Bitcoin is currently operating at over capacity following a significant price increase by around $600 in just one week. 100,000 transactions are now stuck, unable to move, weighing around 68MB.
That means 68 blocks would be needed to clear the backlog, taking around 11 hours, but that’s only if there are no further transactions being made in the meantime. As new transactions do come in, older ones either drop off, or keep waiting in a now longer queue.
To jump the queue, you can pay a higher fee. Vinny Lingham, co-founder of Gyft which accepts bitcoin, stated average bitcoin fees are now more than $1 and rising.
Bruce Fenton, host of the Satoshi Roundtable, publicly stated:
“I had two Bitcoin transactions today with fees over $9 ea. & another 2 which are still unconfirmed after 1 hr 50 min.”
Others, however, think this is fine. Tuur Demeester, who claims to be an economist publicly stated:
“So far I see very little complaints on darknet market forums. Suspect we can go up to $5 for that use case.”
It’s not quite the first target market for bitcoin that comes to mind, so it’s slightly difficult to quantify the levels of complaints in that corner since they’re usually of little interest, but a quick look brings up a frontpage thread:
“Someone sent me $400 of bitcoins and its been 14 hours still not in my bitcoin wallet. On blockchain.info it says unconfirmed transaction and on my wallet’s site it says 0 confirmations so far.. so does that mean tht bitcoin wont come to me now?… 13 hours and going on and 0 confirmations…”
That hardly sounds like a topic for darknetmarkets. The rest of the discussion is about arrests and trolling Law Enforcement. Presumably, therefore, if they are complaining most would do so in the bitcoin forums without, one would think, self-identifying as engaging in illegal activities.
Yet, still, even in that corner, some are complaining in their own forums. That’s hardly surprising. AlphaBay, one of the biggest such market which analysts who study it every day say it is “well run,” added ethereum just recently, a currency that is somewhat hostile to that space.
Logically, the taking of such drastic action suggests they think there is a serious problem which is affecting the quality of the customer service they provide. But, the vast majority knows very well there’s a problem, there’s no point denying it, the question is how to solve it. A question which, after two years of debate, has still not received an answer.