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Apologies for any naivety in the question, as my understanding of the subject is still basic.

My understanding is that once all the coins have been mined, the incentive for miners comes solely from client transaction fees. When that happens, why would someone choose to use bitcoin and pay a transaction fee over fiat currency without a fee?

Does this mean bitcoin is fundamentally infeasible as a general use form of currency? If so, what are the specific use cases that make it more appealing, even with the necessity of transaction fees? If not, what would compel general use adoption?

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Compare this with the increasing adoption of contactless payment in western countries. There is a fee involved but it is small and invisible to the consumer. The retailer pays the fee (and passes the cost to the consumer in higher prices).

So long as the transaction fees are low, and people value the other benefits, this won't be a problem.

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There are two scenarios we could see as the block subsidy (inflation) halves every ~4 years:

  1. The number of fee-paying transactions increase per block whilst median next-block fee remains low/negligible
  2. The fee per on-chain transaction increases

We are currently seeing scenario 2 play out, where most user transactions are expected to take place off-chain. Transactions that are made on-chain are expected to be settlements of many off-chain transactions, likely collecting a large number of smaller fees within.

Both scenarios are fueled mostly by adoption of the network, and until the subsidy is gone (zero inflation), increases in coin price will help to sustain miner incentive.

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  • where does that first point come from? can you explain your reasoning? – Janus Troelsen Mar 14 at 16:15
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why would someone choose to use bitcoin and pay a transaction fee over fiat currency without a fee?

what are the specific use cases that make it more appealing, even with the necessity of transaction fees?

Bitcoin as a form of payment offers great incentives to both buyer and seller depending on the transaction use case involved, regardless of the fee involved. Some of these would include:

  • Convenient (Ease of use in international payments)
  • No risk of inflation. See this for more details.
  • Smart payments: Through smart contracts, automatic/self executing payments can be made based on specified conditions. (Not possible with cash without reliance on a third party)
  • Cheaper (compared to situations where fiat currency conversions would required.)

Does this mean bitcoin is fundamentally infeasible as a general use form of currency?

As bitcoin adoption grows, scaling solutions such as Lightning Network will allow for micro payments. Over time the fees from settling these micro transactions would be significant and therefore incentivize miners.

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