Transaction costs are calculated based on the transaction’s data volume and network congestion.
As a block can only hold 4 MB of data, the number of transactions that can be executed in one block is limited. Therefore, more block data is required for a larger transaction. As a result, more significant transactions are usually charged on a per-byte basis.
When you use a BTC wallet to send a transaction, the wallet will typically provide you with the option to choose your Bitcoin fee rate. This charge will be determined in satoshis per unit of data (there are 100,000,000 satoshis in one Bitcoin) consumed on the blockchain by your transaction, abbreviated as sats/vByte. This rate will then be multiplied by the size of your transaction to get the total fee you’ll pay.
If you want your transaction to be confirmed right away, your optimal fee rate may vary significantly. If you don’t mind waiting, spending 2 sats/vByte will usually allow you to confirm your transaction within a day or a week.
Transaction fees also reflect the speed with which the user wants to have the transaction validated. When a user initiates a transaction, it goes into the mempool (transactions that have not yet been put to the blockchain and are being stored in volatile memory).
Upon validation, it is included in the block. Miners choose which transactions to validate and include in the block. When there is a backlog of transactions waiting to be validated, it creates an incentive for miners to process transactions with higher fee rates first. Most miners target transactions with high fee to byte ratios. When network transactions begin to reduce, transaction fees will fall.
Bitcoin exchanges, which connect buyers and sellers, calculate their fees in two ways: either a fixed fee per transaction or a percentage of total transaction volume over the previous 30 days. Exchanges use a tiered fee structure, depending on the total dollar volume transacted in both circumstances.
Fee arrangements are designed to encourage traders to trade frequently. As a result, costs for high-value and high-frequency transactions are correspondingly reduced. Fees for small, infrequent transactions are frequently higher.
Illia Polosukhin, the co-founder of NEAR protocol, thinks Ethereum development has a focus problem. He says engineers should be fixing crucial issues that will enable Web 3 to scale to billions of users.
“We need simplicity of usage. We need easy programmability. We need composability that is natural to the applications. I don’t see the current Ethereum evolutions targeting any of those goals.”, Polosukhin said in an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph.
Polosukhin envisions a new version of the internet, or Web 3, in which the user will retain full ownership of their own data and assets. He believes this new iteration of the internet won’t be based on a single “killer app” but instead a combination of different apps.
“Our goal is that users in control of their data, they’re in control of their money and assets. They are able to govern these platforms, which means there is no need to build an everything-fulfilling platform.”, he said.
Thus, improving both blockchain technology’s scalability and interoperability is key in order to build the foundations of Web 3. According to Polosukhin, while Ethereum remains the dominant smart-contract platform, it lacks NEAR’s focus on achieving those goals.
Specifically, he thinks Ethereum’s reliance on Layer 2 solutions or rollups to solve its scalability problem could lead to tradeoffs in terms of composability.
“Rollups naturally will kind of create less compatibility and create more sub-spaces in which things are happening.”, he said.
As a Layer-1 solution alternative to Ethereum, NEAR aims to solve the scalability issue by leveraging sharding technology, a process that splits the protocol’s infrastructure into several segments, without sacrificing composibility.
“By actually scaling up the composable structure, we allow to have a lot more applications running closely with each other with the same financial models”, explains Polosukhin.
A core component of NEAR’s composibility feature is the Rainbow Bridge, a protocol that allows a free transfer of assets from the Ethereum blockchain and vice-versa.
“That allows not just to send tokens around, but it actually allows to read the state of each chain from the other chain so you can actually pass any generic messages between them and execute contracts.” he explained.
NEAR was one of the fastest-growing development communities in 2021. According to Polosukhin, one of the protocol’s main attractivity consists in offering popular and easy-to-use programming languages such as Java and Rust. Another factor was the $800 million fund announced last year for developers to build on the NEAR protocol.
“Buiding development of core components and then other people can build on their own companies and projects have been very powerful”, he said.
Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!
Cardano’s first decentralized app (DApp) SundaeSwap has launched but is causing a frustration among users due to congestion, platform errors and failed transactions.
Is it just a case of expected teething troubles under an influx of excited users or is there more to it?
SundaeSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) and token staking platform. It’s mainnet launch today marks a milestone in the Cardano (ADA) ecosystem by being the first DApp of to utilize its smart contracts.
The ADA price climbed 50% over the past week leading up to the launch of SundaeSwap, meaning a successful launch is a high stakes game for Cardano.
Trading on the DEX started at 9:45pm UTC on Jan. 20. It took less than two minutes for users on the project’s Discord server to begin complaining about failed transactions and network congestion.
Swapping is now LIVE!
Head on over to https://t.co/GSGzSuqIcf and swap tokens, deposit liquidity, and enjoy! $SUNDAE Token Policy ID: 9a9693a9a37912a5097918f97918d15240c92ab729a0b7c4aa144d77#Cardano #SundaeSwap pic.twitter.com/jhLK6F8PuJ
— SundaeSwap Labs (@SundaeSwap) January 20, 2022
By 10:07pm UTC, SundaeSwap CEO Mateen Motavaf posted a message in bold font and all caps trying to address the volume of complaints in the server:
“IF YOUR ORDER IS ON-CHAIN, IT WILL BE PROCESSED ORDERS ARE FAILING DUE TO CONGESTION, PLEASE BE PATIENT”.
The SundaeSwap team hosted a Twitter Spaces AMA at about 1am UTC to further address any issues that traders were having with the platform. In light of the tremendous backlog of orders holding up swaps, or ‘scoops’ as they’re called on SundaeSwap, one user asked what the expected effect of an upcoming Cardano node upgrade would have. Chief Technical Officer Matt Ho answered:
“Once the change happens on the 25th, we expect greater than a 2X throughput increase from strictly the memory bump by itself as additional protocol parameters become available.”
Another user noticed that an order was filled on the DEX before it was launched on the website. A tech-savvy trader can bypass the website user interface and execute trades directly on the underlying smart contracts for any DEX.
Ho responded that: “There were so many things to deal with, we didn’t believe maybe, to our naivete, that someone would have constructed a transaction by hand ahead of time.”
By 2:40am UTC, users were still complaining of failed transactions and orders pending for over four hours. CIO Pi Lanningham responded on Discord: “Orders will continue to be processed (currently around 2500 orders per hour; currently ~11k orders on chain, ~1600 of them within slippage tolerance).”
The SundaeSwap team has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for further comment.
The core team of the project expected a large backlog of orders ahead of the launch based on the performance of the testnet about one month ago. In a Jan. 8 blog post, the team wrote:
“We want to inform you all that while orders may take days to process, everybody’s orders will be processed fairly and in the order they were received.”
Related:Cardano goes ‘full send’ with a 50% ADA rally ahead of SundaeSwap launch
By using the performance of the SundaeSwap platform from a previous test phase, the team acknowledged the possibility of poor performance at first, but said “we’re very confident that the protocol can meet the normal day-to-day load once things settle down.”
The Cardano blockchain introduced smart contracts to the platform following the Alonzo hard fork last September. Within one week, over 2,000 smart contracts were deployed on the blockchain with a timelock without becoming operational.
It’s been exactly 13 years to the day since computer scientist Hal Finney became the recipient of the first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain from creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
On Jan. 12, 2009, with the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper a mere three months old, Satoshi sent Finney 10 BTC — worth next to nothing at the time, but now roughly $440,000. The move, likely a test to determine the viability of the blockchain, was the first in a series of hundreds of millions of transactions in Bitcoin between millions of people across the world.
“When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away,” said Finney in a 2013 post on Bitcointalk.org. “I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run bitcoin. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them.”
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
Finney was one of the first people to respond to Satoshi’s post on the cypherpunks mailing list, with many in the space still believing he was one of the pseudonymous individuals behind the creation of Bitcoin. Sadly, the legendary crypto pioneer passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in 2014. He would have been 65 years old today.
At the time the first BTC was sent, there wasn’t even a cash value associated with the crypto asset, whose blockchain has accrued more than 701 million transactions as of Jan. 8. One of the most famous early use cases — exchanging 10,000 BTC for two pizzas in 2010 — helped pave the way for the crypto asset to eventually be accepted in many bars, restaurants, and even as legal tender in the entire country of El Salvador.
Related:Former patrons can’t drown sorrows as first-ever bar to accept Bitcoin closes
Thirteen years ago, Bitcoin and crypto were highly experimental, unproven, and largely unknown. Today, regulators across the world discuss how to handle the integration of central bank digital currencies, stablecoins, and digital assets into their financial systems.
In 2035, thirteen years from now, the BTC blockchain will likely still have plenty of blocks to mine. Some experts are predicting the price of the crypto asset will hit $100,000 in 2022, with the potential for even more growth n the years to come.
This year has been monumental for the cryptocurrency sector in terms of mainstream adoption. A recent report published by Grayscale Investments found that more than one-quarter of United States investors (26%) surveyed own Bitcoin (BTC), up from 23% in 2020. With the holidays around the corner, financial services provider MagnifyMoney also found that nearly two-thirds of surveyed Americans hope to receive cryptocurrency as a gift this year.
While crypto’s growth is notable, there has also been an increase in the number of scams associated with digital assets. A Chainalysis blog post highlighting the company’s “2022 Crypto Crime Report” revealed that scams were the dominant form of cryptocurrency-based crimes by transaction volume this year. The post notes that over $7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been taken from scam victims globally. According to Chainalysis’ previous research, this number represents an 81% increase compared to 2020, a year in which scamming activity dropped significantly compared to 2019.
Scams are the biggest threat for building trust in crypto
Kim Grauer, head of research at Chainalysis, told Cointelegraph that while there are many different crypto-related crimes, scamming has become the largest in terms of value received by criminals. She added that scams represent a significant threat to building trust within the crypto ecosystem, as this may prevent people from investing in digital assets.
Grauer further mentioned that scams related to decentralized finance (DeFi) have been on the rise this year. With an annualized revenue in all DeFi protocols estimated at around $5 billion, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. More interesting, though, is that Chainalsyis has discovered that “rug pulls” have contributed to this year’s increase in scam revenue. According to Grauer, Chainalysis defines rug pulls as an instance when a person or developer decides to unexpectedly cease a project and run away with funds:
“Rug pulls have accelerated the amount of scamming the crypto space has seen this year. In addition to financial scams, rug pulls have exploited different vulnerabilities in the crypto space. Overall, they have taken $2.8 billion of cryptocurrency.”
Although rug pulls are a relatively new crime, Grauer believes these cases are becoming common in the growing DeFi ecosystem. To put this in perspective, the Chainalysis blog post notes, “Rug pulls have emerged as the go-to scam of the DeFi ecosystem, accounting for 37% of all cryptocurrency scam revenue in 2021, versus just 1% in 2020.”
The Chainalysis blog post also provides examples of some of the biggest rug pulls of 2021. For instance, the AnubisDAO case is mentioned as the second-biggest rug pull of this year, with over $58 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen. According to the post, AnubisDAO launched on Oct. 28, 2021, with claims of offering a decentralized currency backed by a number of assets. However, the project didn’t contain a website or white paper, and all of the developers went by pseudonyms. Miraculously, AnubisDAO still managed to raise nearly $60 million overnight, yet 20 hours later, all of those funds disappeared from AnubisDAO’s liquidity pool.
While AnubisDAO demonstrates a large-scale DeFi rug pull, new cases are occurring almost daily. An early Ethereum and DeFi investor who wishes to remain anonymous told Cointelegraph that they fell victim to a rug pull on Dec. 19, 2021. The anonymous source shared that the project is called “up1.network,” noting that many early Ethereum investors were discussing Up1 in a Discord chat group. They added:
“People I trusted were mentioning the project so I checked it out. I thought it was strange to see Up1 giving away airdrops, but thought it could have been affiliated with a DeFi token I had. I then connected my MetaMask wallet and clicked on ‘get airdrop’ but kept getting an error message. I did this three times, which gave the project access to my account.”
Unfortunately, once Up1 gained access to their account, three DeFi tokens worth $50,000 were instantly taken. “I revoked access after the fact on Etherscan so they couldn’t steal any more tokens,” they mentioned. The Ethereum investor then checked the DeFi platform Zerion where they saw the notifications that the DeFi tokens had left their wallet. Zerion also provided them with a wallet address to where the funds went, along with a message:
“0xc28a580acc42294787f44cffbaa788eaa4958056; You gave a web3 site / smart contract unlimited access to your funds (check who you gave access to and revoke here).”
While both AnubisDAO and Up1 are examples of DeFi rug pulls, it’s important to point out that the nonfungible token (NFT) ecosystem is also vulnerable to rug pulls. Most recently, the Bored Ape Yacht Club community fell victim to a rug pull when some members decided to connect their wallets to mint NFTs from a link posted in the group’s Discord channel.
Even more surprising is that rug pull scams are also targeting mainstream NFT projects. For example, on Oct. 28, 2021, the global beauty pageant Miss Universe sent out an official tweet announcing the launch of its NFTs on the Wax blockchain. Unfortunately, the people who minted these nonfungible tokens were part of a rug pull.
As a reminder: DON’T MINT from the links posted in Discord.
Due to amazing members of the community, we’ve obtained pertinent information about the hackers.
We’re working diligently to fix this. Priorities are restoring the server, prosecuting, and making it up to the minters
— Jenkins The Valet (@jenkinsthevalet) December 21, 2021
Jessica Yang, an NFT photographer, told Cointelegraph that when Miss Universe announced the launch of an NFT project, she didn’t question whether it was a scam or not because the pageant is widely known. “The price of each NFT was 0.06 Ethereum. That translates to around $230 for one. The artwork also has the beauty contestant’s face and country they are associated with plastered on it,” she remarked.
Yang also mentioned that the project was geared toward women, noting that Paula Shugart, the president of Miss Universe, previously stated:
“Miss Universe is going to be the first brand in the NFT space that is about women, about women’s empowerment, and embracing the technology, and moving forward. I love it; this is the first one that is away from other more male-oriented spaces.”
Given the brand’s reputation and appeal, Yang and many others minted Miss Universe NFTs, connecting their wallets to the platform. Yet Yang noted that the next day, Miss Universe deleted its official Instagram account. She then noticed that her funds disappeared entirely. Yang added:
”One red flag I saw was coming from their Discord. The moderators kept trying to get everyone to buy Miss Universe NFTs, promising that they were going along with the roadmap. Their roadmap promised monthly AMAs, signed prints, and much more. Even Steve Harvey vetted the project.”
Do your own research
As the DeFi and NFT ecosystems continue to mature and grow, these environments will, unfortunately, be prone to rug pull scams until industry solutions are developed. In the meantime, the best course of action is for users to do their own research.
For instance, Grauer shared that every DeFi project should have a code audit available to make investors feel safer. “Many of the DeFi platforms that have been hacked don’t have code audits,” she remarked. The Chainalysis blog post also pointed out that “rug pulls are prevalent in DeFi because with the right technical know-how, it’s cheap and easy to create new tokens on the Ethereum blockchain or others and get them listed on decentralized exchanges (DEX) without a code audit.”
In addition to code audits, the anonymous Ethereum investor shared that after reviewing the Up1 site more closely, they could tell that it was fake. “For instance, the team was all anonymous, with just first names that couldn’t be clicked on to open a Twitter or LinkedIn profile.” Even with these precautions the anonymous source mentioned that wallet providers also need to do a better job of keeping users safe:
“If there is a questionable site, wallets should seek them out. I believe this technology can scale, but it has to be able to handle these scams. Otherwise, people will lose all their money.”
Following the Up1 rug pull, the anonymous source contacted MetaMask and shared that they got a response noting that it would flag the website.
It’s also important to point out that while a clear industry solution is yet to be developed, Grauer noted that, unlike fiat-related crimes, crypto payments can be traced to their source. With this in mind, she added that some cryptocurrency platforms are starting to take action to keep users safe from scams.
For example, crypto exchange Luno partnered with Chainalysis in 2020 to protect against a scam targeting South African crypto users. Eva Crouwel, head of financial crime at Luno, told Cointelegraph that one of the requirements from a regulatory framework point of view is to be able to monitor and act upon transactions that have a suspicion of money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions or any other type of illicit activity. She noted that on-chain transactions must be monitored, as well as the design and the development of case management and user interface.
In terms of crypto investors keeping themselves safe from scams, Crouwel recommends staying away from offers that sound too good to be true, adding:
“Start by doing as much due diligence as possible. Look at the company’s/token’s social media profiles to see what other users’ experiences have been. You should also go through the company directors’ personal social media pages and look into their industry connections and employment background so ensure their history is sound.”
HSBC and Wells Fargo have signed a strategic agreement to use a settlement ledger powered by blockchain technology when undertaking foreign exchange (FX) transactions. This move is deemed a stepping stone towards minimizing settlement risk.
In a statement, Mark Jones, co-head of Macro, Wells Fargo Corporate & Investment Bank, welcomed this move and said:
“We are extremely excited to be collaborating with HSBC on a project which places both organizations at the forefront of blockchain innovation. We believe this will be the first step of many utilizing transformative technology across our industry in the years ahead.”
Using blockchain technology, two banks will enjoy efficient Payment-vs-Payment (PVP) settlement netting. Furthermore, real-time transparency will be availed in the FX transactions.
The blockchain-based settlement ledger is also expected to reduce associated settlement costs in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.
The agreement also means that the two leading financial companies will bypass the nearly two-decades-old Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) system used for FX transitions.
The ledger will be used to process the US dollar, Canadian dollar, Euro, and British pound sterling transactions with plans to extend to other currencies soon.
Mark Williamson, the global head of FX partnerships & propositions at HSBC, noted that this was a step forward towards more financial innovations.
“As financial services continue to digitize the store of payment and value on blockchain, we are delighted to work with Wells Fargo in the adoption of this important cross-border digital backbone for the confirmation and settlement of Foreign Exchange trades.”
Meanwhile, the central banks of France and Switzerland, together with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), successfully conducted a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) trial involving the nations’ fiat notes.
Layer-two (L2) solutions for the Ethereum network have become a popular topic of discussion and speculation on their associated tokens backed the massive rally seen in many of the protocols this year. The parabolic growth of the decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) sector also led to a surge in the cost carrying out simple transfers and this prompted developers and investors to migrate to L2-supportive platforms.
One L2 solution that saw its token price rise to new highs earlier in the year and now looks poised to make another breakout higher is Polygon (MATIC), a proof-of-stake blockchain protocol that aggregates scalable solutions on Ethereum in order to support a multi-chain ecosystem.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that MATIC hit a low at $1.01 on Sept. 21, and over the past few months the price has been in a steady uptrend, bringing the altcoin above the $2 mark on Dec. 1.
Polygon’s ecosystem is expanding and proof of this can be seen in the increase in protocol launches, cross-chain migrations, the launch of a Polygon-focused exchange-traded product (ETP) and a steady uptick in user activity.
One of the biggest drivers of MATIC price and on-chain activity has been the addition of new protocols to the Polygon network throproject launches and cross-chain migrations.
Most recently, IDEX decentralized exchange announced that it would launching v3 of its exchange on the Polygon network, making it the first hybrid liquidity DEX on Polygon.
Tomorrow. Approximately 12 PM PST.
IDEX v3, the first Hybrid Liquidity DEX will be launching on @0xPolygon.
The Polygon network has seen project launches from NFT projects like the OpenBiSea NFT marketplace and gaming / DeFi platforms like Rainmaker Games, Harvest Finance and Jarvis Network.
Currently the Uniswap community is in the process voting on whether to add Polygon support for Uniswap v3 and after majority yes Phase 1 vote on Nov. 25 the process has shifted into Phase 2.
Rising institutional support
Another reason for the bullish price action for Polygon has been increased interest from institutional investors. Several ETPs for Polygon have been listed in recent months, including the Osprey Polygon Trust in September and the 21Shares Polygon ETP in November.
Polygon is also included on the list of assets being explored by the Grayscale Investments as a potential Trust candidate.
The network has also benefited from a $20 million investment fund launched by Wintermute, a digital asset market maker focused on helping to bootstrap the development of decentralized applications on Polygon.
Currently, the Polygon network is receiving increased attention as it prepares to host a ZK Summit on Dec. 9 where developers will discuss the “current state and future of zk-STARKs and applications of Zero Knowledge proofs.”
Related:IDEX to launch hybrid liquidity decentralized exchange on Polygon
Increase in active users and wallets
A third reason for the bullish price action seen in MATIC has been the steady increase of users on the network as evidenced by the increase in wallet addresses holding a balance.
As shown in the graph above, the number of Polygon wallets holding a balance has steadily increased throughout 2021 and is currently at an all-time high of 282,760.
Evidence of the increased activity can also be found in the data for total revenue generated from fees on the network, which has been steadily increasing over the second half of 2021.
As new protocols continue to list on the Polygon network, these stats are likely to rise if new users continue to use the platform to escape the high fees seen on the Ethereum network.
VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for MATIC on Oct. 15, prior to the recent price rise.
The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.
As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for MATIC spiked into the green zone on Oct. 15 and reached a high of 94 around 48 hours before the price began to increase by 57% over the next six weeks.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
The Bitcoin network’s value settlement efficiency has been improving steadily recently, with more being settled for lower fees.
Over the past week, the Bitcoin network has transferred or settled an average of $95,142 of value for every $1 worth of fees.
The on-chain settlement efficiency has been gradually increasing since May as more has been moved around the network during the bull cycle.
On-chain analyst Dylan LeClair made the observation using data from analytics provider Glassnode. The value is derived by dividing the mean transaction volume by the fees.
Over the last seven days the #Bitcoin Network transferred an average $95,142 of value for every $1 worth of fees.
The median transaction saw $751 of value transferred for every $1 worth of fees.#Bitcoin is the most efficient monetary settlement network the world has ever seen. pic.twitter.com/DzSwxCDKkd
— Dylan LeClair (@DylanLeClair_) November 29, 2021
The final settlement costs amounted to just 0.00105% of the total value transferred of $451.3 billion.
According to CryptoFees, Bitcoin is seventh in the list of networks ordered by daily transaction fees. Its seven-day average is around $678,000 which puts it behind Ethereum, Uniswap, Binance Smart Chain, SushiSwap, Aave, and Compound.
The fee tracking platform currently reports that Ethereum is currently processing $53 million in daily fees, 98.7% more than the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin and Ethereum should not be compared in terms of value settlement and fees as they are two different entities — the former is a store of value asset and the latter a smart contract and decentralized application network.
Ethereum’s mean transaction volume divided by the fees comes out at just $139 in value transacted per dollar in fees.
The settlement efficiency of the Ethereum network has declined as more value has accrued to the network and a much greater demand has been put on it, especially with the rise of DeFi and NFTs over the past 18 months.
Related:Bitcoin network tags record high for daily settlement volume
According to Bitinforcharts, the average transaction fee on the Bitcoin network is around $2.13 at the moment. Comparatively, the Ethereum network’s average fee is a whopping $42.58. As reported by Cointelegraph yesterday, Bitcoin transaction fees are down by more than 50% this year.
The divergence in average transaction fees between the two networks can be seen widening from the end of July.
Ethereum’s network fee woes can be circumvented by using layer two networks which have surged in adoption over the past couple of months with a near all-time high total value locked of $6.87 billion according to L2beat.