The cryptocurrency world is no stranger to meme coins, tokens primarily driven by hype and social media attention. In recent days, Bitcoin and Ethereum have experienced severe congestion due to a surge in meme coin transactions. As a result, both blockchains are facing significant delays and increased transaction fees, while Solana remains unaffected by the frenzy.
Bitcoin and Ethereum Congestion
Bitcoin's mempool currently has around 400,000 transactions pending, which could take approximately 16 hours to clear at a rate of 7 transactions per second (tps). Similarly, Ethereum's network is dealing with about 200,000 pending transactions, requiring nearly 4 hours to clear at 15 tps. Both blockchains are facing these congestion issues primarily due to the explosion of meme coin speculation.
Bitcoin's Congestion and Soaring Transaction Fees
As of Sunday afternoon, the total number of unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions in the network's mempool was approximately 395,000, according to mempool.space. In comparison, on April 26, the figure stood at 56,500, as per Blockchain.com.
Simultaneously, Bitcoin transaction fees have skyrocketed, reaching their highest levels in nearly two years. On Friday, fees averaged $9.62 per transaction, according to data from YCharts. Though fees dropped slightly to $8.84 on Saturday, they still represented a staggering 500% increase compared to six months ago when the average fee was $1.45.
The rise in congestion and transaction fees coincides with a significant increase in inscriptions made through Ordinals, a protocol for minting NFT-like assets on Bitcoin. People are using this protocol to create and trade fungible BRC-20 tokens, which are similar to Ethereum's ERC-20 tokens. The market cap of BRC-20 tokens has grown to $446 million, according to brc-20.io. A week ago, the total number of inscriptions surpassed 2.5 million, and as of Sunday, it exceeded 4.3 million, as per a widely-used Dune dashboard.
Solana Remains Unaffected
While Bitcoin and Ethereum struggle to cope with the meme coin-induced congestion, Solana continues to perform without any issues. The high-performance, scalable blockchain can process over 50,000 transactions per second, making it an attractive option for developers and users alike. Solana's robust infrastructure and efficient design allow it to handle a much higher volume of transactions without any significant delays or increased fees.
The recent meme coin craze has brought significant attention to the limitations of the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, as both face severe congestion and soaring transaction fees. Meanwhile, Solana emerges as a viable alternative, boasting impressive scalability and performance. The current situation highlights the importance of developing more efficient, scalable blockchain solutions capable of accommodating the ever-evolving demands of the cryptocurrency market.