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Bitcoin Users Spend Record $2.4M in Fees to Be a Part of Bitcoin Halving History

Investors expended over 37.7 Bitcoin, valued at $2.4 million, in fees to secure their position on the 2024 Halving Block, marking it as the most costly block ever mined.

On April 20, at 12:09 p.m. UTC, Bitcoin miner ViaBTC minted the 840,000th block, activating an automated protocol that reduces the per-block Bitcoin (BTC) emissions by half.

The event, occurring once every 4 years and known as the Bitcoin Halving, witnessed mining rewards slashed from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

Bitcoin mining revenue soared to unprecedented heights on the halving day, reaching $107.7 million in daily earnings as participants willingly paid steep fees to ensure the inclusion of their transactions in the historic 840,000th Bitcoin block.

This led to a cumulative sum of $2.4 million in fees as users vied for the most prized segment of digital real estate in Bitcoin’s annals. As per data from Bitcoin block explorer mempool.space, there were 3,050 transactions, implying that the average user shelled out just under $800.

One contributing factor to the record-setting fees was a surge in demand as users hurried to inscribe and imprint unique Satoshis onto the halving block.

The newly introduced Runes Protocol, pioneered by Bitcoin Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor, played a pivotal role in this surge of activity, launching simultaneously with the halving.

How Did Runes Protocol Make Bitcoin Halving History?

Runes have been touted as a more streamlined method for creating new tokens on the Bitcoin network compared to the BRC-20 token standard—an Ordinals-based approach for generating Bitcoin-based tokens.

Similar to BRC-20s, Runes utilize the Bitcoin network and pay fees in Bitcoin to mint new tokens. However, Runes employ the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model to “etch” new tokens onto Bitcoin. This differs from Ordinals’ “inscription” account model, as outlined in a protocol explanation by Rodarmor.

The protocol enables users to inscribe individual satoshis with unique identification numbers and embed them with arbitrary data directly into Bitcoin’s blockchain.

In addition to the quest to inscribe one of the inaugural Runes, Bitcoin mining pools vied for what is termed an “epic” satoshi. An epic satoshi represents the very first satoshi, or the smallest possible Bitcoin denomination, mined within the halving block.

With the reduction in Bitcoin mining rewards, numerous crypto miners have experienced a significant blow to their earnings, rendering them susceptible.

Thus far, Bitcoin miners have managed to mitigate the loss of mining rewards post-halving through technological innovations that enhance mining efficiency.

However, as per pseudonymous Ordinals developer Leonidas, “Runes degens have effectively counterbalanced the decline in miner rewards resulting from the halving.”

Based on aggregated data from mempool.space, a total of $3.82 million in fees, excluding miner subsidies, was expended on the five blocks subsequent to the halving. This indicates a promising outlook despite the expected substantial impact of the halving on Bitcoin Mining Operations.

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