Over the weekend, there was a sudden surge in Bitcoin transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions which led to concern on social media about a possible Denial of Service (DoS) attack on the network. However, some Bitcoin analysts and commentators have been quick to dispel these fears, stating that the increased demand on the network was due to organic growth rather than a premeditated attack.
Analysts faults increased demand for Bitcoin network congestion
At present, the average transaction fees for Bitcoin are $19.20, or 0.00068 BTC, according to BitInfoCharts. Meanwhile, Mempool Space has reported that the backlog of transactions stood at 459,341 at the time of writing.
This increased demand on the network has caused total fees per block to temporarily exceed the block subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC on May 7, the first time this has occurred since 2017. Fees of 6.76 BTC were recorded for one block, and block 788695 generated fees of 6.7 BTC.
The surge in activity and block space demand has been attributed to the rise in Ordinals inscriptions, with analytics provider Glassnode reporting that a record high of 75% of Bitcoin on-chain transactions used Taproot on May 7.
Despite speculation on social media that the recent congestion was due to a DoS attack on the Bitcoin network, industry analysts have reported that it is due to demand rather than a premeditated attack.
Ordinals inscriptions have driven a record number of transactions on the network
On May 8, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, suspended Bitcoin transactions again, citing the large volume of pending transactions. This is the second time that Binance has suspended BTC transactions in the past 12 hours.
The proof-of-work mining process has a set block subsidy of 6.25 BTC, which halves every four years. However, in rare instances where block space demand surges, this figure can be exceeded, causing higher transaction fees.
The Mempool Space Explorer shows that activity has cooled down, and fees have fallen back below the block reward again. The next block is expected to be processed, generating 4.51 BTC in fees.
Overall, while the sudden surge in Bitcoin transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions sparked concern about a possible DoS attack on the network, industry analysts have noted that it is due to organic growth rather than a premeditated attack.
The increased demand on the network has caused total fees per block to temporarily exceed the block subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC, which is the first time it has occurred since 2017.
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