Heightened Bitcoin Fees and Erratic Mining Revenues Herald Murky Shift as Halving Nears
Recent statistics reveal that for the past 75 days, starting from Nov. 6, 2023, the average transaction fee on the Bitcoin network has consistently stayed over $5. Additionally, since Dec. 4, 2023, these fees have predominantly been over $10, with a single exception occurring when it briefly fell to $8.33 per transaction.
Bitcoin Miners Face Complex Dynamics in 2024 Ahead of Halving Event
In 2024, the cost of the average onchain transaction fees has surged compared to the previous year. Over the last 46 days, these fees have consistently exceeded $10 per transaction, with the sole exception being Jan. 13, 2024, when they momentarily dipped to $8.33. Throughout January this year, miners have amassed over $800 million in a combination of new BTC and transaction fees.
Over the last 46 days, median transaction fees on the Bitcoin network have consistently stayed above $3. Despite January showing stronger performance compared to most months in 2023, the recent decline in bitcoin’s value has impacted miner revenues. This downturn follows the mass approval of 11 spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, leading to a bearish trend in BTC’s spot market behavior.
For instance, around Dec. 20, 2023, the daily value of one petahash per second (PH/s) of hashpower was nearly $120. By Jan. 19, 2024, this value had decreased by 34.59%, dropping to $78.48 per PH/s per day. Bitcoin miners also curtailed the hashrate this month leading to a significant drop in overall hashpower. The situation has been influenced by an increase in block time intervals between the previous difficulty adjustment and the upcoming retarget.
As a result, bitcoin miners might receive some relief on Saturday during the retarget epoch, with current estimates suggesting a potential decrease in mining difficulty. It’s projected that there could be a 4.4% reduction in difficulty, which may ease some of the pressure. However, the declining price of bitcoin continues to erode revenues. Additionally, miners are facing the challenge of processing a backlog exceeding 250,000 unconfirmed transactions.
Amid heightened transaction fees and fluctuating mining income, the impending halving looms as a critical juncture for the industry, with fewer than 14,000 blocks remaining. The recent downturn in price and the forecasted difficulty recalibration might herald a small change in mining operations, with market stability possibly affecting future earnings and the stability of the network. As miners tackle these challenges, their actions could create a benchmark, steering the course of the leading crypto asset’s economic environment in the coming months.
What do you think about the fluctuations and challenges bitcoin miners face before the upcoming halving? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.