Bitcoin turned upwards today, from a crash of sorts to $3,600, with the currency rising somewhat to $4,200 at the time of writing. Not too far off from its all time high of $4,500.
Its trading volumes have fallen slightly, but remain at a respectable level of $2.5 billion for the past 24 hours, down from around $3.5 billion yesterday.
At the same time, its fees have skyrocketed. It now costs $4.30 for the simplest 226 bytes transaction, doubling in just a few days.
While for many ordinary transactions of 400 bytes, fees are now at around $8. Making bitcoin not a currency at all, but an investment of sorts, like a stock, while providing no dividend.
User complaints have reached fever pitch. In the highly censored Bitcoin Core forums, they’re being told to use PayPal. In reply to someone showing they had to pay a $3.50 fee to send $1, a redditor says:
“You should have used PayPal. If you want to demonstrate the power of Bitcoin send $100,000 to the Philippines with no paperwork.”
You can’t expect invested bitcoiners to not deflect or dismiss, but most of them probably realize that the target market for individuals who want to send $100,000 to the Philippines on the condition that no paperwork is completed must be very tiny indeed.
They might also probably realize that this target market can just as easily be served by something like Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum on the same conditions.
Currencies which, at the same time, can also allow this very wealthy shady man to pay for a nice silly gaming keyboard or whatever his hobby is, while not giving much more of his money in fees to miners he collectively already pays $2.2 billion in block rewards of 12.5 btc every ten minutes.
Yet, our reditor might have a point. Why is bitcoin rising while its fees are skyrocketing? The probable answer is, ironically enough, their metaphorical nemesis, Ripple, has gone parabolic.
Since the only way to buy it is through bitcoin, its rise might have dragged btc up. So making the currency not care about fees, congestion, delays, or much of anything else.
Until, that is, users are fed up with having anything to do with btc at all and demand new trading pairs, like eth or bcc/bch. But bitcoin has shown its resilience over the years. It might be able to weather this storm too. Whether it can, time will say.