A spreadsheet with a base projection and the following editable variables (for a given block height) would be great:

  1. BTC transaction volume per block
  2. Number of transaction per block
  3. Average transaction fee

Please assume that most BTC transactions will remain on the main chain (and not on a lightning network or something similar).

  • 1
    Just curious, why do you want to assume that the majority of transaction volume will stay on-chain? Simplicity? The way things are looking, off-chain transactions of some kind (lightning, sidechains, etc...) are likely to become an increasing part of the ecosystem, so ignoring them as a factor will likely lead to an inaccurate projection.
    – Jestin
    May 19, 2016 at 13:56
  • You read my mind Jestin! The prospective impact of off-chain transactions is something I want to study. However in order to analyze the full picture I want to create base projection (without off-chain transactions) to compare against. May 19, 2016 at 14:20
  • 2
    Ah, so one projection with off-chain transactions, and one without? I'd love to see the results, but unfortunately, I don't think I'm the person to help you along. I'm upvoting in hopes of a good answer!
    – Jestin
    May 19, 2016 at 14:27
  • Thank you. Yes that is exactly what I want to do! I will be happy to post the results if/when I can make some reasonable projections. I was scared that without wording my question in the way I did I would lack sufficient data to make my projections. For example I think that total bitcoin transaction volume with off-chain transactions will (eventually) be much higher than it would without. May 19, 2016 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


You can find out the average transaction fees gathered per block here. You can see that it's been slowly increasing recently, and there tends to be a block every year or so that skews the average quite a bit. But we can confidently say that currently, the average fees per block is around 0.35 BTC, which has increased from about 0.15 BTC of a year ago. Assuming a linear 0.2 BTC increase in fees per block per year, and a 4 year halving schedule we get these equations:

fees = 0.2 * x + 0.35
reward = 0.5^(x/4) * 12.5 

Reward is a discrete function, so we can just see what happens at the halving in 2020, 2024 and so on.


fees = 0.2 * 4 + 0.35 = 1.15
reward = 0.5 * 12.5 = 6.25


fees = 0.2 * 8 + 0.35 = 1.95
reward = 0.5^2 * 12.5 = 3.125


fees = 0.2 * 12 + 0.35 = 2.75
reward = 0.5^3 * 12.5 = 1.5625

If it proceeds like this, it looks like there actually won't be a moment when average fees and reward actually equal each other as the reward will halve and will be bypassed by fees at that point suddenly.

A different (linear or non-linear) function for fees will obviously achieve different results as would the block halving time being a bit shorter than 4 years, but this projection does make it seem as though 10-12 years is around when fees and reward will approximately meet.

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