As the price of bitcoin has gone in an upward trend over the last few months, one of the knock-on effects of this is that sending transactions at previously normal fees can lead to massive delays in them confirming, or as I’ve had happen at least twice so far this year, transactions that got stuck and I had to wait about a fortnight for them to drop out of the mempool for me to be able to send them again (although thankfully Trezor Suite has just introduced replace by fee).
For a long time, I’ve used Ethereum Gas Station for working out appropriate custom fees for eth transactions, but I found it difficult to find a similar platform that was as simple to use for bitcoin. Many wallets have fixed miner fees, or a selection you can pick from, but given how congested the network is, this can lead to paying over the odds for a transaction, especially if I’m not particularly pushed to get it confirmed straight away, just within a reasonable timeframe of a day or so.
So during my digging around various block explorers, I had a bingo moment when I discovered Mempool.space, a free open source block explorer and fee visualization tool. Its, lets say vibrant, colour scheme makes it really easy to understand exactly where any fee is likely to sit in the approx 600mb bitcoin transaction mempool. It’s homepage gives you a really simple to understand top couple of megabytes, so if you want to see your transaction in the next block, it recommends a fee, and if you want it within a few blocks, it gives another fee. It then has some pretty visual graphs including those over time which let you see how big the mempool is, how many transactions are pending, and makes it easy for you to pick a fee that strikes the right balance between being high enough to get confirmed at some point, while not being too low to get stuck for aaaaagggggeeeessssss.
The platform also contains a normal block explorer, letting you see which blocks have been mined, as well as explore transactions and wallet addresses. As an open source project, you can also see its github at https://github.com/mempool/mempool and it features an API which can be integrated into various software including electrum wallet. Plus it’s ad free and even has a tv mode for sticking on a screen should you so wish.
So if you’re looking how to calculate the correct fee for sending a bitcoin transaction, mempool.space is definitely worthwhile visiting and bookmarking!
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