The cost of using the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains is on the rapid decline, as evidenced by a 93%–95% reduction in average transaction fees over the past couple of months.
Fees are paid to the miners who process transactions on a typical proof-of-work blockchain. The size of the fee depends on the size of the transaction in bytes and how many transactions a coin has gone through in the past (as these need to be checked every time a coin is moved). Supply and demand for space also dictate the size of a transaction fee since blockchains have limited capacity.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum saw their transaction costs surge to all-time highs in 2021 in April and May, respectively, coinciding with their rising coin valuations and price peaks.
Bitcoin’s average transaction fee hit $62.77 on April 24 — a figure that exceeded the $55 all-time high from December 2017, which stood for more than three years. By Sunday, fees had fallen as low