From April 11 until May 14, Bitcoin (BTC) transaction fees increased by more than 1,250% from $0.38 to $5.16. While Bitcoin transaction fees have since fallen by 33.3% to sit at roughly $3.44 as of this writing, fees have increased by 36.5% since the block reward halving on May 11.
The average cost of executing transactions on the Bitcoin network has increased by more than 800% in just one month, with May posting the highest transaction fees since July 2019 so far.
Fees are up by more than one-third since the halving, which precipitated an increase in transaction costs of 105% over three days. Despite fees reaching their highest levels in nearly one year, current transaction costs are less than one-tenth of the all-time highs recorded at the end of 2017.
The run-up to Bitcoin’s second halving on July 9, 2016, saw fees increase roughly 200% from $0.081 on May 1, 2016, to a local peak at roughly $0.24 posted both during mid-June and late-July of that year.
Over the three days following Bitcoin’s second halving, fees fell by nearly 8%.
Bitcoin’s first halving on November 28, 2012, saw fees increase by 300% from Nov. 26 until Nov. 27, before crashing back to pre-halving levels within two days of block rewards decreasing.
Chinese Citizens Now Allowed To Inherit Cryptocurrency
The Thirteenth National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference has come to an end on May 28. According to Xinhua news, the same day the parliament passed a new civil code; a legislation package that includes protecting the civil rights of inheritance, marriage, property, personality, contract, and infringement.
The new code states: “When a natural person dies, the legacy is the personal legal property left by she/he.” Lixin Yang, a professor of Renmin University of China told China Central Television that this means “internet property and virtual currency will be inherited”. Dovey Wan, founding partner at Primitive Ventures also recently tweeted that Bitcoin users should care more about their
Bitcoin private keys, regardless of the new law. The new inheritance law, which allows China’s citizens to pass on their cryptocurrency and other virtual assets to their heirs, will come into effect on January 1, 2021, according to the report
The Analyst Who Helped Take Down Crypto Child Exploitation Site Honored
Criminal analyst, Kim Reece, has been nominated as a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for her efforts in shutting down a major child porn site. News of the nomination came on May 28. According to the announcement, Reece’s work led to an international criminal investigation of the largest dark web child pornography site in the world. This site used cryptocurrencies to cloak payments for more than one million video downloads.
This resulted in the arrest of the site’s leader, and more than 330 users. It also led to a coordinated effort with the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom to rescue 25 exploited children. Korean National Police also arrested Jong-Woo, one of the illicit project’s leaders, and seized the server used to run the illegal site.
According to the law enforcement agents behind the investigation, almost 8 TB of child sexual pornography content was seized. Drives contained more than 250,000 videos in total. The site generated profits from the sale of pornographic content using Bitcoin (BTC), with trades completed through a dedicated forum. According to the indictment on March 5, 2018, the site itself boasted over one million downloads by users.
Research indicates that each user received a unique BTC address when they created an account on the site. The platform generated around one million BTC addresses in total. Matthew T. Albence, Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director for the US ICE, praised Reece’s nomination, commenting:
“Even more important than this prestigious acknowledgment, however, is her continued dedication and use of her expertise to protect exploited children. The efforts of Ms. Reece and her interagency partners were instrumental to the takedown of this international criminal organization.”
Is There Evidence That Hal Finney Is Not Satoshi?
A tweet from 2010 may provide evidence that Hal Finney is not Satoshi Nakamoto. In a recent interview, Laszlo Hanyecz, who worked closely with Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010, said that Satoshi had no familiarity with the Mac ecosystem:
“He didn’t have a Macintosh. He didn’t know how to build it for Mac.”
Consequently, Satoshi asked him to develop a MacOS version of the Bitcoin client, which he eventually did.
However, a 2010 tweet from Hal Finney tells us that both Finney and his wife owned a Mac:
Although this is by no means incontrovertible evidence, it puts a dent in the theory that Hal Finney was either Satoshi or part of a team behind the pseudonym. However, there are ways to explain this inconsistency. If there were several individuals behind the creation of Bitcoin (BTC), it is possible that Hanyecz only communicated with one of several individuals. Perhaps the person overseeing the development of the client at that stage did not have a Mac.
Another possible explanation is that Satoshi did not believe development for the Mac ecosystem was a top priority, due to its limited market share. He may have therefore decided to delegate this task to Hanyecz so that he could focus on more urgent tasks himself. These theories seem to fall short when we consider that Hanyecz describes Satoshi as someone who was very controlling and borderline paranoid. It seems unlikely that he would delegate the development of the Mac client to an outsider if the team included Hal Finney — a seasoned developer who was likely capable of taking on the task himself.
Hal Finney’s famous tweet about mining Bitcoin also does not make sense in this context.
Satoshi’s writings confirm that the author was very careful to not reveal any personal information about themself. Would this same individual or team member make such a public statement about running Bitcoin? In addition, Finney had years to delete those tweets, but he never did. While this does not help solve the Satoshi mystery, it may allow us to eliminate one of the community’s most popular candidates.
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