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Bitcoin Halving Event Sees Record $2.4 Million in Fees as Users Flock to New Runes Protocol

The Bitcoin community recently witnessed a significant event as 37.7 Bitcoins (BTC) were spent in transaction fees, amounting to over $2.4 million, to secure a spot in the highly anticipated fourth Bitcoin halving block.

The halving occurred at 12:09 m UTC on April 20, with Bitcoin miner ViaBTC producing block 840,000, which activated an automatic protocol reducing miner rewards from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block.

This block has become a landmark in Bitcoin’s history, seeing unprecedented transaction fees totaling 37.67 BTC, as per data from Bitcoin block explorer mempool.space.

Including the mining reward, a total of 40.7 BTC — approximately $2.6 million — was awarded to ViaBTC for mining the halving block.

The spike in fees was driven by users eager to participate in the Runes Protocol, introduced by Bitcoin Ordinals creator Casey Rodmarmor, which launched concurrently with the halving.

Runes, touted as a more efficient token creation system on Bitcoin compared to the BRC-20 token standard, utilizes the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model for token issuance, contrasting the inscription account model used by Ordinals.

Leonidas, a pseudonymous Ordinals developer, highlighted the impact of this surge on miner income post-halving.

“Runes degens have single-handedly offset the drop in miner rewards from the halving,” he stated in a post on social media platform X on April 20.

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The subsequent blocks saw even higher fees, with a total of $3.82 million spent on transaction fees across five blocks following the halving, not including the miner subsidies, according to mempool.space.

Additionally, the competition extended beyond token creation.

Bitcoin mining pools competed for the prestigious “epic” satoshi, the first satoshi mined on the halving block.

In the lead-up to the event, Trevor Owens, managing partner at The Bitcoin Frontier Fund, expressed his willingness to offer between $500,000 and $1 million for the first Bitcoin block post-halving.

The reaction to the halving within the crypto community was mixed.

Trader Hsaka captured the sentiment with a meme indicating a fleeting celebration before returning to usual activities.

Meanwhile, notable Bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff took a more critical stance, commenting on the halving’s effect on Bitcoin holders.

“I think halving is an appropriate name for what’s happening as soon Bitcoin HODLers will experience a halving of their net worths,” Schiff remarked on X.


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