Bitcoin and Ethereum are both cracking at the seams right now

The scaling problem on parade.

The scaling problem refers to the rising transaction fees and slower average transaction speeds that come when a cryptocurrency network gets too popular for its own good. Right now, it looks like both bitcoin and Ethereum are reaching that limit.

The Ethereum network has all but ground to a halt since the start of December, with more than 20,000 pending transactions patiently waiting in the wings since 6 December.

And on the bitcoin network, there are over 12,00 unconfirmed transactions at the time of writing.


The scaling problem

The problem is that the more popular a cryptocurrency gets, the more transactions there are.

On the bitcoin network, miners process translations. Essentially each block skims the highest-fee transactions off the top. Paying higher transaction fees can let you jump the queue, so if your transaction fees are too low, you risk never getting it processed.

All transactions,…


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