In just under two weeks, the number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin network jumped from 134,000 to over 390,000, causing a bottleneck in the mempool. This increase in unconfirmed transactions resulted in a staggering 343% increase in transaction fees, from $1.99 per transaction on April 26 to a current rate of $8.82 per transaction on May 7. Bitcoin miners are struggling to keep up with demand. , leaving many users frustrated and unable to complete their transactions in a timely manner.
Bitcoin network struggles with unprecedented traffic and skyrocketing fees
Since Sunday, May 7, 2023, the Bitcoin network has been experiencing a major traffic jam due to an overwhelming number of unconfirmed transactions. The latest statistics show that a huge 390,000 transfers are currently stuck in limbo, awaiting confirmation.
This backlog can be attributed to the surge in the minting and transfer of ordinal registrations and BRC20 tokens, which flooded the network. In fact, the Bitcoin blockchain now hosts over 13,000 BRC20 tokens and a staggering 4.17 million ordinal enrollments, further compounding the congestion.
To erase the current backlog, a whopping 179 blocks should be mined. Considering the average block time of 10 minutes, it would take around 1.24 days to mine the required number of blocks. This backlog has caused transaction fees to skyrocket by 343% in the last 11 days. According to data from bitinfocharts.com, the average transaction fee currently stands at 0.00031 BTC Or $8.82 per transfer.
Bitinfocharts.com further shows that the median size Bitcoin transaction fee currently stands at 0.00018 BTC Or $5.16 per transfer. However, the situation is far from ideal, according to mempool.space. The website reveals that a low priority fee will cost you $7.74, while a medium priority fee costs $7.90.
For those who need their transactions processed urgently, a priority fee of $7.99 per transfer. Adding to the frustration is that the current block time is longer than the average ten minutes, with the last block taking ten minutes and 55 seconds to discover.
The clogged memory pool has been a hot topic on social media lately, with users expressing a range of opinions on the matter. While some are excited about the surge in activity, others have called the rise in non-financial transactions a DDoS or attack.
Bitcoin is not under attack.
The anemic increases in block size simply weren’t enough to keep up with demand, and Lightning didn’t gain mass adoption.
Stop whining. Either accept that a huge mempool and high fees will be the norm, or increase the block size properly.
— Sam Patt (@SamuelPatt) May 7, 2023
Despite the optimism of some, the increase in unconfirmed transactions has not led to a significant increase in Lightning Network adoption. It is because he is still expensive to open and close a channel, and noncustodial solutions are rare.
At 11:07 am sharp (ET), the world’s largest crypto exchange, measured by trading volume, temporarily halted bitcoin (BTC) withdrawals. The exchange attributed the move to a “congestion issue” that the Bitcoin network is currently struggling with.
“Our team is currently working on a fix until the network is stabilized and will reopen BTC withdrawals as soon as possible. Rest assured, the funds are SAFU”, Binance writing Sunday morning.
What do you think of the current state of the Bitcoin network? Do you think the spike in unconfirmed transactions and fees is a temporary setback or a sign of deeper issues? Share your opinions in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This is not a direct offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service or company. bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.