The all-time total of transaction fees collected by miners has just exceeded USD 1 billion. Most of this USD 1 billion has been collected in just the past three years, since before 2017 activity on the Bitcoin network was much lower relative to now.
When sending Bitcoin, a small fee is required, and this averages around USD 1 currently, but for most of Bitcoin’s history, the fee has often been as little as USD 0.01. This fee is paid to miners, in order to incentivize miners to continue securing the network. Unlike with fiat payment methods that often charge a percentage fee when sending money, Bitcoin only charges a small flat fee no matter if you are sending USD 10 or USD 1 billion.
This milestone indicates that the Bitcoin network is highly active, and also indicates that miners will have a revenue stream in the future even as block rewards approach zero. Essentially, increasing cumulative transaction fees across the Bitcoin network guarantees that the Bitcoin network will continue to be secure long term, since miners will earn enough revenue from transaction fees alone once there are no more block rewards.
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