Instant! No fees!

Nakamoto’s original 2008 white paper notes that Bitcoin will naturally progress to a transaction fee-based economy to pay the miners. “No fees!” was still a perennial claim for many years, until mid-2015 when it became glaringly obvious that this simply didn’t hold any more.

Blocks in the blockchain were limited to 1 megabyte early on. But the blocks are now full – Bitcoin has reached capacity. This means a transaction may fail or be delayed for hours or days (if it isn’t just dropped), unless the user correctly guesses a large enough fee to get their transaction into the block. The Bitcoin community is unable to agree on how to fix this.

The fees and delays mean that Nakamoto’s 2009 dream of Bitcoin as  a channel for micropayments becomes impossible (even as that dream contradicts the 2008 white paper).

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