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Author Topic: Is This The Bitcoin You Want? Because This Is The Bitcoin You Have  (Read 373 times)
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January 23, 2016, 06:00:45 AM

Here's a transaction with a ten dollar transaction fee


submitted an hour ago by Falkvinge
This transaction was a consolidation of many small transactions that had gone into a multisig address. It's a real-life business scenario and not a hypothetical use case. The first time this transaction was tried after all signatures had been painstakingly collected from cold storage from signers across the planet, Armory displayed a failure dialog I had never seen before - "this transaction was not accepted by the bitcoin network".

Looking at the data that went around people to collect the signatures, I realized those files were 180kB large, so the transaction itself could be as large as 90 kB. (It turned out to be 52 kB large, and I had no way of knowing that.) 90 kB meant a minimum fee - using the previous rules - would be 0.009 coins. But in the current climate, you need as much as twice that. Given how hard it is to gather offline multisig signatures from different time zones, we went with 2.5x.

So this transaction has a fee of 0.025 coins, ten US dollars. When creating it, Armory put up a warning dialog - "WARNING EXCESSIVE FEE: This transaction has a very large fee, 0.025 bitcoin, compared to the required amount which is zero bitcoin".

Uhm, yeah, no. Requiring zero fees for a multisig transaction was yesterday.

Now, the situation with a typical business and choosing a transcation fee goes beyond affording or not affording the transaction itself. In many use cases, you also can't risk even being in a gray area where the transaction may or may not get through, and discover 72 hours later that it was dropped from the mempool without ever being picked up by a miner.

Hence, ten-dollar transaction fees merely for consolidating funds. Welcome to the new bitcoin. Can I have the old bitcoin back now, please?

Forgive my petulance and oft-times, I fear, ill-founded criticisms, and forgive me that I have, by this time, made your eyes and head ache with my long letter. But I cannot forgo hastily the pleasure and pride of thus conversing with you.
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