When the ViaBTC mining pool launched their new Transaction Accelerator initiative, there was a wave of excitement among Bitcoin community members. Having a free option to get quicker network confirmations is a great tool to alleviate network congestion. Unfortunately, their solution did not work out as planned, and less than 34 hours after launch, users have to pay for the service.
ViaBTC Asks Transaction Accelerator Users To Pay
It was only a matter of time until the service offered by ViaBTC would attract so much attention–their free-of-charge business model would no longer be viable. Giving Bitcoin users an option to speed up network transactions at no additional costs sounds great on paper, but is not necessarily feasible in the real world.
All a user needs to do is submit the transaction ID they want to speed up to the ViaBTC website. In doing so the Company would guarantee that TX to be included in the next network block without additional fees. However, only 100 transactions can be sped up every single hour, which limits the usability of this service somewhat.
ViaBTC Transaction Accelerator update: due to some people abuse this service, now add 0.0001BTC/KB fee limit to transaction.
— ViaBTC (@ViaBTC) December 4, 2016
Lo and behold, the service provided is no longer free-of-charge as of a few hours ago. Instead, users will need to add a transaction fee of 0.001 Bitcoin per kilobyte. This is nothing out of the ordinary, but it goes to show that their intentions of supporting Bitcoin Unlimited through “free speeding up services'” was destined of fail from day one.
A lot of Bitcoin users are poking fun at this announcement for obvious reasons. ViaBTC wanted to conduct a marketing stunt, and it blew up in their face. Demanding a transaction fee for a service initially set out to be free-of-charge indefinitely doesn’t make the pool look very professional either, even though they are doing just fine in the mining department.
It is rather strange to see the Transaction Accelerator turn into a paid service so quickly. The page has a donation address where people could send some funds to keep this service alive. So far, no donations have been received, and it seems that this has also influenced ViaBTC’s decision to turn the service into a paid option.
Now that the Transaction Accelerator has a small price tag, it does not mean that the service is suddenly useless. Quicker transaction confirmations at an affordable price is not necessarily a bad thing. Whether people will use this service, is a different matter entirely, though.
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