Cointape.com is a new tool that uses existing public data to inform Bitcoin users how much of a fee the network is currently expecting to transfer with limited delay. As seen in the following screenshot, a zero fee transaction can currently be delayed by up to five blocks, or roughly an hour (though sometimes longer).
The topic of fees has been huge in the Bitcoin community as of late, centering around the size of default maximum size of blocks (how many transactions can be fit into a block) and the minimum fees users should pay. The current minimum to broadcast a transaction is zero. A pull request was made by Core Developer Luke-Jr to “restore minimum feerate to 10,000 satoshis,” but the request was not merged into mainline code.
More recently, as a result of the ongoing discussion amongst core developers and the larger Bitcoin sphere, Bitcoin.org maintainer David Harding felt it was necessary to remove all references to “low fees” and “instant” transactions from Bitcoin.org. As happens perhaps too often, the pull request sparked a minor controversy around the purpose and nature of Bitcoin.
On top of all this, mainstream financial outlets have decided to take a new tone in regards to Bitcoin, pushing a narrative that illustrates the open source development process as more of a liability than a plus. CNBC ran an article describing the block size debate as a “war,” and as is typical, showed a fundamental misunderstanding for how the currency works.
Cointape.com will be a useful tool regardless of what the outcome of the block size argument is, in that those who want quick transactions will always be able to figure out what fee to pay. To use the tool, simply take the size of your transaction and multiply it by the optimum Satoshi rate. The site says the current optimum rate is 40 Satoshis per byte, so a typical transaction of 619 bytes would be best to include a total fee of 0.00024760. As you can see, the author got away with less than half of that on Friday.
Featured image from Shutterstock.