摘要： More people use Bitcoin now, but transaction fees are much lower than during the 2017 bull run.
As Bitcoin (BTC) keeps hitting new all-time highs past $20,000, its network fundamentals paint a different picture compared to the previous 2017 bull run.
Three years ago, on this very day, Bitcoin reached its first major all-time high of $20,000, recording up to 2,000% gains for that year. Over the course of 2020, Bitcoin enjoyed another price rally pushing its price to new historic highs and crossing $23,500 on Dec. 17 for the first time ever.
Comparing the bull runs of 2017 and 2020, one may think that December has a special significance for Bitcoin. But other than this coincidence, the rallies are very much different in terms of institutional demand and adoption levels. From a fundamental perspective, this year’s Bitcoin bull run is nothing like 2017 — especially in terms of transaction fees.
Transaction fees down more than 90% in 2020 bull run
Bitcoin’s 2020 bull run is significantly healthier in terms of costs per transaction. The miners’ revenue per transaction — a metric that also includes block rewards — amounted to $130 in December 2017 and about $60 on Dec. 14, 2020, according to data from Blockchain.com.
Raw transaction fees are significantly cheaper. According to monitoring resources like BitInfoCharts, the average BTC transaction fee is down to $5 in December 2020 from $50 in 2017.
The contrast is even more evident when looking at total BTC transaction fees, which are down from around 1,500 BTC on Dec. 21, 2017 to just 70 BTC on Dec. 14, 2020, according to Blockchain.com.
Some mainstream media outlets highlighted the surprisingly low BTC transaction fees recently. On Dec. 13, an unknown user paid just about $12 for a 32,253 BTC ($628 million) transaction, Finance Magnates reported. BTC transaction fees still saw major spikes over the course of 2020. In October 2020, BTC transaction costs surged about 200%.
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