One of the most clearcut use cases for Bitcoin is its unprecedented value for transferring large sums of value. As a censorship-resistant and decentralized network, transferring value between two parties is exceedingly faster, cheaper, and safer than traditional systems.
WhaleAlert consistently provides Twitter notifications of massive value transfers on the Bitcoin network that are continually jarring. While WhaleAlert does offer on-chain notifications for other networks including Ethereum and recently added XRP, Bitcoin retains a significant preference over the others for large value transfers.
Whale Numbers in October
So far in the first two weeks of October, the top 10 transactions — in the amount of BTC — on the Bitcoin network have accounted for 134,701 BTC, which is approximately $887,006,085. That number is only comprised of 10 transactions on the network, and they had an average fee of only $1.22.
Out of the top 10 transactions, the largest was 30,000 BTC (~ $197,550,000) which had a transaction fee of just $0.096. Out of the top 10 transactions, the smallest fee was $0.011 which was for a $46 million transfer. The largest fees were $3.29 for transaction amounts of $60 million, $53 million, and $48 million.
These numbers demonstrate one of the most obvious advantages of utilizing the Bitcoin network, large value transfers that settle in minutes. While this may seem out of touch with the mainstream — who will not be transacting in such large amounts — it represents the trust placed in the network for enormous sums of value. People not familiar with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should see this as a huge improvement over the traditional financial system, due to the finality, removal of intermediaries, and low fees associated with such transactions.
Comparatively, the largest transaction this month in BTC so far ($197,550,000) would take anywhere from 3 – 7 business days to clear (sometimes more) through an international bank wire. Further, the stated fee from the sending bank averages $40 in the U.S. and the hidden fees could reach thousands of dollars from the intermediary banks needed to help process the transfer.
Transfers through the legacy banking system are also subject to arbitrary delays and freezes. With Bitcoin, transactions are P2P and fully censorship-resistant. According to GoBitcoin, the cheapest 51 percent attack currently (accounting for hardware costs only) on the Bitcoin network would cost just under $10 billion, effectively making the network one of the most censorship-resistant systems in the world, if not the most.
There has never been a precedent for the secure and efficient value transfer offered by Bitcoin. The staggering amounts transferred with their associated low fees may be irrelevant at face value to many in the mainstream, but it is a vital gauge of the trust that people are placing in a financial network that exists entirely outside of the traditional financial system.