Bitcoin has come a long way in solving many of its biggest issues as of late. However, transaction fees have consistently remained a problem – that is until now. Addressing the nightmare that has certainly cast a shadow over Bitcoin’s day-to-day use, transaction fees recently tumbled from a high of $34 down to just 78c.
Stoking the “Store of Value” debate
It’s safe to say that Bitcoin’s transaction issues have represented a nightmare for users. During the back-end of 2017, transaction costs reached ridiculous levels – upwards of $30. These crazy fees also had a knock-on effect elsewhere, as it negatively impacted transaction times. All of these issues combined to render Bitcoin impractical when it came to transferring funds.
Dubbed the “Store of Value” debate, Bitcoin’s transaction fees have become a huge issue within the crypto community, triggering a massive divide to occur. Some stand by the fact that Bitcoin isn’t the exchangeable currency that it once was, with it effectively being tagged as “Digital Gold”. Turning Bitcoin away from its intended day-to-day use, it now represents a tradable commodity and a place to store funds. Others, however, are far less comfortable with Bitcoin’s current path, with some feeling that Bitcoin has drifted away from its original intention.
Arguably Bitcoin has been hampered by its out of control fees, but now, those fees are dropping. Reaching levels that haven’t been seen since October 2017, many are now wondering two things – why the drop and why now. Reasons for the tumble in fees have been fairly mixed. For starters, Bitcoin transaction levels are now much lower than at its peak, which has had an impact. Additionally, there has been some efficiency changes as well. One of Bitcoin’s rarely explored features is its ability to send Bitcoin to various recipients packaged into a single transaction. When Bitcoin fees were low, this feature was largely ignored, but now it is being used more than ever.
It’s great to see Bitcoin’s transaction fees drop so dramatically, but the relief could be short-lived. With the price of Bitcoin steadily rebounding following the New Year slump, transaction levels will likely increase, especially with the low transaction fees in play. This will likely weigh down the network once again, causing transaction fees to skyrocket. Bitcoin’s transaction fee troubles are over for now, but there is a still a huge challenge ahead to keep them at this level.
Enter the Lightning Network!
Seeing Bitcoin transaction fees drop to functional levels once again is great, but it isn’t going to be the end of the issue. For that to be the case, it’s certainly well worth learning more about the Lightning Network. Presenting a drastic – and possibly even complete overhaul – in transaction protocol, it might be the system that allows Bitcoin’s transaction fees to become affordable and functional on a permanent basis!