Bitcoin has continued to record blocks larger than 3 MB, with many blocks near the 4 MB range as ordinal inscriptions approach the 150,000 mark. As of February 19, 2023, the number of ordinal inscriptions embedded into the Bitcoin blockchain is approximately 145,630, according to Bitcoin.com News. This marks a significant increase in demand since the end of January, where the number of ordinal inscriptions was around 100,000.
As the number of ordinal inscriptions increases, the average block size has also increased. The average block size is calculated by adding up the total of all block sizes mined in a day and dividing the total by 144, which is the average number of blocks mined daily. On February 12, 2023, the average block size reached a high of 2.525 MB. Since then, the average block size has decreased to 2.114 MB on February 18, 2023.
Along with the increase in average block size, there has been an increase in blocks larger than 3 MB being mined. Statistics from blockchair.com show that a long list of blocks that are 3.75 MB or larger has been mined, including block heights #774,628, #777,302, #776,310, #777,320, and #777,303, all of which are 3.93 MB or larger. All of these blocks larger than 3.75 MB have been mined in February.
Despite the increase in block size, the average on-chain fees for Bitcoin have remained stable. After a 122% increase in average fee costs during the first week of February 2023, the average fee has remained the same over the last few weeks and is currently at $1.77 per transfer. On February 15, 2023, BTC fees did increase to a high of $2.465 per transfer. However, as of February 18, 2023, median-sized fees are roughly 0.00003 BTC or $0.744 per transfer, which is within the range of the average fee.
The increase in the number of ordinal inscriptions and block size has been attributed to increased demand for Bitcoin, which has been driven by various factors, including geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainty, and institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is currently the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a market cap of over $1 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap. Despite its volatile nature, Bitcoin has continued to attract investors and traders, with many experts predicting further growth in the coming years.
As the demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continues to grow, it remains to be seen how this will impact the blockchain and its capacity to handle increased transaction volumes. However, for now, Bitcoin continues to record blocks larger than 3 MB, and the number of ordinal inscriptions embedded into the blockchain continues to rise.