Bitcoin Mempool Drops 20% But Remains Damagingly High

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  • The Bitcoin Mempool decreased by 20% over the weekend but still has a backlog of 370,000 Bitcoin 
  • Transaction fees have doubled in the past week, with a resurgence in Ordinals thought to be to blame
  • Ongoing congestion issues emphasize the need for scaling solutions like the Lightning Network

The number of Bitcoin transactions stuck in the Mempool dropped by 20% over the weekend but remains over 370,000, showing that Bitcoin is still suffering from the inscriptions craze. Meanwhile, fees have doubled in the last week as users desperately try to push their transactions through. While the fees aren’t as high as they were back in May when the Ordinals craze was at its peak, the network has never been able to clear its Mempool ever since. The issue highlights the need for either a form of on-chain scaling or increased adoption of the Lightning Network, which seems to be the favored approach by those involved.

Mempool Congestion is Nothing New

The Bitcoin Mempool, short for “Memory Pool,” is a temporary storage area in the Bitcoin network where pending transactions wait to be confirmed and added to the blockchain by miners. It acts as a queue for transactions, holding those not yet included in a block.

Miners select transactions from the Mempool to validate based on transaction fees and other factors, with those offering higher fees typically seeing their transactions processed faster. Lower-fee transactions usually have to ay wait longer, especially during network congestion. Once a miner includes a transaction in a block, it is removed from the Mempool.

The ordinals craze back in May saw the Mempool become massively oversubscribed, causing the fee to transact on the Bitcoin blockchain spike at $30. This is still someway off the $60 that was seen at the peak of the 2021 bull run, but it is unusual to have such a spike and such congestion during a bull market.

Bitcoin Still Isn’t Ready

The fact that there are transactions in the blockchain dating back to May shows that the Bitcoin system is simply not suitable for things such as Ordinals in its ‘raw’ state. Until the introduction of SegWit in 2017 this sort of issue would have raised the subject of Bitcoin scaling, but with the likes of Bitcoin Cash and BSV now in existence as a result of that, the Lightning Network seems to be the only potential way of dealing with the crisis.

Without some kind of scaling or layer 2 solution like the Lightning Network, Bitcoin is hardly ready for world domination.