Bitcoin Runes Coming to Magic Eden After Ordinals Bet Pays Off

Cross-chain NFT marketplace Magic Eden, which recently jumped to the top of the pack amid growing interest in Bitcoin Ordinals, announced Friday that it plans to support the upcoming Runes fungible token standard on Bitcoin.

“Ordinals, Rewards, Runes. The Future of BTC is on Magic Eden,” the marketplace tweeted along with a teaser video.

The Rune protocol is set to launch on Bitcoin’s mainnet following the halving, which is expected to take place on April 20. The halving is the quadrennial event baked into the Bitcoin protocol that cuts in half the BTC miners receive for supporting the network. The move slows the expanding supply of Bitcoin, and typically also boosts the price of the asset.

Runes is a fungible token standard from Casey Rodarmor, the Bitcoin developer who created the Ordinals protocol for inscribing media on the Bitcoin blockchain.

While fungible tokens have been available on Bitcoin over the last year via the experimental BRC-20 token standard created on top of Ordinals, Runes is being pitched as a more efficient way of minting and trading tokens on Bitcoin.

“We think Runes is going to supercharge the Bitcoin ecosystem even further, opening up a new wave of builders and asset types previously only possible on other layer-1 chains,” Magic Eden co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Z Yin told Decrypt.

“We have long-term conviction on native Bitcoin activity,” he continued. “It is a no-brainer for us to double down on this ecosystem by adding Runes to our existing Ordinals marketplace, which has already hit $1 billion in volume in 2024 alone.”

Earlier this year, Magic Eden launched its Diamonds rewards program across all its supported chains, including Bitcoin, Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon. The initiative gives NFT traders point-like Diamonds, both for past and ongoing trades, though it’s still unclear exactly how those Diamonds will benefit users.

However, parallel to the Diamonds program, the Non-Fungible DAO—which Magic Eden says is run independently by an external team—plans to launch a fungible token called “NFT” that will be awarded to users of certain open-source trading and minting protocols. All such protocols revealed to date were created by Magic Eden.

Amid the Diamonds launch and NFT token teases, along with rising interest in Bitcoin-based assets amid the leading cryptocurrency’s recent surge to all-time high prices, Magic Eden has quickly found fresh footing to become the top overall NFT marketplace by trading volume.

Decrypt reported in early March that Bitcoin Ordinals demand had pushed Magic Eden to the top of the pile, with a 38% share of the entire NFT market’s volume in a 24-hour span based on public blockchain data curated by analytics platform Tiexo.

That gap has only widened lately. Over the past 24 hours, Tiexo reports that Magic Eden is responsible for over 52% of total trading volume across chains with about $35.6 million worth—and Bitcoin Ordinals trades represent about 69% of that tally.

Thursday’s buzzy launch of the Ink project on Bitcoin Ordinals appears to comprise a large chunk of that volume, with $18.8 million worth of transaction volume over the last 24 hours per the marketplace’s data.

Over the last seven days, Magic Eden has remained on top—but the Ethereum-centric marketplace Blur has drawn closer during that span. Magic Eden has about 35.7% market share during that period, with Blur at about 32%. Tensor, which has long been Magic Eden’s biggest rival on Solana and plans to debut its own TNSR token soon, has about 7.5% total market share over the last week.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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