🔥 BTC Runes - what's the deal?

Also: Renzo's token depegs because of airdrop farming

Good morning, frens! Ambire here once again, bringing you our weekly newsletter packed with all the juicy updates. The crypto space, as we all know, wouldn't be quite the same without its fair share of clownery 🤡 and jaw-dropping moments.

And this week was no different 👀 

Degen Portfolio Update

Despite the choppy price action, we still managed to squeeze out a 9% gain this week. Got hidden gems? Share them in #web3-on-fire room on our Discord. We're voting soon on portfolio re-balancing. Happy hunting!

Here’s what we’ve got today:

  • 🌜️ BTC Runes - what's the deal?

  • 🤡 Polymarket is in trouble for shitposting

  • 🦵 Renzo's token depegs because of airdrop farming

  • 💵 Ripple (XRP) switches to USDT for its US clients

BTC Runes - what's the deal? 

The new hype sweeping the space is BTC Runes, a unique digital asset created on the Bitcoin blockchain 🪙 

But what exactly are they and how do they work?

  • BTC Runes were introduced in early 2023 by Casey Rodarmor, Bitcoin Core contributing dev.

  • It is similar to BRC-20 tokens on BTC blockchain which enabled the generation and transfer of fungible tokens.

  • Within three months, BRC-20 tokens saw exponential growth, reaching a $1 billion market cap 💵 

  • BRC-20 also caused network congestion due to an excessive amount of unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) being produced 🗑️ 

But what's the difference between BTC Runes and BRC-20 tokens?

BTC Runes’ goal is to improve upon BRC-20, this time the aim is simplify fungible token creation on the Bitcoin blockchain and mitigate challenges such as the UTXO bloat issues caused by BRC-20 tokens.

The protocol uses Bitcoin’s inherent capabilities for on-chain data storage, minimizing the occurrence of undesirable “junk” UTXOs that can congest the network 👇️ 

BRC-20 tokens fill the chain's block with trash, to process the blocks that are full of this data, users need to pay more fees.

Which, for example, caused a lot of problems in South America and Africa, where it wasn't economically viable to pay $50 per transaction.

How do Runes work?

  • The Runes protocol uses Bitcoin’s UTXO model (‘trash’ unspent transaction) and the opcode to assign a Rune to a UTXO using a specific protocol message ⚙️ 

  • This message contains details such as the Rune ID, output index, and amount, all stored in an OP_RETURN output.

  • Rune balances are tracked within UTXOs instead of being linked to wallet addresses.

  • These can be transferred using Bitcoin transactions with OP_RETURN outputs specifying the transfer details.

Will this still lead to junk being created on the chain?

Yes, but less so than with BRC-20 tokens.

Truth be told, DeFi just wasn't a thing when BTC was being drafted, so any kind of protocol will have an associated cost and disadvantages 🤷 Ultimately it's up to the users to decide whether they want good ol 'digital gold' BTC or a frankenstein parody of Ethereum (and what for, since Ethereum is already a thing?) 👹 

In the meantime, Rune projects are sure to generate considerable hype, so the topic is certainly worth monitoring closely.

Polymarket is in trouble for shitposting

A few days ago, Polymarket twitter/x account posted a series of letters that altogether spelled “retardio” 🫠 

Many users called out the crypto platform for using offensive language, prompting Polymarket to delete the posts and issue a public apology 🙇‍♂️ 

The incident sparked outrage among some of the company’s politically correct followers, with many expressing their disappointment in Polymarket for allowing this type of language to be used on its official channels.

In response to the backlash, Polymarket released a statement addressing the incident and apologizing for any harm caused by the intern’s posts 💻️ 

The company also stated that they have taken necessary steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

The intern responsible for the offensive posts has been let go, according to Polymarket. The company also emphasized that they have a zero-tolerance policy towards any type of discriminatory language or behavior 🤔 

Our intern knows better btw 👀 

Renzo's token depegs because of airdrop farming

Airdrops are a popular mechanism for distributing tokens to the community and generating interest in new projects.

As shown by the recent incident with Renzo Protocol's EZETH token, the popular incentives mechanism can sometimes ruin your project 📉 

Renzo is a popular liquid restaking protocol, with over $3.3 billion in total value locked (TVL). In order to incentivize users, Renzo allocated 10% of its token allocation to a season 1 airdrop 💸 

However, as soon as the farming window ended on April 24, the token suffered a temporary depeg and was briefly trading at $688 on Uniswap 👨‍🌾 

This incident not only caused panic among traders, but also led to mass liquidations on leveraged protocols like Gearbox and Morpho Labs.

One of the traders, czsamsunsb.eth, was able to make a profit of over $390,000 in just two hours by taking advantage of the depeg and buying EZETH at a lower price.

The Renzo team had to quickly step in and make changes to the airdrop conditions to prevent similar incidents from happening again 👇️ 

This included increasing the initial distribution volume from 5% to 7%, postponing the branding date to April 30, and implementing a minimum threshold of 360 points for participation in the distribution.

Airdrops and similar promo campaigns have previously tipped some chains over and caused other instabilities, so this is nothing particularly new in the space.

Ripple (XRP) switches to USDT for its US clients

  • Ripple (the company behind XRP) has been involved in a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over allegations that XRP is a security, for a long time now ⚔️ 

  • Due to the ongoing lawsuit, Ripple has recently made a significant change in its business operations within the United States.

  • A court filing + internal company emails have revealed that Ripple's On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service is no longer using XRP for transactions within the US 😶 

How's the lawsuit going?

The lawsuit had a significant impact on the company's operations so far. In a recent court ruling, XRP sales to institutions were deemed securities offerings, leading Ripple to adjust its ODL operations in compliance with this decision.

What changes have been made?

To comply with the perceived legal landscape, Ripple has transitioned U.S.-based ODL clients from XRP to Tether (USDT). This ensured that Ripple's ODL service operates within the legal boundaries of the US while minimizing disruption for its global customer base 🤔 

A leaked internal email from Ripple's president, Monica Long, also highlights the use of vetted stablecoins for US transactions unless otherwise authorized by the legal department.

Despite the changes in the US market, Ripple has stated that it will continue to sell XRP to non-US customers without any restrictions. This means that international markets will still be able to use XRP for transactions, unlike in the US where they have switched to USDT.

Other worthy reads

Random thoughts by Zeneca:

The bluechip NFT meta is back?

Ton (Telegram) is a top-10 crypto now:

That's all for now, frens.

We'll meet in a week! And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better Web3 is here to stay. Thanks for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

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