During the bear market, a lot of miners and exchanges were very careful with bitcoin fees. According to Diar however, just last month, bitcoin fees increased by over 250%. This effectively means that blocks have reached almost the same size as the peak of the 2017 bull run.
Naturally, bitcoin fees were a lot lower back then, mainly because SegWit usage drastically increased in the intervening months. So, the 250% increase allowed Bitcoin miners to collect almost $14 million in fees alone.
It will come as no surprise that Segregated Witness wallets and services have decided to keep lowering fees. If the reports are true, then the SegWit usage is around 35% at the moment. The general expectation is that it will continue to increase as more services aim for cost efficiency. As the figure increases in size, so does the accessibility of the network.
When transactions end up taking less space, the cost per byte for other operations can be lowered. The inevitable result will be lower fees for everyone. Lightning network is also being looked at as a reliable way to save some extra satoshis.
Bitcoin fees will require a serious discussion in the near future
It’s only natural that people want their transactions to be processed faster. Some pay higher fee for that service but that ultimately leads to higher bitcoin fees for everyone. Diar believes that fees will be between 50% and 55% lower than the last transaction peak if the volume increases at the same rate. Currently, a lot less coins are being transferred, but they are being transferred a lot more often.
1ML shows that Lightning Network usage is growing. Lightning Network nodes have also increased by 5%. Toronto is the city with most nodes in the world – 107 with a more than 1200 channels in total. Currently, the Lightning Network has the potential to transfer around 1000 BTC in a few seconds.
Block #575003 has had 2500 transactions. The collected bitcoin fees were a little over $3200 which puts the average transaction cost at around $1.25. Some of the transactions paid more than $17 while the majority paid less than $2. Additionally, transactions that were worth less than 50 cents would have to waited a while to be confirmed.
Inevitably the issue of fees will have to be tackled. It’s a matter of time before cryptocurrencies reach a state of very large global usage. Scaling technologies will probably not be enough, but the current development is positive for Bitcoin nonetheless.
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