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Franklin Templeton: Runes to Strengthen Bitcoin’s DeFi Against Ethereum and Solana

Franklin Templeton, a well-established investment firm, has published an extensive analysis highlighting the potential for integrating Runes to boost decentralized finance (DeFi) growth within the Bitcoin network. The report delves into the current state of decentralized finance on Bitcoin, underscoring the hurdles and limitations compared to platforms like Ethereum and Solana.

Despite Bitcoin’s dominance in the cryptocurrency market, its DeFi ecosystem has progressed slowly due to scalability constraints and limited smart contract functionalities. Franklin Templeton Digital Assets, in a recent report, predicts that the introduction of Runes could bridge the gap between Bitcoin and platforms like Ethereum and Solana in the realm of fungible digital assets.

“Currently the fungible token market for Bitcoin is quite small in comparison to ETH and SOL,” the investment firm said. “However, with the launch of a more efficient token standard (Runes), Bitcoin is positioned well to close the gap between its fungible market cap versus that of other blockchains.”

Leonidas, a spokesperson for Runestone, expressed optimism about Runes, stating, “1.4 trillion assets under management, Franklin Templeton is bullish on Runes, and somehow I know most of you guys will mid-curve this,”

While acknowledging the role of the BRC-20 standard in facilitating fungible tokens on Bitcoin, Franklin Templeton highlighted issues with the standard’s burn and minting process, which leads to the creation of junk UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output).

This UTXO bloats the network and increases transaction fees due to remaining Bitcoin fragments after transactions, which are eventually utilized in subsequent transactions. As the Bitcoin halving approaches, BRC-20 tokens have faced significant downturns, with Ordi (ORDI) experiencing a 40% decline in the past week. This decline could be attributed to growing interest in Runes, according to blockchain intelligence firm LunarCrush.

Franklin Templeton Digital Assets emphasized that the launch of the Runes protocol will bring several improvements, including the elimination of junk UTXOs, independence from off-chain data reliance, absence of additional tokens, and enhanced privacy and compatibility with the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

However, Runes isn’t the sole emerging digital asset catching Franklin Templeton’s attention. The firm recently highlighted Ordinals as catalyzing a “Renaissance in BTC activity,” spotlighting various projects like NodeMonkes, Runestone, Bitcoin Puppets, Ordinal Maxi Biz, and Bitmap, collectively valued at $1.11 billion in market capitalization.

“In the past year, Bitcoin innovation and development have experienced a resurgence in activity,” Franklin Templeton Digital Assets remarked. “Positive momentum in innovations is primarily driven through Bitcoin NFTs, known as Ordinals, new fungible token initiatives like BRC-20 and Runes, Bitcoin Layer 2 solutions, and other Bitcoin DeFi fundamentals.”

In a separate report released on Monday, Franklin Templeton projected that the total number of cryptocurrency users would surpass 1.2 billion by 2025.

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