The Bitcoin blockchain has run into a peculiar issue that has seen thousands of transactions pending to be approved. This is a testament to the network congestion that has plagued the blockchain over the past week. So what could be the cause of this backlog?
Bitcoin Inscriptions Rear Their Heads Again
Earlier in 2023, the Bitcoin network was lit ablaze when its own version of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) referred to as Inscriptions became the rave of the day. These inscriptions quickly grew in popularity, congesting the network in no time and causing transaction fees to surge.
Over the last few months though, the Bitcoin Inscriptions craze seemed to have died down completely and miners were able to return to business as usual. That is, until November 4-5 when interest in Inscriptions starts rising again.
On November 4, Bitcoin Inscriptions saw their second-highest daily volume when over 433,000 inscriptions were made on the blockchain. This came second to September 15, when 440,760 inscriptions were made on the network.
Source: Dune Analytics
Just like what happened in September, the spike in inscriptions caused a spike in BTC transaction fees and the result was a massive backlog. Average fees came out to over $5.9, one of the highest levels for 2023, and are yet to return back down, according to data from YCharts.
According to the Ordinals Wallet official X handle, the projects driving the rise in Inscriptions include rats, GROK, stas, and DOG1. There have been activities from other projects such as doge, insi, and rabs. But the first four account for the largest portion of transactions.
Over 157,000 Transactions Remain Unconfirmed
Due to the spike in Bitcoin inscriptions and the higher transaction fees, thousands of users have seen their BTC stuck on the blockchain waiting to be confirmed. According to the Archive Today website, there are currently a total of 157,101 BTC transactions sitting on the blockchain unconfirmed.
Mainly, these are transactions without priority while high-priority transactions are being processed at an average fee of $3.38 according to the website. Given such a huge backlog, it could take a couple of days for miners to completely clear these unconfirmed transactions.
There has also been a decline in the Bitcoin inscriptions by Tuesday, November 7, with around 72,000 daily inscriptions, which suggests space is being freed up for the backlog to be cleared. If the inscription figures continue to decline, then miners will clear the backlog faster. However, if the inscriptions were to record another surge, it could further add to the already inconvenient backlog.
BTC bulls hold above $34,000 | Source: BTCUSD on Tradingview.com
Featured image from Mint, chart from Tradingview.com