The Bitcoin network saw its mempool shrink down to its smallest size since mid-October within this week. This occurred thanks to the hash power of the network skyrocketing back up.
Mempool Sees Dramatic Drop
With a clear mempool, thousands of transactions that were stuck pending confirmation were now all included in the recent blocks, which leaves very few transactions still unconfirmed by the network.
This massive hash power spike comes primarily thanks to China’s crypto miners, having re-activated their rigs after they migrated from Sichuan at the end of the rainy season for the province. Within just two days, between the 9th and 10th of November, Bitcoin saw its hash rate rocket up by 42%.
Impressively Low Transaction Fees
Regular Bitcoin users will see great benefit from a smaller mempool, as this makes the competition among fresh transactions to be included within the next blocks less. With a lesser amount of competition in the mempool, the transaction fees for Bitcoin are reduced. This is due to how miners can now include all transactions within the mempool within the block without needing to look at the individual gas fees.
On the 30th of October, average transaction fees for Bitcoin saw a peak of $13.16 per transaction, with over 150,000 transactions pending within the mempool at large. With a massive influx of hash power that was seen over the weekend, Bitcoin blocks were processed faster than the benchmark 10-minutes-per-block.
This was due to the network’s relatively low mining difficulty with a massive influx of mining power. With these two facets combined, the number of unconfirmed transactions managed to get reduced to 0 on the 9th of November, 2020.
A Short-Lived Respite
At the time of writing, around 6,000 transactions were within the mempool, boasting a median fee of 3 satoshis per byte (sat/byte), which is about $0.11. Some users reported even lower, as little as one sat/byte for a transaction, and having that transaction be confirmed within a few hours.
As the next network adjustment looms, it’s expected that the mining difficulty will increase. This comes as a way for the network to compensate for the hash power within it., meaning that the high fees might come back in due time. Even so, the hash rate for BTC at large is volatile, seeing a 37 EH/s drop within a single day.
With this network backlog subsided, Bitcoin users have been actively encouraged to leverage the current conditions, performing transactions that could’ve been too expensive until now.
— Clark Moody (@clarkmoody) November 10, 2020