Bitcoin Ordinals Project Runestone Hosts Auction Ahead of Airdrop


The Runestone, the largest ordinal inscription by block size, is up for auction, NFT historian Leonidas said on Wednesday. According to Leonidas, the current highest bid for the Runestone inscription 63,140,674 is 0.26 BTC, around $17,261.61 on the Ord City marketplace.

Leonidas said all of the proceeds from this auction will cover the Bitcoin network fees associated with the Runestone airdrop and go to Bitcoin miners.

“There is no team allocation, pre-sale, etc., and the open-source eligibility algorithm was designed to not favor whales,” Leonidas said. “Runestone is a non-utility project, and The Runestone and its delegate inscriptions that point to it are collectible pieces of art that are intended to be worn as badges of honor for those who showed up and believed in the Ordinal protocol when nobody else did.”

The Runestone auction runs until March 8, 2024, at noon.

The highly anticipated Runestone airdrop was first announced in February. On Monday, the Runestone ordinal was inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain. The 3.97 MB project took two entire blocks on the network.

“It is one of only seven Ordinal inscriptions larger than 400,000 bytes (400 KB) and was created in collaboration with OrdinalsBot and Marathon Digital Holdings, who mined it in block 832,947,” he said. “Which set the record for being the largest block in Bitcoin’s history (3,991,547 bytes/3.991 MB).”

Though Leonidas has not given away the date of the event, the upcoming Runestone airdrop will see over 112,000 eligible Bitcoin addresses receive a Runestone ordinal inscription.

After the halving, once the Runes protocol is live on Bitcoin, Leonidas told Decrypt, a Runes token will be airdropped to Runestone holders proportionally based on how many Runestone inscriptions they hold.

“The latter airdrop could be quite expensive due to Bitcoin network fees being expected to surge after the halving, which is the major variable. Some people are calling for sustained fees in excess of 1,000 sats/vB,” Leonidas said.

Leonidas added that The Runes protocol goes live on Bitcoin L1 at block 840,000 when the halving is scheduled to occur sometime around April 20, 2024.

The art on the Runestone inscription was created by artist Léo Caillard, who Leonidas said donated the image to the Runestone project under a Creative Commons license.

“[Runestone] symbolizes the enduring desire of humanity to make marks that last beyond their lifetimes and to communicate with future generations,” Leonidas said. “This endeavor was more than a technical achievement. It is a bridge between past, present, and future, a reminder that art, in all its forms, seeks to capture the ephemeral and make it eternal.”

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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