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What would happen if the amount of active Bitcoin users grows up enough so that the average rate at which transactions are created becomes faster than the average rate at which transactions are included in the blockchain?

Even if it doesn't grow up to that point, what if someone simulates this by creating too many transactions?

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Basically, transactions just sort of get put in a backlog until there is space enough for them to be processed. That's the usual case anyway.

The more extreme case is when there are too many transactions to even keep in the backlog. To understand what would happen here, you need to know a little bit about the software/people that put transactions into blocks: miners. Miners basically keep a priority queue of transactions, where the transaction priority is determined by the size (in bytes) and the fees it pays. Higher fees and lower size transactions tend to have higher priority. The software that miners run only has so much memory, so if so many transactions are broadcasted to the network that miners can't even keep up, they tend to just 'forget about' the transactions with the least priority.

For users, miners choosing higher priority transactions means that it may be harder for them to get their transaction included in a block. They either have to pay more fees or make smaller transactions to be able to compete.

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  • So basically Bitcoin does nothing at all? Shouldn't this be taken seriously? What if someone who has 100 bitcoins makes 72000 transactions with 1mBTC fee each? Most of the normal transactions would be delayed 1 day!! People will lose confidence in Bitcoin and the price of the currency may drop – Carlos Pinzón Apr 19 '16 at 1:14
  • That's possible, true, it would just take someone willing to spend more than $400,000 to do that, which probably no one thinks is worth it. – morsecoder Apr 19 '16 at 1:32
  • $400.000 or $40.000? That's not too much for bankers, who can benefit from pointing out the insecurity of new money transfer models – Carlos Pinzón Apr 19 '16 at 13:37

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