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The sudden spike in Bitcoin (BTC) transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions sparked concerns on cryptocurrency Twitter over the weekend over a potential denial-of-service (DoS) “attack” on the network.
Some bitcoin analysts and commentators were quick to dispel these fears of their followers.
According to BitInfoCharts, the average Bitcoin transaction fee is currently $19.20 or 0.00068 BTC. Meanwhile, according to Mempool Space, the number of pending transactions currently stands at 459,341.
Increased demand on the network even caused the total block fee to temporarily exceed the 6.25 BTC subsidy reward on May 7th.
BITCOIN TRANSACTION FEES HAVE SURPASSED THE BLOCK SUBSIDY COINBASE REWARD
6.76 BTC vs 6.25 BTC
FIRST TIME SINCE 2017 pic.twitter.com/F0PKrlFYmQ
— trevor.btc @ NYC (@TO) May 7, 2023
The proof-of-work mining process has a set block subsidy of 6.25 BTC, which is halved every four years. However, in rare cases where the demand for block space increases dramatically, this figure can be exceeded, resulting in increased transaction fees.
Industry analysts said this was the first time this has happened since 2017. The fee for one block was 6.76 BTC, and block 788695 was 6.7 BTC.
The Mempool Space researcher shows that since then, activity has declined slightly, with fees once again falling below the block reward. The next block is expected to be processed for a fee of 4.51 BTC.
The surge in activity and the need for block space are explained by the increase in the number of ordinal labels. On May 7, a total of 75% of transactions on the Bitcoin network used Taproot, according to analytics provider Glassnode, an all-time high.
However, some cryptocurrency Twitter users have speculated that the recent congestion was the result of a DoS (denial of service) attack on the Bitcoin network.
Related: Binance Closes BTC Withdrawals Due to Bitcoin Network Congestion
Bitcoin analysts were quick to point out that this was due to demand and not a deliberate attack. “0xfoobar” said to his 130,000 followers:
“Bitcoin mempool has finally got some use, and the maxi is presenting it as a DoS attack on the network. They didn’t really consider even the most basic scenarios like “Bitcoin is getting popular and people are willing to pay to use it.”
On May 8, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, again suspended Bitcoin transactions, citing a “high volume of pending transactions.” This is the second time Binance has suspended BTC transactions in the past twelve hours.