The average transaction fee for bitcoin is now $3.92, a steep drop from this year's all-time high of $62.78, reached on 21 April. The network's hash rate is also the lowest it has been in a year.
The last time transaction fees were as low as they are today was on 23 December last year, when Bitcoin's average transaction fee was $3.61, according to BitInfoCharts.
Whichever way you look at it, Bitcoin has had a temperamental year. The astronomical average fee in April was really quite anomalous in Bitcoin's 12-year history. The only time Bitcoin came close to the highs recorded at the time was on 23 December 2018, when the average transaction fee was $52.18.
On 14 April, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $64.3k. On that day, the average transaction fee was $29. Just a week later, the bitcoin price dropped to around $55k when it recorded record transaction fees of $62.79, with more than 130,000 transactions sitting unprocessed on the network.
High fees - high activity
High fees also tend to correlate with high activity. When everyone wanted to get into Bitcoin, fees rose because they outstripped the supply of miners. And when investors were looking to exit, they went up even more.
Today, the news around Bitcoin is a little less dramatic. The world's most popular cryptocurrency is currently valued at $33,672 per bitcoin, according to Nomics, and while that's a sharp drop from the golden days of mid-April, it's up slightly from yesterday.
Bitcoiners went downhill in mid-May when three Chinese payments associations reiterated their support for the Chinese central bank's 2017 ban on financial firms engaging in crypto transactions. Bitcoin lost 30% of its value after the announcement - however, the bad news from China did not end there.
China has since launched a nationwide crackdown on Bitcoin mining operations. Miners in both Xinjiang and Sichuan have been issued with government "shutdown orders". Some believe China is restricting the use of popular cryptocurrencies in favour of its own central bank-backed currency: the digital yuan, which can now be exchanged for cash at 3,000 ATMs in Beijing.
At today's speed of 97.53 ehash/s, Bitcoin's hash rate is currently the lowest since 24 May 2020, when the network registered speeds of 93.5 ehash/s, according to BitInfoCharts.
It looks like Bitcoin is in a state of inertia right now.