Long waiting transaction time and high fees have been a bottleneck in bitcoin network for quite a long time. Critics have been using these arguments as an opportunity to jam up the most known cryptocurrency in the world and promote altcoins.
Experts explain the emergence of these phenomena by a desire of a larger number of people to pile into BTC for making profits instead of using it as a payment method. Therefore, bitcoin’s network has become overloaded and strangely clumsy. But things are getting much better nowadays, leaving skeptics without reasons for lashing.
Faster Transactions After All-Times Anti-Records
According to Johoe's Bitcoin Mempool Statistics, there were over 250,000 unconfirmed bitcoin transactions waiting in the mempool in mid-December, 2017. This result was the all-time anti-record for bitcoin. Since the beginning of 2018 things got better, but not that much. Within the first weeks of January, there were 125,000-175,000 waiting transactions.
However, the change was set to come after January 20. After this day the waiting time started reducing step-by-step, leading to only 25,000 transactions anticipating for verification. Finally, on January 30, there were only slightly above 10,000 transactions in the mempool, which is a result that bitcoin has not seen since November 2017.
It is also notable that the mempool size diminished to 40-60 MB in comparison to 250-300 MB, which was relevant within the first weeks of January.
Lower Fees Amid SegWit Continuing Adoption
But most importantly, within the past few weeks, the bitcoin transaction fees started significantly reducing as well. As it is mentioned on bitinfocharts.com, the fees started sweepingly dropping after January 20, when the median transaction fee cost $12.21. At the moment of writing, the rate was fixed at around $4.8. That is an excellent outcome as just one month ago on December 23 one had to pay $34 for a transaction. Bitcoin users have not enjoyed such low fees for about two months.
Such shearing could have been triggered by a more extensive adoption of Segregated Witness solution. On January 28, the percentage of SegWit-transactions within bitcoin’s network reached the record of 18.3%. Currently, the use of SegWit transactions is stabilized at 14%.
Nevertheless, it is also important to remember that these factors are also tied to bitcoin’s price. As we can see, when bitcoin soared to $20,000 in the mid-December, both the number of transactions in the mempool and transactions fees went high, as more people started selling it out energetically to make profits. Hence, the network appeared to be loaded. On the other hand, currently, these indicators are going down amid bitcoin’s price decrease.
Charts Sources: dedi.jochen-hoenicke.de; bitinfocharts.com; segwit.party.