The Bitcoin network is currently facing major congestion, with over 390,000 unconfirmed transactions awaiting confirmation. This surge in transactions is due to the increased minting and transferring of BRC20 tokens and Ordinal inscriptions, with over 13,000 BRC20 tokens and 4.17 million Ordinal inscriptions currently on the network. To clear the backlog, 179 blocks would need to be mined, which would take approximately 1.24 days. As a result, transaction fees have risen by 343% in the past 11 days, with the average fee standing at $8.82 per transfer.
Some believe that the surge in activity is a DDoS or attack, while others view it as a sign of deeper issues within the Bitcoin network. Despite the rise in unconfirmed transactions, there has not been a significant increase in Lightning Network adoption, as it remains expensive to open and close channels, and non-custodial solutions are limited.
The largest crypto exchange in the world, Binance, has temporarily halted Bitcoin withdrawals, citing a “congestion issue” on the network. The exchange has assured its users that their funds are safe, and it is working to fix the issue.
The clogged mempool has been a hot topic on social media, with some expressing excitement about the surge in activity, and others frustrated by the high transaction fees and slow confirmation times. The situation has led to discussions about the need to properly increase the block size or find alternative solutions to alleviate network congestion.
Overall, the current state of the Bitcoin network highlights the challenges it faces in handling increasing transaction volumes, and the need for ongoing innovation and improvements to support its growth and scalability.