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Since the Bitcoin (BTC) halving, which took place last Friday (19), miners have earned an average of around 19 BTC per block. The block that originated the halving yielded 37 BTC, which amounts to almost R$13 million according to the current price.

Even after the weekend, the average fee is still above US$10, which is quite high. Furthermore, the amount paid to miners far exceeds standard block rewards. As a result, a report from broker Bernstein showed that miner revenue rose 200% after the halving.

Several reasons explain this increase, but the main one is speculation. Many Bitcoin users took advantage of the halving to create new tokens and collect airdrops. The Runescape protocol, for example, yielded the majority of transaction fee increases.

Post-halving “Runescape” effect

The Runescape protocol allows people to create tokens on the Bitcoin blockchain using the Ordinals protocol. This protocol airdropped tokens on the same day as the Bitcoin halving, distributing tokens to certain addresses.

The report said that miners’ total revenue reached 22 BTC, up from 7 BTC before the halving. Much of this increase occurred with the movement of people who received Runescape tokens and sold them. In fact, the token’s price fell by more than 60% after the airdrop.

“This (increase in rates) is driven by speculative activity to create new tokens (mostly meme tokens) by retail traders,” wrote Bernstein analysts Gautam Chhugani and Mahika Sapra.

The broker noted that daily revenues exceeded $100 million, with more than $80 million coming from transaction fees. For many, this factor shows that Bitcoin is moving towards becoming sustainable beyond the block reward, but Berstein notes that this is a movement “which is “clearly abnormal”.

“Investors should not believe that fees will stay high forever, but this indicates the level of developer interest in the Bitcoin blockchain and the potential for fee income for miners,” the analysts wrote.

Finally, the report notes that RUNES token launches are speculative meme tokens to date. The founder of Runescape himself stated that the tokens have no real value, but are just a symbolic reminder of the halving. Therefore, such speculative activity may be short-lived.

Still, the market for NFTs is largely untapped on the Bitcoin network, the report noted, while decentralized tokens and other utility tokens on the Ethereum network exceed more than $200 billion. Therefore, the Bitcoin network may still see a lot of token activity in the future.

“We expect 15% of miner revenues to be network transaction fees, on a sustainable basis,” said the report, concluding that since the “speculative fervor” in blockchains could last 6 to 18 months, miners can continue to obtain high rates in the short term.

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