Hours after the $ 30 million hack to the South Korean Bithumb exchange house, the Bitcoin network suffered a congestion in the mempool, where transactions issued with low commissions " They line up "waiting to be confirmed. A situation possibly linked to the movement of all the balances of Bithumb's online portfolio to a cold portfolio, paying high commissions to prioritize their transactions and ensure the remaining funds, but increasing the average commission necessary for all the network of users. However, it is a momentary event: the decongestion of the network is already visible and the price of commissions begins to fall.
The bitcoin users experienced a delay in the confirmation of their transactions on Wednesday 20, probably due to the measure announced by Bithumb of transferring the remaining funds in their possession to a portfolio cold or offline, as a measure of protection after the recent attack . The exchange house must perform a process of consolidation of its funds in a single portfolio to insure them.
The process of transferring all client funds – in this case Bithumb – from one or several online portfolios to a cold wallet through a foreign exchange house is known as consolidation . This process requires a transaction for each user of the exchange house, a number that can reach hundreds of thousands in this case; especially considering that Bithumb is one of the main exchanges of South Korea. In this way, the Bitcoin network reached today more than 23 MB in weight in mempool, when the latest averages have hovered around 300 KB.
It is necessary to emphasize that consolidating the funds does not necessarily generate congestion in the bitcoin network. The congestion this Wednesday is due to the increase in commissions paid by Bithumb to speed up the confirmation process, who are interested in finishing the consolidation process in a hurry. Therefore, a permanence is not expected in the high commissions that the network manages today.
All in all, the commissions paid by Bithumb throughout the day affected the average commission of the network. For this reason, despite the current decongestion in mempool, bitcoin users continue to pay high amounts in their transaction fees.
Likewise, it is likely that this massive movement of bitcoins to Bithumb's cold portfolio has coincided with nervous sales from those bitcoiners that, given the fall in the price of BTC, morning after the hack, they decided to sell their digital assets to avoid future losses due to market fluctuations.
The congestion of the network motivated the number of transactions with commissions above the average started between 6 : 00 AM and 4: 00PM, according to Blockchain.info. And around 4:00 in the afternoon, commissions were estimated at $ 5.77 in quick transactions of 20 minutes or less, while processing a transaction in four hours would cost at least $ 0.63, the latter being the cost usual of a transaction during the last weeks, being confirmed in less than one hour. At the time of publication of the note the estimate for a quick transaction remains at $ 5.77, maintaining a high average, but a transaction to be confirmed in at least four hours has an estimated cost of $ 0.36.
L to congestion of the bitcoin network after the Bithumb hack, which caused a drop of more than 200 dollars in the price of bitcoin on Tuesday, constitutes the second occasion in recent weeks in which the market is affected by cybercrime, after hackers stole 30% of the funds from the exchange house – also South Korean – Coinrail. Exchange houses and financial authorities have indicated their intention to implement new security measures to protect users. However, it has been difficult to defend against the attacks of hackers. For this reason, users are always advised not to keep funds stored in exchange offices: use them to trade and immediately transfer their money to their own personal purses.
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