Remember back a few months ago when standard low-fee bitcoin transactions were stuck for weeks in purgatory? Well, we’re back at it again. After bitcoin’s massive influx to $7,500 and then its quick drop back down to around $6,400 the tubes seems to be clogged up once again.
Politics Behind SegWit
Earlier this year the plans for the Segregated Witness (SegWit) were activated, however at the same time an increase to the blocksize to 2MB was supposed to go through. Though SegWit was initially quite static in it’s growth, the update’s use gained more attention two months after it’s release.
The SegWit2X update sought to increase blocksize in order to make transactions much quicker and ultimately prevent blockages in the system. Last week, however, the 2X update was called off creating a ripple in the cryptocurrency community.
One side believed that the blockchain needed to stay the same, the other were for the size increase. Concerns were raised that bitcoin would be divided into two separate blockchains and due to the lack of consensus, these plans were ultimately cancelled in a statement from SegWit project lead Mike Belshe:
“Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger blocksize, there is something we believe is even more important: keeping the community together…Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth.”
In the wake of this announcement bitcoin prices fluctuated wildly and have now at this point overwhelmed the blockchain once again, begging the question of what’s next if not the 2MB upgrade?
Accessing Your Portion of $700 Million
Low-fee transactions are pointless at current, as it will take weeks to go through if it goes through at all. Attempting such a transaction basically guarantees your funds will not see the light of day for upwards of 2-3 weeks. This means to transfer your bitcoin you will have to hike up the cost for your transaction.
Thus, your best bet if you need to make a transfer is to go to Bitcoin Fees, a website designed to help determine how long you’re willing to wait and how much you’re willing to pay. Since publication, a transaction under two hours costs 400 satoshis a byte or the equivalent of around $5-7 per transaction depending on the size.
If you set your transaction fee in this range, you should see the transaction go through fairly quickly. The alternative to this, if you’re already stuck in blockchain limbo, is to attempt to use ViaBTC’s transaction accelerator. It’s free to use, but very limited.
A small hint that’s difficult to find online: put your Transaction ID in at the very beginning of the hour as fast as you can. This gives you the best chance of getting accepted and having your transaction go through.
All in all, bitcoin has seen better days and alternatives such as bitcoin cash and ethereum are starting to creep up in value due to recent events. Without a consensus on how bitcoin will evolve it’s use will certainly be limited as a currency.