Business

Erik Gibbs

BTC transaction fees shoot up to highest level in almost a year

The recent bull run witnessed with virtually all cryptocurrencies had many already looking at dollar signs, expecting the price to continue to rise to the $20,000-, $60,000- or even $100,000-mark that have been predicted in the past. Prices have stated to settle, again, making the idea of a Lambo soon resting comfortably in a garage nothing more than a dream. However, there was an area that continued to rise with the crypto market, only it wasn’t welcome by enthusiasts. Bitcoin Core (BTC) transaction costs are higher than they’ve been in months.

Due to an increase in the number of transactions on the network, BTC fees have shot up more than they’ve been in ten months. Bitinfocharts.com shows that, in terms of dollars per transaction, the cost is $4.87. The cost hasn’t been this high since the beginning of last year. If gauged in Satoshis per byte, the cost is at its highest level since June of last year.

Since April of last year, the number of BTC transactions has more than doubled. The blockchain processes around 400,000 transactions each day, which is about the same amount as what was seen when BTC skyrocketed to $20,000 in December 2017.

BTC has been working on solutions that are designed, in part, to combat increased transaction fees, such as the Lightning Network (LN) and Segregated Witness (SegWit). Neither has proven to be extremely popular, although LN is ahead, and both take transactions off the blockchain to be processed—a step that is dangerously indicative of an unstable network.

By way of comparison, the cost of sending Bitcoin SV (BSV) is substantially lower. According to Bitinfocharts, there have been 2,769,850 BSV sent through 19,705 transactions in the past 24 hours, with an average transaction value of $8,212. The average transaction fee has only been $0.0011. The digital currency’s value has also remained more stable than has that of BTC.

BTC’s network is operating on blocks that are only around 950 bytes—BSV’s network is already well about 100 megabytes for each block. What this means is that the BTC blockchain is less reliable. As the blocks fill up, miners have to prioritize the transactions and this is done by higher fees. Some transactions, those with lower fees, are forced to wait longer in order to be processed, which does little to improve BTC’s position as a viable currency.

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