Bitcoin Thermocap Approaches $15B as Miners Hit $1B in Fee Revenue

The combined value of block rewards and transaction fees has likely already passed $15 billion, according to recent data.

Bitcoin (BTC) miners had made almost $15 billion securing the network as of the middle of this month.

Bitcoin network pays out $15B

Data from monitoring and statistics resource Coin Metrics released on Oct. 15 noted that since Bitcoin’s birth in 2009, miners had received combined revenue of just under $15 billion. 

Known as the thermocap, the figure includes both block rewards — “new” bitcoins paid to miners for validating a block of transactions — as well as transaction fees

The vast majority of the thermocap consists of the block reward. According to Yassine Elmandja, an analyst at crypto-focused advisory firm ARK Invest, transaction fees only broke the $1 billion mark this week. 

“It's official. The Bitcoin network has surpassed 1 billion USD in cumulative fee revenue,” he wrote, citing latest Coin Metrics data.

Miners move billions for the price of a coffee

Both Bitcoin fees and the block reward are decreasing over time. While the block reward decreases at set intervals, fees are a free market, with fluctuations a common occurrence. 

“On January 31st, 2018, BTC fees accounted for about 12% of the total miner revenue (block rewards account for the remaining 88%). As of October 13th, 2019, BTC’s cumulative fees were only 6.6% of total miner revenue,” Coin Metrics noted. 

The company concluded:

“This means that since February 2018, BTC cumulative fees have not been growing as fast as cumulative block rewards.”

In 2019, fees have on average remained significantly lower than in the past, despite the Bitcoin price being higher than in the majority of its existence. 

As Cointelegraph reported in September, one transaction paid a $700 fee to move $1 billion worth of BTC — paying 20 times too much. Earlier this month, meanwhile, another payment saw a $1 billion transfer for just $4.

Separately, the Ethereum (ETH) network is soon to pass a total of $250 million in cumulate fee revenue.

Publication date: 
10/31/2019 - 09:12
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