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Bitcoin Miners Have Raked in Abnormal Transaction Fees Since Halving: Bernstein

  • Total miner revenue is currently about triple the pre-halving level, the report noted.

  • The spike in network fees indicates the level of developer interest in Bitcoin, and the fee revenue potential for miners, Bernstein said.

  • The broker expects 15% of miner revenues to be network transaction fees on a sustainable basis.

Since the reward halving of bitcoin {{BTC}}, miners have earned about 19 BTC per block on average, which is over and above the standard block rewards as a spike in network fees led to a tripling of revenue, broker Bernstein said in a research report on Monday.

The quadrennial halving, which slows the rate of growth in bitcoin supply, occurred on Friday evening.

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

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The Runes protocol allows people to etch and mint tokens on the chain. The launch of the protocol over the weekend triggered a spike in network fees on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The report said that the total miner revenue is currently about triple the pre-halving level, at around 22 bitcoins versus 7 bitcoins before. Bernstein noted that daily revenues exceeded $100 million, with more than about $80 million coming from transaction fees, which is clearly abnormal, it said.

“Investors should not extrapolate these fees into the future, but it indicates the level of developer interest on the Bitcoin blockchain, and the fee revenue potential for miners,” the authors wrote.

The broker notes that Runes token launches have been speculative meme tokens so far, and such speculative activity may be short-lived.

Still, the fungible token market is largely untapped on the Bitcoin network, the report noted, and decentralized tokens and other utility tokens on the Ethereum network exceed more than $200 billion.

“We expect 15% of miner revenues to be network transaction fees, on a sustainable basis,” the note said, adding that seen as “speculative fervor” on blockchains can last for 6-18 months, the miners may continue to enjoy the above normal windfall for now.

Read more: Bitcoin Miners May Shift Focus to AI After Halving, CoinShares Says