Most Bitcoin users will be well aware of the ongoing transaction queue issues right now. A lot of transactions are stuck in the mempool as they await network confirmations. Earlier today, it appeared close to US$1bn worth of BTC was stuck in limbo. Developments such as these highlight the need for a Bitcoin scaling solution, albeit that is much easier said than done.
Bitcoin Continues To Suffer From Growing Backlog
The past few months – or years, depending on how you look at it – have been quite eventful for Bitcoin. Especially where the number of transactions on the network are concerned. With more people sending Bitcoin on a daily basis, a new problem ensues. Albeit everyone wants Bitcoin to become more popular, it is also a big problem when it does. There are only so many transactions that can be processed every 10 minutes due to current technological constraints.
To put this into numbers, there was a backlog of nearly 200,000 transactions this week. In fact, those problems have only grown worse over time. Right now, there are nearly 217,000 transactions awaiting confirmation. Interestingly enough, all of these transactions represent 105 Bitcoin in fees alone. That equals to US$195 in Bitcoin is not being picked up by miners right now. The current network blocks only allow for so many transactions to be included. Scaling Bitcoin can alleviate these concerns, although it will not be easy.
Almost $1 billion in Bitcoin stuck in confirmation queue limbo because of internal politics. It’s just embarrassing now.
— Weiran Zhang (@weiran) May 17, 2017
Unfortunately, this also means close to US$1bn in Bitcoin transfers is stuck in limbo. Considering Bitcoin has nearly a US$3bn market cap, that is not good. If over three percent of your entire money supply can’t be moved, things are taking a turn for the worse. Solving this problem will not happen overnight either. If the transaction isn’t confirmed, there is little reason for the average user to get involved in Bitcoin. Even moving funds off exchanges has become excruciatingly difficult as of late due to these delays.
Unfortunately, it does appear a growing transaction backlog is the new normal for Bitcoin. Some mining pools continue to mine empty blocks just because they can. That type of behavior is not helping matters move along either. Bitcoin is being destroyed from the inside due to politics, and nothing else. It is due time for action, rather than words. Unfortunately, these actions are mainly intended to prevent Bitcoin from scaling rather than anything else.
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