But the rise in Bitcoin has had a profound effect which is now changing the very nature of Bitcoin. The last two transactions I have wanted to do have resulted in a charge equivalent to nearly USD 5. That rules Bitcoin out as a currency, and certainly for any transaction less than around $1000. Your cup of coffee at $4 looks rather different when it becomes $9 by the time you pay for it.
Bitcoin transaction charges
How has this happened? It’s all a result of the continuing rise and success of Bitcoin. Not that long ago Bitcoin was way under $1000 – but let’s just take $1000 as the price. The other issue here is the sheer rise in the number of transactions over time – as Bitcoin has continued to soar in value, the absolute number of transactions has as well. The standard charge for a transaction in Bitcoin was (and is) 0.0005 Bitcoin. That equates to 0.50 cents per transaction at $1000 per Bitcoin. True you could pay a higher fee for a quicker transaction or a lower fee if you were not too bothered about when it was confirmed.
Now, with Bitcoin over $7000, although the standard charge is around $3.50, the problem is when you try to do this, the screen will tell you it will take 99 blocks to confirm. What? 99 blocks? That’s up to 17 hours – at least. Everyone wants it quicker so they pay 0.0006 or $4.20. That’s only 15 blocks. OK what about 0.0007, that’s $4.90, and should get you confirmed in 2 to 5 blocks. Great for Miners but absolute rubbish if you are a trader.
Beating Bitcoin charges – Scotcoin’s answer
Sadly, at the moment, Scotcoin has to suffer the same problem as we are part of the Counterparty protocol, running on the Bitcoin Blockchain. One of the reasons for changing to our own private blockchain is to get beyond this bottleneck. I’m not giving too much away to say we have tested transactions in mere seconds on our new blockchain and at a tiny fraction of the costs associated with Bitcoin. There’s still a long way to go to say that this will pertain at full scale capacity, but our transaction speed is already going to be a huge magnitude better than the 7 transactions per second on Bitcoin.
So please bear with us as we do our best to improve the world’s experience of digital currencies. We will get there and you will love it.