Bitcoin Network Sees Significant Reduction in Pending Transactions and Lower Fees

الثلاثاء 03/10/2023
During the final week of April, the Bitcoin (BTC) network experienced a surge in pending transactions, which reached its peak in May. This surge in transaction volume led to significantly higher transaction fees for Bitcoin holders looking to move their coins.

Following this, the Bitcoin mempool, where pending transactions wait to be confirmed, remained congested with hundreds of thousands of transactions in the queue, causing delays in the receipt of BTC at their intended destinations.

However, there has been a notable change in the situation six months later, during the last week of September. As of October 3, data obtained from Johoe's Bitcoin node reveals that the number of pending transactions on the network has reached a six-month low, with only 31,000 transactions waiting to be processed.

This is a significant improvement compared to earlier in the year when the number of pending transactions was over 20 times higher. On May 8, it reached a record high of 472,000 pending transactions, followed by 490,000 on August 11, and a staggering all-time high of over 655,000 on September 6.

It's important to note that on May 16, Johoe's node experienced a crash, resulting in the loss of data for that day, which is reflected in the chart as false lows with zero transactions waiting in the mempool.

The Impact of Pending Transactions: Bitcoin Fees and the Lightning Network
With the Bitcoin network operating with limited block size capacity, an increase in pending transactions can lead to higher demand for available block space. This, in turn, can result in senders competing by offering higher transaction fees to have their transactions confirmed more quickly.

This effect was observed on May 8 during the initial surge in pending transactions when the average transaction fees spiked to as high as $31 per Bitcoin transaction, according to BitInfoCharts. Subsequently, fees remained below the $5 per transaction threshold, costing less than the price of a Big Mac worldwide.

In response to network congestion, users began migrating their BTC funds to the Lightning Network (LN), allowing off-chain transactions while the Bitcoin network was congested. However, with the recent decrease in pending transactions, LN statistics have also undergone significant changes. Nodes have been shut down, channels closed, and funds retrieved to ensure the security of the Bitcoin blockchain.

As of the current data from Amboss, there have been 4,667 channels closed in the past month, and 1,033 nodes shut down during the same period, representing negative changes of 6.36% and 5.76%, respectively. Despite these changes, the LN's capacity measured in BTC has increased by 1.64%, with an additional 80 BTC available for the network's liquidity.

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