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Inordinately high — Bitcoin ordinals send BTC transaction fees to new 5-month peak

Inordinately high — Bitcoin ordinals send BTC transaction fees to new 5-month peak

Bitcoin (BTC) transaction fees are at their highest in nearly six months as a new wave of inscriptions boosts competition for block space.

Data from statistics resource BitInfoCharts shows the average BTC transaction fee approaching $6 as of Nov. 7.

Ordinals taking up Bitcoin mempool again

The return of Bitcoin ordinals is making its presence felt this week as on-chain transactions attract highly-elevated fees.

In an environment reminiscient of Q2 this year, blockspace is being taken up by ordinals inscriptions.

Ordinals are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which store data directly on the blockchain. BRC-20 ordinals can add significant transaction numbers for Bitcoin miners to process on-chain, clogging up the mempool and resulting in more competition for confirmations.

The result is that higher fees are required and transactions without them will confirm much more slowly than normal.

Bitcoin ordinals heatmap (screenshot). Source: GeniiData

Per statistics from GeniiData, almost one million ordinal “mints” have have occurred in the past seven days.

The most active projects have changed in that time, with the most active minters coming from BEES, gpts and HALV at the time of writing.

Bitcoin’s mempool currently has a backlog of over 120,000 unconfirmed transactions, according to live data from Mempool.space.

By contrast, at the beginning of October, the queue contained less than 30,000.

Bitcoin mempool data overview (screenshot). Source: Mempool.space

Increased profits for BTC miners 

Discussing what might happen to the fee trend next, social media users warned that new minting projects would come to take over once others had completed.

Related: Elon Musk slams NFTs but ends up arguing the case for Bitcoin Ordinals

Reaping the benefits, meanwhile, are Bitcoin miners, whose income from fees is rapidly rising. 

According to…

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