The main beneficiaries of the current sky-high transaction fees are Bitcoin miners, according to data, but many long-time market participants are not inclined to complain. Bitcoin BTC transaction fees of $40,991 are dividing opinions as the cost of sending BTC is skyrocketing. Data from the statistics resource BitInfoCharts puts the average transaction fee at nearly $40 as of Dec. 17.
Commentators: High Bitcoin fees are inevitable
The most recent wave of Bitcoin Ordinals inscriptions has resulted in higher transaction costs for all network users, but some feel they are here to stay. According to BitInfoCharts, it now costs little more than $37 to transport BTC on-chain, the highest average amount since April 2021. Additional data from Mempool. space shows that Bitcoin’s mempool – the amount of the unconfirmed on-chain transaction backlog — is massive, resulting in transactions with fees as low as $2 receiving no on-chain priority. At the time of writing, about 350,000 transactions were awaiting confirmation. A heated argument among Bitcoin supporters rages on as casual on-chain spending becomes unviable for many smaller investors. While many people are upset about the influence of Ordinals on fees, prominent Bitcoin figures contend that double-digit transaction fees are unnecessary.
“Fees are currently artificially and temporarily high due to JPEG clownery, but this is merely a foreshadowing of the future.” Scaling does not occur on L1,” stated popular commenter Hodlonaut in one of several tweets on the matter on X (previously Twitter) on December 16. Continuing, Hodlonaut contended that requiring low costs for “Level 1” transactions is “not only ignorant, but it feeds into an attack on Bitcoin.” This reflects on Bitcoin’s core structure as a competition-based network generating value over time, as proof-of-work envisions. Keeping fees low is counterintuitive, and as hard forks of the Bitcoin network designed explicitly to provide that benefit have demonstrated, it does not attract value.
Miners enjoy the best USD revenues in two years
In other words, despite the fees, Bitcoin, according to well-known commentator Beautyon, continues to function as intended. Making a profit in this bull market will be more challenging than it appears. “If Ordinals bring the high on-chain world to everyone earlier than expected, it will act like a scythe cutting down everyone who did not accept a Layer 2 solution to the network fee problem,” according to a recent X.org post. “Many users will be perplexed, angry, and ready to abandon Bitcoin.” Obviously, they will have no redress because there is no one to blame or seek restitution from; after all, this is the network’s natural state. The rules are being followed, and these are the rules to which you agreed, Bored Apes!” This is a point of view shared by Adam Back, co-founder of Bitcoin and blockchain technology startup Blockstream. The solution, according to him, lies in expanding layer-2 capabilities rather than relying on anything other than miner fee incentives.