The Bitcoin blockchain transaction fee fell sharply last week as the network reverted to less frantic levels of activity.
The average fee per transaction in USD fell by over 58% from the two-month high of $6.47 USD to $2.72 USD within the four days to 9th Aug, consistent with data source Blockchain.com.
The sharp drop comes alongside a decline within the size of the memory pool (mempool) – the place of valid transactions waiting to be confirmed on Bitcoin’s blockchain.
The number of unconfirmed transactions topped out at a 2.5-month high of 56,648 on 28th July with a complete block size of 53.5 MB and has been on a declining trend ever since, consistent with data provider Bitcoin Visuals. As of Sunday, the mempool had 3,656 unconfirmed transactions, bottom since 12th July, with a total block size of 9.9 MB.
When there’s a dramatic rise in transaction activity, the mempool can become congested, resulting in longer waiting times.
This happens because miners can validate solely 1 MB of transactions per block mined for every 10 minutes.
Miners answer congestion by prioritizing transactions offering higher fees, forcing other users to extend mining fees.
As such, avg fees paid tend to rise with the size of the mempool and drop with the easing of congestion.
Bitcoin Rising To Bullish Breakout
The mempool expanded sharply within the 2nd half of July, as bitcoin rose from $9,100 USD to levels above $10,000 USD confirming a bullish breakout.
The number of pending transactions surged by over 1,900% within the 16 days to 28th July.
During that period, the mean fee volume increased by over 650%.
The number of unconfirmed transactions jumped to a 28-month high of 267,068 in mid-May after prices rose into five figures, extending the meteoric rise from the low of $3,867 USD reached on 13th March.