Growing Mempool Size Creates Huge Bitcoin Transaction Backlog

One of the things affecting Bitcoin users from all over the world is the amount of time it takes until transactions receive network confirmations. Considering how Bitcoin blocks are generated roughly ten minutes apart, confirmations with proper transaction fees should be processed rather quickly, whereas others might be facing an inevitable delay. However, when the transaction mempool is slowly approaching the 30 MB mark, things are certainly amiss.

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Transaction Mempool Keeps Growing Bigger

TheMerkle_Bitcoin Mempool Transaction backlog

There is no denying the number of Bitcoin transactions around the world keeps going up every day. As more and more people use Bitcoin to send and receive money, the mempool – which collects all transactions waiting to be validated on the network – is growing larger. However, the current size is much larger than it normally would be.

At the time of publication, the Bitcoin mempool was sitting at 27 MB in size, and roughly 24,000 transactions are waiting to be included in the next block on the network. But there is a twist to this concept, as those transactions sent with a lower – or no – transaction fee will have been placed lower on the priority list.

This means that anyone would be able to create a ton of dummy transactions with the correct transaction fee and keep backlogging the rest of the transactions waiting to be confirmed. Increasing the Bitcoin block size would certainly help to speed up this process, although it will take some time until this solution goes live.

Most Bitcoin wallet solutions – for computers and mobile – will broadcast transactions with the correct fee unless specified otherwise by the end user. This issue with the mempool is almost forcing users to pay more for their transactions, as high fees get prioritized over standard and smaller fees. The rich can move their funds faster while the rest of us have to wait.

Addressing the mempool issue is up to Bitcoin Core developers, but this problem does not seem to be on the priority list for the time being. While the recent Bitcoin Core client allows users to send transactions with a smaller fee which can then be later replaced by higher fees, this type of functionality will only create a bigger backlog in the current situation.

Source: TradeBlock

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  • Colin LeMahieu

    Transaction latency is one of the biggest issues with cryotocurrency in my opinion. It forces people to choose between centralized and fast or decentralized an slow and giving no clear reason for people to switch.

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