Posts Tagged ‘blockchain backlog

Do you remember the time when Bitcoin was advertised as a fast and easy way to transfer money all over the world with a minimal transaction fee. Well, these times are long gone now that we are seeing the 1MB blocks full with transactions, a backlog of almost 200000 unconfirmed transactions and over 100 BTC in fees alone with almost 100MB backlog (100 blocks behind with 1MB block size). As a result there are high transaction fees that start at more than a dollar and can go as high as a couple of dollars just to have your transaction included in a block in a reasonable time. Things are not looking good, unless a consensus for a solution (even temporary) to the small block size is found as with the increase of the price of Bitcoin. Services such as online Bitcoin wallets and such have started to increase the transaction fees already so, that there will be no extra delay for their customers, the problem is that these extra costs are usually covered by the users.

For example the online Bitcoin wallet and a Bitcoin-powered debit card issuer Xapo has recently informed its customers about their plans to actually have the transaction fees for withdraws paid by the users. Prior to that the service did not have users paying the fees for outgoing transactions, but the high fees associated with transfers on the Bitcoin blockchain have forced this change. With low transaction fees covering the extra cost is not a problem for some services, but with the constantly growing transaction fees you can even end up paying more for the actual transaction to be included in the blockchain than the amount you are transferring if it is just a couple of dollars.

Do you remember those promo images comparing Bitcoin to Western Union, PayPal and other popular payment services and talking about how BTC is better with the very low transaction fees cited as one of the key advantages. Well, if this trend continues and a solution is not found soon, then things might end up with Bitcoin transaction fees actually making transfers more expensive than to use a more established alternative payment method like the ones mentioned…

bitcoin-unconfirmed-transactions

If you’ve made a Bitcoin transfer in the last hours you probably are wondering why it still hasn’t gone through. The reason is that that the number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain is really large at the moment, so things are moving slowly. The wait time for transactions with standard network fees could take quite some time, so be aware of that when sending payments or transferring BTC between wallets. Increasing the network fee might help in moving your transfer faster than others, but with such high number of unconfirmed transactions it could still take more time than usual. There is no very apparent reason why the number of unconfirmed transaction is over 35 thousand at the moment, so it could as well be somebody testing/flooding the network with many small transactions. Issues like that are bringing up yet again the question about the increase of blocksize over the current limit of 1 MB, even though it has been a few months since we’ve last had too many unconfirmed transactions, it is issues like these that might become more common in the future due to the small block size and larger number of transactions happening.

To check the number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin network at the moment…

blockchain-unconfirmed-transactions

It seems that the number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain has been growing steadily over the last few days with the increase in price and user interest and trading as well. We are not sure if there is some test of the network going on yet again, but as far as we know there isn’t any at the moment. Yesterday it was over 10K and today this number has grown to over 17K and the number continues to increase, essentially making the waiting time for a transaction to be confirmed to a few hours. The wait time for transactions with lower network fees could be even more, so be aware of that when sending payments or transferring BTC between wallets.


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