An account with a large amount of Bitcoin, i.e., a whale, sent approximately 44,000 Bitcoins worth USD 310 million on 24 November. The most remarkable thing about this massive transaction is that the transaction fee was a mere BTC 0.00004551, equivalent to USD 0.32.

Every Bitcoin transaction requires a transaction fee, which is paid to the miners who secure the network. Generally, miners will prioritize transactions that pay a higher fee. What constitutes a good fee can differ and depends on what others are paying, but could be as high as USD 1 when the network is experiencing high demand, and can rarely be as high as USD 5-10 during periods of extreme congestion — when requiring confirmation in the next block. However, in recent weeks, the Bitcoin network has been operating at maximum efficiency, and mean transaction fees have been well below USD 1.

This transaction is proof that Bitcoin is perhaps the cheapest way to send large amounts of money. Additionally, Bitcoin facilitates instant and secure payments which cannot be frozen or reversed. This is in sharp contrast to fiat-based payment methods which are centralized and can be reversed, are not instant, and often charge percentage fees when sending large amounts of money.

For example, wire transfers commonly charge 0.5% to 2% fees, which would come out to somewhere between USD 1.55 million and USD 6.2 million of fees for a USD 310 million transaction. In comparison, the fee this particular Bitcoin whale paid was 0.00000010327%.

In other words, using Bitcoin saved this whale from possibly millions of dollars of transaction fees, and is a case example of how efficient the Bitcoin network is relative to fiat payment methods.

 

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