Bitcoin is front and center again, and orange coin lovers everywhere have plenty to be excited about: new all-time high prices, the upcoming halving, rising demand for Ordinals—and soon, something totally new called Runes.

And while Runes won’t hit Bitcoin until the halving, when the supply of newly minted BTC is once again cut in half by slashing miner rewards, the project is already getting a lot of hype and attention. Here’s what you need to know.

What are Runes?

Runes is a new protocol from the mind behind Ordinals, Casey Rodarmor. With Ordinals, the Bitcoin developer made it possible to create NFT-like “inscriptions” on the Bitcoin network—and this, in turn, made it possible to trade jpegs for magic internet money right on the grandaddy chain.

Rodarmor, in an interview with TechCrunch, described his Ordinals “theory” as a “lens that you can view the Bitcoin blockchain through, and when you view it through that lens, these trackable satoshis pop into view like…

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