We’re always looking for ways to improve how our users can send and receive Bitcoin. Lately, there’s been a good deal of congestion on the Bitcoin network, and with this we’ve seen unusual delays for some transactions.
In a recent update to our web wallet, we implemented a dynamic fee structure. This may sound a little intimidating, but we think you’ll like it. Our goal with this update is to make sure our users continue to see fast and reliable transaction confirmation times for the best value, regardless of how many people are using the Bitcoin network. In this post you’ll learn about our transition to a dynamic fee structure and what changes users need to know about.
Why the change?
Historically, transactions sent from our wallet were sent with a default .0001 BTC fee, unless a custom fee was specified. For a long time, this fee was reliable, and it made sure sending was super easy for our users.
Fast forwarding to the present, the number of transactions has been continuing to accelerate, and there is no sign of slowing down soon. More people are learning about Bitcoin and want to use it. This is great news! But as Bitcoin grows in popularity, so does the need for a more reliable fee structure to deal with periods of congestion on the network.
Dynamic fees work to detect changes in network volume and will raise or lower transaction fees accordingly. This means that the same transaction may require a higher fee during a period of network congestion, or a lower fee if sent during a period of decreased activity.
For the most part, the user experience of sending stays the same. The only noticeable change will be that the fee value will fluctuate for individual transactions, depending upon the transaction size, and network conditions. During a period of unusually high network activity, users will see a “high fee” warning when sending.
Our Advanced Send feature gives Bitcoin pros some extra control by allowing users to set a fee of their choice. A warning will display if a custom fee is thought to be unnecessarily high or dangerously low. In either of these cases, we prompt users to increase or decrease to a more reasonable fee, respectively.
This update is for our new web wallet (not our legacy wallet), but keep an eye out for updates on the addition of dynamic fees to our iOS & Android wallets soon.
Originally published at https://blockchain-blog.ghost.io on March 16, 2016.