Home Tech Bitcoin Users Set a Record by Spending $2.4M in Fees on a Single Block Due to Halving Event

Bitcoin Users Set a Record by Spending $2.4M in Fees on a Single Block Due to Halving Event

In a historic moment for Bitcoin, the 2024 halving event witnessed users paying a record 37.7 Bitcoin in transaction fees—equivalent to over $2.4 million—on a single block, marking it as the costliest block ever mined in the cryptocurrency’s history. This surge in spending was largely driven by users utilizing the newly introduced Runes Protocol to inscribe rare assets.

At exactly 12:09 am UTC on April 20, the 840,000th block was mined by Bitcoin miner ViaBTC, activating the protocol that reduces mining rewards by 50% from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block. This specific block quickly became the most sought-after digital asset in Bitcoin’s history, with total fees of 37.67 BTC paid by users to secure space on it, according to data from Bitcoin block explorer mempool.space.

Including the miner’s subsidy of 3.125 BTC, ViaBTC received a total of 40.7 BTC—valued at approximately $2.6 million—for producing this halving block.

The spike in transaction fees was attributed to enthusiasts racing to inscribe and etch rare satoshis on the halving block, largely fueled by the debut of Bitcoin Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor’s Runes Protocol, which coincided with the halving event.

Runes, touted as a more efficient method for token creation on the Bitcoin network compared to the BRC-20 token standard, utilizes an Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model. This model allows new tokens to be “etched” onto Bitcoin, differentiating it from the “inscription” account model used by Ordinals, as explained in a protocol explainer by Rodarmor.

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