In just less than two weeks, the number of Bitcoin transactions with no confirmation has gone up from 134,000 to almost 400,000. This huge spike in unconfirmed transactions caused a 343% increase in the fees for each transaction—from $1.99 to over $8.00! The miners are having trouble keeping up with so many and it is making people very mad that they can’t complete their payments quickly.
At 12:38 p.m in the afternoon on May 7, 2023, Binance announced on their Twitter account that they were allowing bitcoin withdrawals once again.
The High Cost of Bitcoin
On Sunday, May 7, 2023, the Bitcoin network was totally jammed up because there were so many transactions that hadn’t been processed. Statistics show that 390,000 of these transfers are still stuck without confirmation.
The Bitcoin network has really become busy and slow lately. This is because a lot of people are creating and moving around special coins (called BRC20 tokens) and also a huge number of other digital items (over 4 million). All these transactions have made the system very crowded.
To fix the problem, more than 179 blocks of Bitcoin will have to be mined. This takes about 1.24 days since it usually takes 10 minutes for one block. Because of this backlog, the prices for transfers have shot up a lot – by 343% in the past 11 days! The average cost per transfer is now 0.00031 BTC, which converts to $8.82 US Dollars.
Some people believe that these high amounts of transactions could be because someone is purposely trying to slow down the system.
Currently, according to Bitinfocharts.com, it costs around 0.00018 Bitcoin (BTC) or $5.16 for every transaction you make. However, this is not ideal as mempool.space illustrates. For a low-priority fee, you will have to pay $7.74 while a medium-priority fee charges you an additional $7.90.
If you need to do something urgently, there is a special fee of $7.99 per transfer. However, it takes much longer than usual for transactions to get processed (ten minutes and 55 seconds recently!).
A lot of people have been talking about the full mempool lately. Some are having fun with it, but others think there is an online attack going on because of an increase in non-money transactions.
Despite some people being hopeful, the increase in unconfirmed transactions has not resulted in more people using the Lightning Network. This is because it still costs a lot of money to open and close channels and there are only a few non-custodial services available at this point.
At 11:07 a.m (ET), the biggest crypto exchange in the world stopped allowing people to take out bitcoin (BTC). The cause of this was a problem that Bitcoin is facing called “congestion”.
Binance announced that their team was fixing the Bitcoin (BTC) network until it stabilized so they could reopen BTC withdrawals. After about one and a half hours, the network resumed and people can now withdraw BTC again.
What do you think about what’s going on with Bitcoin? Is this just a little problem that will go away soon or are there more serious issues happening? Tell us what you think in the comment section!
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