Bitcoin BTC Transaction Fees Are at Their Lowest in Six Years

By Andy Hao


Lowered transaction fees are an important step for Bitcoin’s adoption. In the past, the currency was subject to heavy criticism when its transaction fees skyrocketed in December of 2017. As a result, many felt that Bitcoin was not a feasible method of making small or frequent payments. Now, the median fee for a Bitcoin transaction is at its lowest level in six years.

The above chart, which dates back to 2012, shows that the median number of satoshi spent per transaction was recently at its lowest since at least June 7, 2012. A satoshi is the smallest possible unit of Bitcoin, and is equivalent to one one-hundred-millionth of one coin (0.00000001 BTC).

(Note: before June 7, 2012, the data set we used records the transaction fees for quite a few days as zero, which you can also see reflected in the chart above. It’s likely that this is just missing data, though, so it’s probable that it’s been even longer than six years since BTC transaction fees were this low).

Bitcoin’s fees have historically increased when the network is under high demand. That is why the median cost per transaction rose exponentially alongside the currency’s explosion in price in late 2017. At that time, the median fee per Bitcoin transaction reached as high as 226,000 satoshis on December 22, 2017, according to information sourced from Bitcoin Visuals.

On January 1, 2019, on the other hand, a Bitcoin transaction had a median fee of just 660 satoshis. If this sounds like a lot, it might help you to hear that the rough equivalent in USD is around $0.02.

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