Bitcoin Transaction Fees Soar to $40, Sparking Debate and Push for L2 Solutions Amid Mempool Backlog

Bitcoin transaction fees are climbing and at the time of writing, a high-priority transaction tapped $40 just before 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. Miners have been raking in the fees and an example of this is the fact that block height 821,485 came with 7.314 BTC in fees, which is over the size of the 6.25 BTC block subsidy. Presently, the hash price per petahash per second (PH/s) is coasting along at $108 per PH/s per day. The recent spike in Bitcoin’s transaction fees to $40 each significantly surpasses the previous 2023 record of $31 per transfer set on May 8. Data from mempool space reveals that for high-priority transactions, individuals are spending 674 satoshis per virtual byte (sat/vB), while for lower-priority ones, the cost is around 602 sat/vB or $35.78, as observed on Saturday afternoon. Notably, some transactions on Saturday have even exceeded $50 per transfer. Presently, there are eight unmined blocks, each brimming with high-priority transactions. Furthermore, 311 blocks are waiting to be processed to address the backlog of 383,607 unconfirmed bitcoin (BTC) transactions in the mempool.