Many cryptocurrency fans are excited about the recent jump in price of Bitcoin Core (BTC), which jumped from $4,190 on April 2 to its current price of $4,925 at press time on April 3. Proving it hasn’t changed much from its peak in late 2017, this jump in price has brought with it a few major headaches.
At the moment, 60,000 BTC transactions are sitting unconfirmed. If it weren’t the BTC blockchain, this would be incredible news, but somehow it’s not that shocking. Sticking to small blocks has meant that this influx of new money has done nothing but create congestion in the network, and the blockchain is struggling to keep up with demand.
As a result, BTC transaction fees have soared. According to coin.dance, the average cost of a BTC transaction has increased from $0.47 to $1.83. That’s just an average as well; it will cost much more to get a transaction prioritized and sent in any reasonable amount of time.
For comparison, Bitcoin SV (BSV), which has pursued massive scaling and big blocks to be ready for mass adoption, is currently sitting at under 50 unconfirmed transactions, all likely to be handled in the next block, and current transaction fees sit at $0.0034.
This is all despite plenty of time to develop the long touted Lightning Network. Either because of a lack of adoption or lack of preparation, this side chain is doing very little to alleviate the BTC from the congestion causes by increased adoption its currently seeing.
They had over a year to prepare for this breakout from the bear market, and they still aren’t ready. One MIT panel recently could not say when a Lightning Network app would be ready for mass consumption.
After a Bloomberg analyst criticized the jump in price, saying there was no good news to warrant the pump, another outlet pointed to recent good news for BTC, specifically in the Lightning Network, as reason for crypto investors to be excited. Don’t believe the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt), they say.
Considering the poor performance of BTC and the Lightning Network at a return to nearly $5,000, they should be welcoming any FUD they can get. High costs and slow transactions are going to drive away long term adoption and hurt the cryptocurrency world as a whole. For that reason, BTC can use all the FUD it can get.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.