‘Why is My Bitcoin Transaction Taking So Long?’ Here’s Why

Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but I know I have. My Bitcoin wallet has recently taken longer and longer to receive a Bitcoin payment, have advised me of a delay, and sometimes even told me why I am still waiting. This wasn’t happening 2-3 months ago, but the issue of Blockchain delays for transactions has been happening off-and-on all year long. It is a two part problem, from what I can gather, so let’s review the main factors and potential solutions.
Block size debate was kicked down the road
In the summer of 2015, the block size debate was all the rage, as the Bitcoin protocol showed signs of transaction fatigue for the first time. Some major corporations wanted to spike the block size to as high as 8 MB to ease the flow of Blockchain transaction traffic. In the end, the community punted and kicked the block size can down the road. More efficient applications like the upcoming Segregated Witness are coming before year’s end, increasing the effective size by as much as 70%, and The Lightning Network should appear not too far after.
If there were a bunch of empty blocks, and the world wasn’t clamoring to use Bitcoin, if Bitcoin was indeed ‘dead,’ as the mainstream media likes to brand it, then there would be no problem. Alas, Bitcoin is just as popular as ever, but the total transactions per day has levelled off, most probably because of the current 1 MB limitations. There seem to be more transactions than overall space, so the block size is factor number one, but as I just mentioned, help is on the way.

This post was published at Coin Telegraph on 2016-10-19.

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