On a regular basis, we hear about the various problems that are affecting the pioneer currency, Bitcoin, and it’s mempool. As interest in the virtual currency rises, so does the number of unconfirmed transactions. This is a problem that the bitcoin community and developers have been dealing with for some time and have plans to address it in a sustainable manner as part of planned updates. But in the short term, these unconfirmed transactions pose a significant problem, higher fees and slow processing. Over the course of the past few days, the increase has been significant, there are over 13,000 transactions that are still in the queue and need to be processed! This is even more startling because of the recent changes that have been made to the network. The network hash rate has increased, yet we’re still facing this problem. It may mean that the interest is surpassing the level of processing power.
As the currency keeps on growing in strength, it will definitely be a more and more pressing matter for the developers to look into the situation. They will need to deploy the sustainable updates to keep up with demand and fine-tune the system so hard forks seem less appealing, making the system more unified.
The mempool backlog is going to be a continuous issue until it is fully addressed.
What is the Bitcoin mempool?
When a Bitcoin transaction is submitted to the Bitcoin network it must get verified through all of the nodes that are available. After the verification process is completed, the transaction then moves up the chain to the waiting area known as the “Mempool” or Memory Pool. The verified transaction sits in the memory pool until it is addressed by a miner who adds it as part of the next block to be unlocked. The memory pool acts as the second stage in transaction processing, a node waiting room for all potential transactions to be processed.
Each of these nodes have varying levels of RAM capacity. RAM capacity is important because it accounts for the level of ability to hold unconfirmed transactions, meaning that separate nodes will have their own interpretation of the waiting transactions. Increased mempool sizes do not crash the system because as soon as there is a potential overload per node, the specific node will adjust it’s fee size. Transactions are dealt with according to their fee size so it doesn’t crash. The faster the blocks are mined, the quicker the transactions become processed and pushed through the Bitcoin system.
The mempool is part of the clearinghouse system of the bitcoin. The better it processes transactions, the better the experience is for the user.
The mempool backlog might be caused by there being an increase in the flow of low-fee transfers, an event that has occurred several times over the course of the year. It seems that this will continue to happen and cause a problem until the system is improved via the updates.
It’s going to be interesting watching the virtual currency grow in price and infrastructure development.