Bitcoin Transactions Plummet Following Absurd Runes and Halving Surge

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The price of Bitcoin may have taken a hit as of late—but at least you can again make payments using the coin with relative ease. 

Transaction fees for Bitcoin are now back to the lows it stood at last month. The average cost for a transaction is $4.50 as of this writing, according to BitInfoCharts.

Following the quadrennial halving event last month, the cost to send Bitcoin hit a record high of $128 per transaction as the network became clogged with activity following the concurrent launch of Runes, a new standard for creating tokens on the blockchain.

The flurry of activity on Bitcoin’s network often made the transaction fee more expensive than the amount of money being sent, Decrypt found.

Bitcoin transaction fees go up when more people use the network because they are part of the way transactions are prioritized. Everyone wants their payment to be processed as quickly as possible, given the notorious volatility of BTC.

If the network is busy, more users will pay a premium for miners to prioritize validating their transactions. When making a Bitcoin payment, you always have the option of paying lower fees, but by doing so, you risk waiting for hours as miners prioritize more lucrative transactions.

Bitcoin miners are increasingly large operations—usually operating warehouses full of computers—that work to mint Bitcoin and process transactions. They are rewarded for each block they process on the network, but that reward was slashed in half in the halving.

In order to remain profitable, mining operations need to become more efficient. But in the meantime, higher fees certainly helped.

Bitcoin touched a new all-time high of $73,737 last month but stands at $59,248 as of writing, a drop of nearly 20%, according to CoinGecko.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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This article was originally published by a decrypt.co

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