The Bitcoin mempool saw a dramatic spike in transactions awaiting confirmation, briefly touching past the 125,000 mark today. Crunching the numbers, this stands at around 149 megabytes worth of data, all awaiting entrance into the blockchain at large, which itself is enough to fill up 107 blocks yet to come.
Massive New Backlogs For BTC
It should be noted that this spike is smaller than the previous all-time high backlog recorded on the 17th of December 2020 at over a whopping 143,000 transactions pending. However, with the mempool getting more and more cluttered, Bitcoin critics are using this as a formidable argument against it, as well as allowing forks to be the talking points of the crypto space. Forks allow for the cost and speed of crypto transactions to be improved upon immensely.
The mempool stands as a so-called “waiting area” for incoming Bitcoin transactions. These transactions first need to be verified and confirmed independently by every node connected with the network at large. It was on the 1st of January, 2021, when the Mempool managed to clear itself to zero for the last time. Even back then, mempool clearances had already been somewhat of a rarity.
The New Normal Fees
Mempool.observer’s Bitcoin stats tracker revealed that it’s currently recommended that users set up a minimum fee of 93 sat/byte in order to ensure the transaction be included within the upcoming block. Using $46,280 as a reference price for Bitcoin, with a median size of 224 bytes per transaction, a quick number crunch reveals that this would lead to a transaction fee of $9.63.
It was just earlier today when the fee recommended for the next block inclusion spiked to a staggering 141.9 sat/byte. This comes thanks to a similar service based on Twitter, dedicated to the monitoring of transaction fees within the Bitcoin network.
Everyone’s Piling On To Layer II Solutions
It was on the 8th of February, 2021, when transaction fees amounted to a total of 84,72 Bitcoin. This, in turn, translates to a miner revenue of $2.05 million. Throughout most of November and December of 2020, transaction fees had been more or less reasonable. Now, however. This comes in spite of massive bull runs causing Bitcoin to breach new all-time highs, as well.
The Lightning Network stands Bitcoin’s go-to second layer scaling solution, and even Lightning is witnessing brand new highs in terms of participating node count as well as the dollar value of cumulative BTC capacity across all channels.