A surge in Bitcoin
transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions raised concerns on Crypto Twitter over the weekend of a potential denial-of-service (DoS) “attack” on the network.
Some Bitcoin analysts and commentators have been quick to allay these fears from their respective supporters.
Bitcoin’s average transaction fees are currently $19.20, or 0.00068 BTC, according to BitInfoCharts. Meanwhile, according to Mempool Space, the transaction backlog at the time of writing was 459,341.
Increased demand on the network has even caused total block fees to temporarily exceed the block subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC on May 7.
The proof-of-work mining process has a fixed block allowance of 6.25 BTC, which halves every four years. However, in the rare event that demand for block space increases, this figure can be exceeded, resulting in higher transaction fees.
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Industry analysts reported that this is the first time since 2017. Fees of 6.76 BTC were recorded for a block, and block 788695 generated fees of 6.7 BTC.
The Mempool Space explorer shows that activity has cooled down a bit since then and fees have fallen back below the block reward. The next block is expected to process generating 4.51 BTC in fees.
Block fees for the next block. Source: Mempool Space
The increased activity and demand for block space has been attributed to increased Ordinals signups. According to analytics provider Glassnode, a total of 75% of on-chain Bitcoin transactions used Taproot on May 7, resulting in a record high.
BTC taproot adoption. Source: Glassnode
However, some on Crypto Twitter speculated that the recent congestion was due to a DoS (denial of service) attack on the Bitcoin network.
Related: Binance Shuts Down BTC Withdrawals Amid Bitcoin Network Congestion
Bitcoin analysts were quick to point out that it was due to lawsuit and not a premeditated attack. “0xfoobar” told his 130,000 followers:
“Bitcoin mempool is finally getting some use and the maxis are framing it as a DoS attack on the network. They haven’t really considered even the most basic scenarios, like ‘Bitcoin becomes popular and people are willing to pay to use it’.”
On May 8, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance suspended Bitcoin trading again, citing “the large volume of pending transactions.” This is the second time Binance has suspended BTC trading in the last 12 hours.