In a surprising turn of events, Bitcoin transaction fees have surged to a 20-month high, reaching an average of nearly $40, according to data from BitInfoCharts. The spike in fees is attributed to the recent influx of Bitcoin Ordinals inscriptions, causing a backlog of almost 350,000 transactions awaiting confirmation. This surge in on-chain transaction costs has sparked a heated debate within the Bitcoin community, with some arguing that high fees are the new norm.
While critics express frustration over the impact of Ordinals on fees, influential figures in the Bitcoin space argue that double-digit transaction costs are a glimpse into the future. Advocates suggest embracing layer-2 solutions like the Lightning Network to address scalability issues and cater to mass adoption. Popular commentator Hodlonaut emphasized that demanding low fees for “Level 1” transactions is not only ignorant but could be construed as an attack on Bitcoin’s fundamental design.
Despite the discontent among some users, well-known figures like Beautyon and Bitcoin veteran Adam Back contend that Bitcoin continues to function as intended. Beautyon suggests that Ordinals could act as a scythe, forcing users to adopt layer-2 solutions or face the consequences of high on-chain fees. Adam Back underscores the importance of expanding layer-2 capabilities, emphasizing that complaining about high fees will only drive further innovation in the space.
Notably, miners appear to be the primary beneficiaries of the current fee surge, enjoying the best USD revenues in two years, according to data from Blockchain.com. As transaction fees soar, reaching levels last witnessed during Bitcoin’s all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021, the community is urged to relax, build, and adapt to the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency transactions.