Runestones Wants to Become the Biggest Memecoin Community, Says Creator

The airdropped Runestones collection has soared to become the second most valuable NFT collection after CryptoPunks.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

image depicting runestones

Imagine a memecoin onboarding millions of people to Bitcoin. Because the Runestones community wants to do exactly that.

“The fiat collapse narrative only resonates with a small portion of the population, but everybody loves a puppy in an orange hoodie,” said LeonidasNFT, the mastermind behind Runestones.

He recently launched the Runestones collection in a bid to reward Ordinals OGs – people who believed in the ecosystem during its first year of life.

In a highly anticipated airdrop on March 15, more than 112,000 wallets began receiving their Runestones, which have been climbing the NFT rankings. The collection’s market cap lies just shy of $600 million, and Runestones have a floor price of 0.08 BTC on Magic Eden or $5,500 – up 400% since the airdrop.

Runestones Floor Price chart
Runestones Floor Price

The idea is to airdrop three memecoins to every Runestones holder, of which there are currently roughly 77,000, with the first being a dog in an orange hoodie. The memecoin will drop when Ordinals creator Casey Rodarmor launches the Runes protocol, enabling a UTXO-based alternative to the BRC-20 token standard.

By assigning tokens to a specific UTXO, Runes allow for a more simple and efficient way to inscribe arbitrary data inscriptions onto Bitcoin–incentivizing users to stop using the BRC-20 standard.

Future Drops for Runestones
Future Drops for Runestones

“The narrative is that Runestone holders will receive 3 Runes memecoins throughout the year,” explained Jake Gallen, who leads strategy for Emblem Vault, a cross-chain NFT protocol.

But Jake told The Defiant he doesn’t think it stops there. “With 77K holders and a narrative around "free and fair" distribution, there's a possibility other projects will also create claim portals or airdrop tokens to Runestone holders,” he said.

Gallen also pointed out how projects can onboard users easily through Runestones.

“It's an easy way to get your token in the hands of 77K owners,” he said. “Even if they end up dumping the token, the 1% retention rate will get your project close to 1k active users or believers.”

Ordinal inscriptions can be thought of as equivalent toNFTs. They allow non-financial data, from JPEGS to text to videos, to be inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain. Inscriptions are linked to an individual satoshi, the smallest denomination of Bitcoin.

Memecoins Are The Narrative

Considering the size of the memecoin sector, making this a core part of Runestones could be a smart bet by Leonidas.

Memecoins have been booming, with the sector commanding $65 billion in market capitalization. Communities are also pushing the industry further into the mainstream, as seen by the DogWifHat community raising $700,000 to put the memecoin’s image on the Las Vegas Sphere.

Solana has been enjoying most of the attention from degens interested in memecoins, but now many networks are catching up to its popularity.

Coinbase’s Layer 2, Base, has been witnessing its own memecoin frenzy, along with Blast. To the dismay of some, others like Fantom co-founder Andre Cronje are trying to create “safe environments” for memecoins, although previous such attempts have proved unsuccessful.

Why Runestones?

Leonidas is building off Bitcoin’s brand name.

“Bitcoin is the world's largest, longest-running, most secure, most decentralized, most well-known blockchain, so taking any Web3 use case, for example, memecoins, but doing it on Bitcoin has a very strong narrative to many people,” he explained.

Gallen agrees and goes a step further, adding how these can onboard people onto more than just the Runes protocol.

“Since Runestones utilize the Taproot upgrade on Bitcoin, and every single new protocol on Bitcoin also uses Taproot, you can airdrop NFTs and fungible tokens from other protocols, including Ordinals, Atomicals, CBRC20, DMT, and many more,” said Gallen.

So far, 10 BTC have been donated by members of the Ordinals community to help cover network fees.

Most Honest Form Of Speculation

Most people agree that memecoins have no utility. Leonidas has a spin on that take, however.

For him, these are the most honest form of speculation in the crypto industry.

“Memecoins are a reaction to all the broken promises of utility tokens in the past cycle,” he said, reckoning however that they have binary outcomes. According to the self-proclaimed Ordfluencer, they are either incredibly successful or go to zero.

And his aspirations are nothing short of ambitious.

He wants to make the Runestones community the largest memecoin community in the world.

“Once you realize that Bitcoin is three times larger than Ethereum, it only makes sense that memecoins on Bitcoin should also be three times larger, given enough time,” he told The Defiant.