The Bitcoin network is currently overwhelmed with a backlog of unconfirmed transactions, with the average confirmation time hovering above 10.4 minutes.
According to Mempool, there are around 560,000 transactions waiting to be confirmed on the Bitcoin protocol, whose memory usage has surged past 300 MB to 1GB, and transaction fees spiked to 20 satoshis per virtual byte (sat/vB) at some point.
Bitcoin Network Congests Again
Renowned crypto Colin Wu and on-chain analysts speculate that the current congestion on the Bitcoin network could be related to the fear of missing out (FOMO) caused by the recent sats minting frenzy, which has a backlog of unconfirmed transactions.
The surge in sats minting is due to the ongoing hunt for special satoshis. Satoshi is the smallest unit of bitcoin, named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator. As uniqueness is considered a crucial part of the crypto ecosystem, special satoshis are currently a big deal, and market participants have been on the lookout for over two months.
Bitcoin Ordinals protocol creator Casey Rodarmor proposed a method of identifying special satoshis and categorizing them into Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary, and Mythic. The technique uses natural pre-programmed events in the Bitcoin network, such as blocks and difficulty adjustments, to classify the sats.
The proposed method is named the “Rodarmor Rarity Index,” and it calls the first satoshi of a block uncommon while that of every difficulty adjustment is tagged rare. While there are currently no benefits of holding rare sats, Rodarmor believes they may be valuable because of where and when they appear on the Bitcoin network.
No Cause for Alarm
Notably, the current number of unconfirmed transactions on Bitcoin is not a cause for alarm, as the network has experienced congestion in several previous cases. Sometime in May, there were hundreds of thousands of transactions waiting to be confirmed on the protocol. This sparked concerns about the blockchain undergoing a DDoS attack by BTC senders attaching BRC-20 ordinals scripts.
However, the speculation turned out untrue after the network jam cleared within a few days.
Meanwhile, the current transaction backlog has not significantly impacted the price of BTC. At writing time, the crypto asset was trading at $25,700 with little upward and downward movement.