The Bitcoin mining power has been erratic over the past few days, at one point extending block time. The Bitcoin network has a new tool to visualize transaction activity,

Lately, the tool has shown the challenges of both Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – one getting overloaded, while the other running large blocks with transactions way below capacity. The Bitcoin network suddenly saw its hashing power slide by about 10%, and at the same difficulty, this translates into a longer relative block time.

With a planned block time of 10 minutes, the actual time extended to as much as 18 minutes at one point, forming a “line” of transactions waiting for the block to be mined. At the same time, block explorers show a lower block time, and the visual tool may be inexact.

The Bitcoin network still has only about 2,500 unconfirmed transactions, not an outlandish number – but this still translates into slightly higher fees compared to Bitcoin Cash, where the network is running well below capacity, hence the low fees of just 9 cents per transaction, on average. The Bitcoin network works through less transactions compared to the peak levels in December and early January.

However, this does not mean usage has declined – some transactions are batched, so the Bitcoin network in fact handles more separate payments, bundled to make up less transactions. The BTC chain currently transmits $10k per second, which is on par with mid 2017 levels. Read more from…

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