Blockchain

Despite Fee Reduction, Bitcoin Network Faces Stubborn Transaction Backlog

Bitcoin transaction fees have stayed below $7 since Jun. 9, 2024, and have fallen under $3 in the last five days. Even with this decrease in fees, over 200,000 unconfirmed transactions have persisted in the backlog, as the queue has not come close to clearing since October 2023.

This week, transaction fees on the Bitcoin network have remained low, currently averaging 22.3 satoshis per virtual byte (sats/vB), or $2.67 per transaction. According to mempool.space on June 27, a high-priority transfer costs approximately 10 sats/vB, or about $0.86 per transaction. Fees have generally trended downward since April, although there was a brief increase in the fee market on June 7.

On that date, the average transaction fee reached $83.74, as reported by bitinfocharts.com. Mempool.space’s archived data from the same day lists a high-priority fee of approximately 315 satoshis per virtual byte (sats/vB) or $30.51 per transaction. At that time, the mempool was significantly fuller, with unconfirmed transactions exceeding 300,000 in the preceding weeks.

Although transaction fees have decreased, the backlog has continuously stayed above the 200,000 threshold each day since June 16, and as noted, it was even greater prior to that date. Statistics show that the network has not seen a backlog of under 20,000 transfers since Feb. 12, 2023. There was also a brief lapse of clearing that took place in October and November 2023, as the mempool was under 45,000 unconfirmed transactions.

While the backlog is considerable, it underscores that demand exceeds the network’s available block space capacity. This situation underscores the persistent challenges of scalability and efficiency, underscoring the need for potential protocol improvements or wider implementation of scaling solutions to facilitate smoother transaction processing. Although the demand for block space persists, the fee market has not followed suit, prompting questions about whether the network can ever fully clear.

What do you think about the Bitcoin network’s transaction backlog? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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