During the last week of November the blockchain-monitoring company Blockchain announced Bitcoin had its “busiest” week ever, with over 2 million transactions processed.
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Blockchain Reports Busiest Week and Network Congestion
November has been a busy month for the decentralized currency bitcoin, as adoption has been on the rise. Over the course of the month, the cryptocurrency’s fiat value has also been growing exponentially. Blockchain.info revealed that between Nov. 20-27th the currency had 2 million transactions and a significant backlog in its mempool. According to the company, this milestone equated to over 300,000 transactions per day with longer than usual confirmation times.
Furthermore, the company explained the number of Blockchain wallets issued has increased by 35% over the past six months. This follows alongside Bitcoin.com’s recent report of the firm issuing its 10 millionth wallet. Blockchain stated these exponential rises have been “more intense” than traditional peaks in the past.
“One thing to remark first is that this episode of intense activity is different from the previous one that occurred between Oct 24th and 28th,” explained Blockchain’s blog post. “While that was easily attributable to an entity that consolidated a great number of inputs, this episode is the contrary: the number of outputs increased at a greater rate than usual during the congestion. As the number of unspent outputs grow, the validation of blocks takes longer and puts a strain on the network.”
Block Size Debate Ignites Once Again
Prior to Thanksgiving weekend, Bitcoin’s unconfirmed transaction levels jumped to over 50K with many complaining of network congestion. Luckily enough for Black Friday shoppers the mempool’s unconfirmed transactions subsided a great deal. Throughout the week of Nov. 20-27th, there were many community complaints of slow confirmation times.
As usual, the network’s congestion has caused the block size debate to continue. Many within the community have been discussing the signaling of Segregated Witness and alternate clients such as Bitcoin Unlimited. Furthermore, this week core developer Luke-jr has stated that a block size increase will happen eventually.
“There isn’t a change of mind, nor a contradiction here,” explains Luke-jr in a Reddit conversation. “We’re talking here about proposals to increase the block size limit. Of those, BIP 103 was the most reasonable.”
Misbehaviors in the Network
According to Blockchain during the period of high congestion “misbehaviors” related to unusual transactions increased dramatically. The company explains the pattern seems to follow the recent highs and lows within the mempool.
“A transaction can be rejected with this flag if it creates too long of a chain of unconfirmed transactions,” details Blockchain. “This indicates that such chains were created, either involuntarily due to longer than usual confirmation delays or voluntarily in an effort to stress test the network as it already happened in the past.”
One thing is for sure: the price per BTC has risen significantly over the previous two months. The price increase has undoubtedly attributed to transaction volume and delays recently as well. It’s good to see new money flow into the network, but congestion can be aggravating to both novices and veterans alike. Many enthusiasts want the BTC value to continue its increase and hope the network is scaled in the near future.
What do you think about Blockchain’s busiest week ever? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, statoshi.info, and Blockchain.info/charts
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