Not only is the bitcoin price breaking records but the network transaction queue (mempool) has also hit an all-time high on May 5. Around 6 pm EST, the network had about 155,000 unconfirmed transactions with over 85 BTC worth of fees waiting to be settled.
The last time the Bitcoin network’s mempool filled up and broke records was on February 22 with over 100,000 unconfirmed transactions. The record was surpassed on Friday, May 5 as the transaction backlog amassed over 150,000 transactions waiting to be confirmed according to Blockchain.info, Statoshi.info, and Tradeblock statistics.
Of course, the subject of the massive backlog waiting in the transaction queue was heavily discussed on forums and social media. There also was numerous complaints of people waiting long periods of time to get a transaction confirmed. One bitcoin user writes;
I’ve got 5+ unconfirmed transactions, all three days old. This is ridiculous. Also I use electrum’s dynamic at 140%.
Meanwhile, some speculate the network was suffering a spam attack while others assumed the backlog is connected to the recent price spike because people are transacting more. A spam attack is when an exponentially high amount of very small transactions is being sent across the network with minuscule fees or have larger inputs/bytes per tx.
Alongside the significant mempool size, average fees have been on the rise as well. People have been paying fees of $1-1.50 per transaction using wallets that figure for dynamic fees.
According to 21 Inc’s fee calculator, the fastest and cheapest transaction fee is currently 280 satoshis/byte. Moreover, for the median transaction size of 226 bytes, fees are averaging 63,280 satoshis per transaction or $0.98 at the time of writing.
Lately, there’s a lot of people using bitcoin, and over the past thirty days, the mempool’s transaction count has been spiking. Bitcoin trading volume has also been high over the past month and just recently reached $1 billion worth of trades in 24-hours. Transactions per day have been roughly 250,000-300,000 with the network working at full capacity during the jumps in price.
It’s safe to say that bitcoin is breaking a whole lot of records in 2017. However, some of the protocol’s lifetime achievements can be viewed as positive while some of the records are negatives. May 5th’s unconfirmed transaction count is just another record broken in bitcoin’s history to add to the list.
What do you think about bitcoin’s network backlog on May 5? What do you think about the records broken in 2017? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Blockchair, Tradeblock, Blockchain.info
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