Rising Halving Expectations Cause Bitcoin Transaction Fees to Surpass Ethereum’s

For the past four days, fees paid by users on Bitcoin have exceeded those on Ethereum, according to data from Cryptofees, a data analytics platform.

This surge in Bitcoin transaction fees has been associated with the growing anticipation surrounding the upcoming halving event and the Runes upgrade.

Bitcoin Fees Surpasses Ethereum for 4 Consecutive Days

On April 18, Bitcoin fees totaled $6.81 million compared to $5.04 million in Ethereum. On the other hand, Bitcoin miners collected $7.47 million in fees, surpassing Ethereum stakers with $7.31 million on April 17.

Similarly, Bitcoin miners received $9.98 million and $5.91 million on April 15 and 16, respectively. The amount was more than Ethereum’s by $3.5 million and 1.1 million on the respective days.

However, Ethereum maintains a slight edge on a 7-day average fee basis, with $8.02 million compared to Bitcoin’s $7.45 million.

The Bitcoin fee increase coincides with the highly anticipated halving event on April 20 that will see mining rewards go from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. Approximately 900 BTC are mined daily currently, which is about $57.2 million at current prices.

Following the halving, where approximately 450 BTC will be mined daily, miners will rely more heavily on higher fees and sustained increases in Bitcoin’s price to compensate for the revenue decrease resulting from the halving, at least in the short term.

Runes Are a Catalyst for Rising Bitcoin Fees

The introduction of NFT-like Ordinals Inscriptions in January 2023 also contributed to increased revenue from transaction fees for Bitcoin miners. In addition, a new revenue stream is anticipated with the release of Runes, a new Bitcoin token standard scheduled to launch during the halving at block 840,000.

Runes are positioned to compete with Ordinals by simplifying the creation of fungible tokens on Bitcoin, targeting meme coin enthusiasts and other community-driven audiences. Casey Rodarmor, the creator of both Ordinals and Runes, argues that the project is entirely UTXO-based and is, therefore, not expected to congest the Bitcoin network to the same extent as Ordinals.

The recent surge in Bitcoin fees might also be partly attributable to a recent decline in BRC-20 token prices, as traders shift attention towards Runes. Ordinals (ORDI) and Sats (SATS), the two largest BRC-20 tokens by market capitalization, have experienced a 38% and 43% decline over the past week, according to CoinGecko data.

Meanwhile, among Bitcoin NFT collections, Runestones has emerged as the most actively traded, with a volume of $9.6 million in the last 24 hours. In comparison, major Ethereum collections such as Pudgy Penguins and Bored Ape Yacht Club recorded volumes of $3.7 million and $3.4 million, respectively.


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