Transaction accelerators are nothing new in the world of Bitcoin. After all, they usually allow users to speed up unconfirmed transactions at no additional cost. It is quite interesting to note that there are very few such accelerators available today. Most people have heard of the ViaBTC accelerator, but another option is ConfirmTX. With SegWit recently activating on the Bitcoin network, one should not need accelerators. Still, they can prove to be quite useful in the long run.
ConfirmTX Does the job Just Fine
Until a few weeks ago, most people would have been baffled by the lack of Bitcoin transaction accelerators. Given the multiple incidents this year in which spam transactions clogged up the network and inflated the number of unconfirmed transactions in the mempool, more of these services would have been welcome. Unfortunately, all users had at their disposal was the VIABTC accelerator, which could handle around 100 transactions per hour. For a free service, it did the job pretty well, despite the transaction throughput limitation.
The Bitcoin developers have been working hard to introduce some features which could alleviate the problem of unconfirmed transactions as well. Replace-by-fee is perhaps one of the better-known solutions to rebroadcast transactions with higher fees. It does require users to pay more for their Bitcoin transactions, which is not always a good thing. However, it has been a powerful option to have at one’s disposal, especially when considering it was built into most of the prominent Bitcoin software wallets and clients.
Now that the Bitcoin network has officially received Segregated Witness, transaction backlogs should become a thing of the past once and for all. Unfortunately, things often do not work out that way and it remains to be seen if SegWit can prevent the mempool from clogging up. All it takes is one or two people sending large amounts of spam transactions again to push up network fees and fill up the mempool. Such attacks have taken place before and will likely occur again. Especially between now and the scheduled activation of SegWit2x, we may see such attacks occur on multiple occasions.
That is why new services such as ConfirmTX will always have their rightful place in the world of Bitcoin. It is an alternative transaction accelerator for main chain transactions. All transfers under 500 bytes in size can be sped up free of charge using this website. Larger transactions can also be accelerated, albeit at a one-time fee of US$4. Some people may claim that is an absurd amount, although other services charge even more money for this service. According to one Reddit user, paying US$30 to accelerate a transaction is not out of the question.
The goal here is to push transactions to multiple mining pools. This increases the chances of getting transactions confirmed faster as they are included in the next network block by Bitcoin miners. Any transaction not completed within 12 hours can apply for a refund, assuming the sender paid for the US$4 service. Cheap transaction fees are of less interest to miners, as they also get paid the TX fees associated with the block they create. Low fees mean a low priority on the Bitcoin network.
There is already a conspiracy theory associated with ConfirmTX. Reddit users are claiming it to be an overlay for the existing ViaBTC service – albeit one without an arbitrary hourly transaction limit, by the looks of things. Whether or not there is any truth to the claim remains to be seen. The company itself clearly believes otherwise. It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds, though. More competition in the Bitcoin accelerator scene would be great, although it seems highly unlikely we will see more services popping up anytime soon.