The bitcoin network ground to a halt last night resulting in plenty of transactions waiting for inclusion within the blockchain. As for now, more than 214,000 bitcoin transactions are stuck unconfirmed but the figure is growing every minute.
While the number of bitcoin transactions has recently increased massively as the cryptocurrency has nearly doubled in price, the transaction space remains limited for every ten minutes and can handle less than a floppy disk could 30 years ago.
Thus, the balance between supply and demand is disrupted and the execution of transactions often resembles traffic jams at rush hours. Traders have an option to pay a higher fee to avoid waiting in line but these fees are now getting too high. The current suggested fee for a 250 bytes transaction is $1.82 worth of bitcoin, according to the bitcoin company 21.co. However, 250 bytes transactions are quite rare and most frequently transactions are around 400, requiring a fee of $3-$4.
The information about figures varies – some say they paid $10 for their transaction while unlucky individuals had to pay $33 to move around $43. One Reddit user mentioned how his Trezor transaction fee spiked to US$247.87 when sending 1 Bitcoin.
Current situation in the bitcoin network demonstrates that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is not ready for mainstream adoption by any means. If the average user wants to send a transaction now, he will only find out failure of the system to process it.
The reasons for such a backlog are still unclear. It seems that there is no transaction spam taking place right now. The situation will escalate if the number of unconfirmed transactions grows within a few more weeks. This is not positive news for the Bitcoin ecosystem by any means. Solving the problem may prove to be more difficult than most people think, though.
Bitcoin’s share of the combined value of the cryptocurrency market decreased below 50% the other day for the first time in the history of the virtual currency.
Although the price of bitcoin has been on an upward trend lately, hitting an all-time high last week, its market share has been falling for the last two month. The digital currency is now accounting for less than half of the total value of all blockchain assets.
Experts marked that one of the primary factors that has driven market cap to decrease is the lack of common decision by the bitcoin community on how to advance the cryptocurrency network to allow more transactions.