Runes has not yet been launched, but the ecosystem has already become a red ocean

24-04-18 10:02
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Written by: Jaleel, BlockBeats


It is hard to imagine that an ecosystem that has not yet launched the mainnet already has assets with a market value of nearly $1 billion and more than 20 infrastructure platforms.


Since the official version of the Runes protocol has not yet been released, there are currently no official Runes runes on the market; many projects still exist in the form of Bitcoin NFTs. With the final launch of the Runes protocol, it is expected that these projects will be converted into official runes through airdrops or 1:1, thus officially joining the Runes ecosystem.


Among them, the project with the highest market value is Runestone, with a market value of up to $640 million, and the floor price once soared to 0.074 BTC, surpassing BAYC and becoming the second largest project in the NFT market. In addition, users who participated in the pre-mining of Bitcoin Runes tokens in the early stage have already obtained considerable benefits. The buyer price of RSIC on the over-the-counter OTC platform whales.market is mainly concentrated at 0.01u, corresponding to a total market value of 210 million US dollars. Before the halving, early users can easily earn up to 10,000 US dollars.


Related reading: "Elephant Dance", why can Runestone's market value exceed BAYC? "Unveiling the pre-mining of Bitcoin Runes tokens, how much can early participants earn? "


It is no exaggeration to say that at present, no Bitcoin ecological protocol can be more popular than Runes. BlockBeats found that in addition to pre-sale Runes mining projects such as Runestone and RSIC, the biggest driving force behind the Runes ecological boom is undoubtedly its sound infrastructure support.


More than 20 infrastructures have emerged


In the Bitcoin ecosystem, especially in the early "gold mining" stage, owning a Bitcoin full node often means that you can greatly increase your profit potential and "eat meat". However, for most ordinary users who only "drink soup", the cost of building a full node is too high and the operation is complicated. Therefore, many people prefer to use the services of third-party proxy platforms, which are also sufficient in terms of functions.


During the period when the Ordinals protocol was hot, the casting platforms on the market were mainly concentrated in a few companies such as UniSat and OKX Web3 wallet, and at most there were only five or six. According to BlockBeats statistics and supplementary information from the community, in the Runes protocol that has not yet been launched on the mainnet, there are nearly 20 infrastructure platforms that provide casting, trading and other services. Among these numerous casting platforms, there are many new faces and old players in the industry.


Image source: Doggfather


OKX is ready to go, UniSat is late but it’s here


Since March last year, the rapid development of the Bitcoin ecosystem has led to the emergence of billions of dollars in assets and the establishment of more than 20 infrastructure platforms. In this context, OKX and UniSat have become key players, and their dynamics and influence in the market are worth discussing.


From responding quickly to market changes to implementing strategic deployment, it took OKX only a week or two to decide to join the Bitcoin ecosystem. After months of preparation and accumulation, OKX has found a breakthrough for growth in this new track. As the Bitcoin ecosystem continues to heat up, OKX has become the "biggest winner" in this wave of enthusiasm with its smooth wallet products.


Related reading: "Why did OKX become the biggest winner of BRC-20? "


Currently, when people in the community mention CEX trading platforms and the Bitcoin ecosystem, the first thing that comes to mind is OKX. From Ordinals to BRC20, to ARC20 and the current Runes protocol, OKX's Web3 wallet has always been one of the first platforms to provide support.


According to Jason Wang, head of OKX Web3 wallet, on social media, the development and testing process of Runes went very smoothly this time, and security and service stability have been significantly improved, which makes the entire team excited. They have been researching and preparing for Runes for more than half a year, and now they can finally let users actually experience the charm of Runes.



Bitcoin ecosystem popular science blogger Bitlili also revealed to BlockBeats that in the process of contacting OKX Web3, he could feel their nervousness and excitement in the development of Runes.


On the other hand, although UniSat is one of the earliest infrastructures in the Bitcoin ecosystem, it seems to be a little slow in responding to the Runes protocol. After the release of BRC-20, recalling that when the Bitcoin ecosystem just "emerged" last year, many traditional players disdained this "rough imitation of ERC-20". UniSat is the first platform to integrate and access BRC-20 on a large scale, occupying most of the market before OKX entered the market.


Exclusive interview with UniSat: The valuation is rumored to be $1 billion, and the new leader in the Bitcoin track with a small team of 10 people


Although the Runes protocol could have been UniSat's home turf, they seemed to be late. It was not until April 5 that they announced that they would support Runes, and planned to launch Runes engraving services and trading markets in mid-April.


It can be seen that since this year, UniSat's focus has been on Ordinals or more precisely Brc20, from the Ordinals Jubilee upgrade to the development of cursed inscriptions, and then to the most influential support for 5-byte BRC20, which seems to be intentionally helping to reduce the impact of the Runes protocol on Brc20.


However, UniSat is late but it is here. Currently, it has stated on social platforms that it has supported the testnet of Runes. In addition, the UniSat OpenAPI for Runes is now available, with features including: Retrieving information about specific Runes; Listing the holders of specific Runes; Listing Runes on a specific address; Accessing the complete event stream related to Runes.



"Re-employment" of familiar faces


NFTGo was originally positioned as an NFT aggregation platform that provides market data analysis and trading functions. It is equipped with a range of powerful tools and features, including market analysis, real-time lists, scarcity assessments, whale tracking, monitoring lists, auction calendars, and trading aggregators, to help users discover, trade, and manage NFT assets.


Founded in 2021, NFTGo is not only a one-stop NFT data analysis platform, it also provides users with a variety of NFT solutions including data analysis, transaction aggregation and asset management, and launched data API and aggregator API. In April last year, NFTGo completed a strategic financing of US$4 million, with additional investment from Qiming Venture Partners and Hash Global. New investors include 500 Global, Skyland Ventures, and personal investment from Fosun Group co-founder Liang Xinjun and a former Binance executive.



Recently, Lowes, the founder of NFTGo, announced on social media that they not only launched the NFT project RuneGo, but also actively integrated it into the Runes ecosystem to develop new features related to it. This includes comprehensive tracking of Rune assets and smart wallets, similar to the tools they previously developed for NFTGo, as well as low-friction trading and analysis of rune assets, user-friendly casting tools, etc. It is reported that RuneGo holders will enjoy additional benefits.


In addition, GeniiData is also worth mentioning, a platform focusing on cross-chain data analysis and API factories, characterized by high performance, data reliability and wide coverage. It provides professional tools for personal data studios to discover, verify and build Web3 solutions through blockchain analysis. For enterprises, GeniiData is an incubator for decentralized applications, providing access to comprehensive on-chain data APIs.


Since the rise of the Bitcoin ecosystem, there have been very few platforms that have access to Bitcoin on-chain data, and GeniiData has done this more frequently. The price and market data of BRC-20 tokens can often be obtained through GeniiData, including capturing the real-time casting of popular inscriptions and NFTs (such as Ordinals heat maps, wallet statistics). It is also the earliest native inscription data platform to provide an exclusive viewing page for Merlin Chain.


Later, as the team developed, GeniiData naturally launched the casting function and more casting projects. Recently, GeniiData has also completed the casting of its own platform NFT "Feeling Good" project. Similar to RuneGo, users who own the "Feeling Good" NFT will enjoy fee discounts in the future casting process.



It is worth mentioning that according to Bitri's tweet, GeniiData reported a major bug to Casey some time ago. Regarding the severity of this bug, Casey's original words were "This would have been pretty devastating if it hadn't been fixed before launch." (If it hadn't been fixed before Runes went online, it would have been a devastating problem).



In the communication with BlockBeats, Bitlili also mentioned: "GeniiData has done in-depth research on Runes, and they should be quite thorough in this technical field."


Bot "not acclimatized"


During the recent market preheating of the foundry platform, BlockBeats can also see some new faces in the market, such as the Bot tool. This is the first time that a Bot has appeared in the Bitcoin ecosystem, and it often appears in the context of "as a backup plan when the foundry platform webpage crashes."


It can be seen that many people are still full of expectations for bots, but the community's acceptance is uneven, and not all community members buy it. Because the transaction form of the Bitcoin network is different from that of EVM, the possibility of loopholes in the code design has not been verified. Some community members bluntly stated that "bots on Bitcoin are pseudo-demands" and "after the Runes mainnet is launched, the probability of the casting platform web page crashing is not high."


BlockBeats found after asking Bitlili for popular science that in some recent NFT rush sales, the web page crashes mainly because some activities do not require high gas fees. You only need to click to submit an order and pay a small amount of gas to successfully snap up. This method is called "locking orders." When the event is free or the cost is very low, many studios will deploy scripts to automatically participate, resulting in instantaneous high visits and click traffic. In this case, the web page may crash.


However, in the Runes ecosystem, all orders will be submitted to the memory pool and sorted and confirmed according to the gas fee paid. Transactions with high gas fees will be confirmed first, while transactions with low gas fees may be postponed to subsequent blocks for confirmation, which is similar to the mechanism of snapping up BRC-20.


"After the mainnet is launched, the gas fee rate may be very high, but even under this pressure, the nodes that process and broadcast transactions, such as memspace and quicknode, are mainly affected, and the possibility of the front-end web page crashing is very small." From Bitlili's past experience, she made some conclusions.


In this context, the construction of Bot in the Bitcoin ecosystem may be hindered and seem to be "unsuitable", but as for the subsequent development, BlockBeats will continue to observe and report.


The game of rolling GAS is about to begin


After BlockBeats conducted an in-depth observation of the Runes-related infrastructure on the current market, it was found that these platforms tend to provide one-stop services.


Users can conveniently perform various operations in the entire Runes ecosystem, from minting to querying progress, counting transaction amounts, to tracking wallets and participating in trading markets, etc., these functions are complementary at the code design level. This one-stop service trend not only provides great convenience for users, but also improves the efficiency of the entire ecosystem and user participation. With the continuous improvement and optimization of these infrastructures, we expect the Runes ecosystem to attract more participants.


In addition, observing the current market dynamics, we can see that infrastructure platforms are preheating the market by issuing NFTs to attract and retain the first wave of user groups. These early users are not only the core target customers for the future development of the platform, but these NFTs are also designed as a special credential that symbolizes their early support and trust in the platform. This strategy not only helps to build user loyalty, but also provides a way for the platform to directly interact with its target customer group.


Which one to choose from so many foundry platforms on the market? Bitlili recommended some foundry platforms she is optimistic about to BlockBeats: "For the first layer, I recommend GeniiData, UniSat, iDclub and OKX; for the second layer, I recommend Unicross."


As for which foundry platform will have the largest market share in the end, "the real foundry experience, interaction, service fee costs, etc. of each company will not be known until the official product is seen on the day of halving. Now we can only speculate based on previous experience and public information, and it is not very accurate," Bitlili told BlockBeats.


After all, the user's body is the most honest.


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The Rune Protocol is about to be launched, and dozens or hundreds of new tokens will be minted every day, which may usher in capitalization speculation. Now the Bitcoin ecosystem has basically taken shape: 1. Technological innovation, inscriptions, NFTs, and runes constitute the ecological framework. 2. Token issuance, similar to the scale effect brought by meme tokens. 3. New narratives, before the market has really exploded, the vigorous development of the ecosystem is the strongest narrative, and new narratives will bring incremental funds.
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