Over the weekend, concerns were raised on Crypto Twitter about a potential denial of service (DoS) attack on the Bitcoin network. This apprehension was triggered by a sudden spike in BTC transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions. However, some Bitcoin analysts and commentators were quick to ease these fears and provide clarification for their followers.
Bitcoin’s average transaction fees currently stand at $19.20 or 0.00068 BTC, as per BitInfoCharts. Simultaneously, the backlog of transactions is reported to be 459,341 according to Mempool Space. The increased demand on the network even caused total fees per block to surpass the block subsidy reward of 6.25 BTC on May 7 – a rare occurrence.
The proof-of-work mining process has a set block subsidy of 6.25 BTC, which halves every four years. In instances where block space demand surges, this figure can be exceeded, resulting in higher transaction fees. Industry analysts have pointed out that this is the first time such an event has happened since 2017, with fees of 6.76 BTC recorded for one block and block 788695 generating fees of 6.7 BTC.
This surge in activity and block space demand is attributed to the increase in Ordinals inscriptions. Data from analytics provider Glassnode reveals that 75% of Bitcoin on-chain transactions utilized Taproot on May 7, resulting in a record high.
Yet, some on Crypto Twitter speculated that the recent congestion might have been due to a DoS attack on the Bitcoin network. In response, Bitcoin analysts were swift to highlight that the cause was increased demand rather than a premeditated attack. Twitter user “0xfoobar” shared their thoughts with their 130,000 followers: “Bitcoin mempool finally gets some usage, and the maxis are framing it as a DoS attack on the network. They really have not considered even the most basic scenarios, like ‘Bitcoin becomes popular, and people are willing to pay to use it'”
Moreover, on May 8, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, suspended Bitcoin transactions, citing “the large volume of pending transactions.” It marked the second time Binance halted BTC transactions within the previous twelve hours.
In conclusion, while the recent spike in Bitcoin transaction fees and unconfirmed transactions raised concerns about a possible DoS attack on the network, industry analysts and experts quickly clarified that it was due to increased demand. This serves as a reminder to the crypto community to remain vigilant and seek accurate information amidst the dynamic world of digital assets.