I'm not an expert with BTC or other cryptocurrencies but It was a pleasant way to do some micro transactions and to deal with some vendors.

My question is, why the hell an average Fee is around 20% of the transaction? THIS IS HUGE.

Is anyone still using BTC? Maybe I'm doing something wrong here but after some checks on https://bitcoinfees.21.co/ and blockchain it seems that those are the real fees and people just keep paying them. Why?

Screenshot: http://take.ms/muElO

  • 1
    Related (almost a dupe): bitcoin.stackexchange.com/q/20795/12411
    – cHao
    Jun 13, 2017 at 20:23
  • It was asked 3 years ago, could be non-relevant anymore. Also this question received 1,677 views in 24 hours while the other one received 1,000 views in a year. So I guess it's not directly "a dupe", otherwise visitors would just google it.
    – Ricardo
    Jun 14, 2017 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


It's misleading to look at transaction fees as a percentage. Bitcoin transaction fees are based on the size of the transaction in bytes, regardless of the value being transacted.

According to the site you linked,

The fastest and cheapest transaction fee is currently 0.0000042 BTC/byte, shown in green at the top. For the median transaction size of 226 bytes, this results in a fee of 0.0009492 BTC.

If you are trying to send BTC 0.005, then yes, that is about 20%. If you are trying to send BTC 0.5, then this will correspond to a fee of about 0.2%. For comparison, credit cards typically have a fee of around 3%.

Is anyone still using BTC?

Obviously yes. Transaction fees are based on supply and demand - the network only allows so many (bytes of) transactions in each block, so fees are effectively bidding for space in a block. If "nobody" was using Bitcoin, you would see fees become very low.

Note that there are several current proposals for increasing the block size, or otherwise allowing a higher volume of transactions on the network. If and when any of those take effect, fees should come down.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong here but after some checks on https://bitcoinfees.21.co/ and blockchain it seems that those are the real fees and people just keep paying them. Why?

Because paying a high fee to spend Bitcoins may still be better than not spending them at all?

See also Is it normal to not "own" your bitcoins? Are 6% transaction fees normal?

  • So I just misled myself when I thought that BTC is great for micro-payments. It now seems that it's great for bigger payments. Thanks.
    – Ricardo
    Jun 13, 2017 at 14:52
  • 7
    @Ricardo: Indeed, as I understand it, Bitcoin was never designed or intended to be particularly suitable for micropayments. It just so happened that due to relatively low demand, it did work well for that purpose for a number of years. There are related schemes for doing Bitcoin micropayments with transactions off the blockchain; see for instance lightning.network Jun 13, 2017 at 14:56
  • I agree with @NateEldredge on this one. I first became interested in bitcoin years ago because I thought it would be good for micropayments. I quickly decided it wasn't, even though the average fee was around $0.02 USD at the time. The lightning network, on the other hand, should be well suited for micropayments.
    – Jestin
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:59
  • @NateEldredge You might want to add to the size of the transaction part, because people think paying from A -> B as simple, but A may be made up of multiple inputs which bloats the transaction so it's (A1+A2+A3+A4+.. -> B). As an analogy, paying for coffee with a £5 note is fine, one input, get some change back, paying in copper coins is a lot of inputs. Jun 16, 2017 at 10:13

Unfortunately the fees are growing these days and now we can't even buy a cup of coffee because the fees will be half the price of a coffee itself. The more people using bitcoin the higher the fees.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.