- The Bitcoin hashrate and mempool have endured more volatility than the pierce in recent days
- Both have been hit the reset button after huge increases, resulting in transaction speed and cost being reduced
- This could be short lived however, with the Bitcoin hashrate already driving back up
The Bitcoin hashrate and mempool have endured more volatility than the price this week, with both experiencing surges and corrections. The mempool, which had been rising since October, was finally cleared, thanks in the main to an adjustment of the Bitcoin mining difficulty which allowed the hashrate to drop. However, the resultant hashrate drop is already being eaten away, suggesting that the reprieve in transactions cost and speed may be short lived.
Mempool Gets Unclogged
The Bitcoin mempool, which is simply the length of the Bitcoin transaction queue, has been growing at an alarming rate since October, rising by over ten times in just two weeks. This had led to transaction fees climbing to levels not seen since 2017 as users try to force through transactions, with no end seemingly in sight.
The mempool is normally cleared every few days, but every now and again these flushes don’t happen – we saw a similar scenario earlier this year when it wasn’t cleared between July 13 and August 10, resulting in the queue lengthening.
However, after peaking late last week the mempool was suddenly flushed clear over the weekend, leading to the mempool dropping by a factor of 80 while transaction fees fell by well over half:
All this is good news for Bitcoin users who can now transact quickly and cheaply, as its creators intended.
Bitcoin Hasharate Rides the Rollercoaster
Part of the reason for the mempool having such a turbulent time of late is due to the Bitcoin hashrate, which has had something of a rollercoaster week itself. The hashrate has been in a steady uptrend since May, ramping up from 90 million terahashes per second (TH/s) to 146.5 TH/s. This rapid increase led to the one of its biggest ever difficulty adjustments last week, which had the desired effect and dropped the hashrate back to 106 TH/s:
As we can see however this difficulty adjustment has only had a temporary effect, with the Bitcoin hashrate bouncing back 20% since it was performed. What impact this will have on the mempool is yet to be seen, but with five separate spikes already witnessed this year there is every likelihood that history will repeat itself again in the near future.