Bitcoin’s Average Transaction Fee Is Reaching New Heights

If you’re initiating transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the fees are getting higher.
Why that might be, you ask? The answer lies in non-fungible tokens native to the Bitcoin blockchain. Only last month, the average Bitcoin transaction fee skyrocketed to unexpected heights, and according to the latest data, it doesn’t show any signs of dropping to around $1.

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Average Bitcoin Transaction Fees

Illustration: Lenka T.

Average Bitcoin Transaction Fees

On the first day of 2023, the average Bitcoin transaction fee amounted to $0.069. Not bad, right? However, this cost-effective experience on the Bitcoin blockchain didn’t last long. February saw a slight increase in daily average transaction fees, but it wasn’t until March that we noticed some real differences.

That month’s highest average transaction fee was recorded on March 24th, when it amounted to an astonishing $4.249. April wasn’t a good month either, with the highest average transaction fee reaching $2.9 just as the month was about to end. 

BTC fee chart

Source: BitInfoCharts

We welcomed May optimistically and with open hands, hoping it would bring relief to the community. However, the users’ worries about the transaction fees have only worsened.

On the first day of May, the average transaction fee on the Bitcoin network was $2,889. On the next day, the average transaction fee skyrocketed to $7.05. That’s almost a new record. But if that sounds like a big jump, wait until I tell you that the highest recorded Bitcoin’s average transaction fee in May amounted to $31.145.

You read that right. The last time we came so close to a number this high was in April 2021.

Luckily, this sudden spike was a one-time thing. But hey, it’s only June. Who knows what the rest of the year has in store for us.

We’re slowly headed toward the middle of June, and things are still not as “normal” as they used to be. At the time of writing (June 8th), Bitcoin network users paid roughly $4 for initiating transactions on the chain. Not terrible, compared to this year’s all-time high, but not great either. 

But now you must be wondering –

Why Are the Average Bitcoin Transaction Fees so High?

Among other things, we can blame this sudden rise in fees on Bitcoin Ordinals. The launch of the Ordinals protocol allows users to create Bitcoin-based non-fungible tokens, causing users to massively explore this new opportunity.

It’s also noteworthy that the Ordinals protocol not only opens new possibilities for the users but also allows the Bitcoin network to compete further against Ethereum. But, as we are slowly discovering the potential of this new Ordinals protocol, the network is seeing a spike in activity. 

Of course that this sudden hype is a recipe for network congestion. And since the network isn’t suited to handle all these new shenanigans, our obsession with Bitcoin Ordinals may pose a considerable issue for Bitcoin in the near future.

Jelena is a content writer dedicated to learning about all things crypto. Her hobbies are playing chess, drawing, baking, and going on long walks. During winter, she usually spends her leisure time reading books.