Bitcoin Blocks Are Close To Becoming Full Once Again Per Latest Industry Research Report
Bitcoin Blocks Are Close To Becoming Full Once Again
Bitcoin (BTC) blocks seem to be reaching a limit, leading to an increase in the fees that miners take for processing transactions. Since April 2018, the number of transactions in the Bitcoin network has been growing, reaching 452,000 transactions in just a single day a few days ago. This was the second largest number of transactions processed in Bitcoin’s history.
What Is Happening With Bitcoin’s Fees?
Bitcoin transaction fees have recently increased by over 200% in April compared to March, according to Diar. Bitcoin miners have also earned $291 million in April. This is 30% higher than March. Although blocks have become almost full, the Segregated Witness (SegWit) implementation helped increase the number of transactions processed by each of the blocks in the network.
According to data provided by Diar, 35% of the transactions in April used SegWit. In 2018, SegWit usage was just 26% and 11% at Bitcoin’s peak. This shows that it has currently helped the network to process a larger number of transactions.
Moreover, block confirmation times are also 84% lower than the ones seen at the peak, but the number of Bitcoins moved on-chain is just ⅓ of the peak.
Although April has experienced a fee increase, they are 55% cheaper than in December 2018. At that time, fees were as high as 500 Satoshis per byte. This shows that Bitcoin’s Segregated Witness is working as intended and it is helping the network grow.
At the same time, the Lightning Network (LN) has also been expanding. Although it has not reached mass adoption, the LN is expected to help the Bitcoin network to scale and solve its congestion issues. In the future, smaller payments will be processed through the LN and important and large transactions will be processed through the main Bitcoin blockchain.
During the last year, the LN has expanded substantially. At the moment, it has a network capacity of over 1,079 BTC, close to $6.3 million with the current Bitcoin prices. Moreover, there are 8289 nodes, according to 1m.com, a website that provides information about the Lightning Network.
It will be important to follow how the Lightning Network expands and whether it will be able to deal with an increased demand for cheaper and faster payments using Bitcoin. Additionally, SegWit adoption would have to keep growing for fees to remain as low as now during periods of high network usage.