciding with Bitcoin’s fourth halving, the Runes token standard was introduced, causing transaction fees to skyrocket to an unprecedented average of US$128, with daily fees totaling $80 million, data from IntoTheBlock shows.

However, the heightened transaction fees were not sustained.

By the following day, fees fell to around US$34. This average fee value is still higher than the US$18 recorded on the day before the halving.

The Runes protocol’s launch, which coincided with the halving block, drew significant interest from the cryptocurrency community, particularly among memecoin and nonfungible token (NFT) enthusiasts.

This demand for block space led to some of the most lucrative blocks in Bitcoin’s history, with the first halving block alone amassing US$2.6 million in fees and rewards, as noted by community members on social media.

Despite the surge in miner revenue and fees, the number of new Bitcoin addresses did not increase, indicating that the activity was primarily driven by existing cryptocurrency users rather than new investors, Lucas Outumuro, head of research at IntoTheBlock said on X.