In the last 24 hours, the Ethereum blockchain processed over 44% more transactions that the Bitcoin blockchain, confirming a grand total of 477,780 to Bitcoin’s 331,556.
Additionally, the number of pending transactions on Ethereum oscillated from under 30 to over 300 while the figure for Bitcoin tended to hover around the 39,000 to 47,000 range.
Segwit2x, a proposed hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain, aimed to shorten transaction processing times through a series of adjustments, including increasing block size from 1MB to 2MB. The contentious plan divided the Bitcoin community, leading to bitter arguments within the Bitcoin commentariat. Eventually, convinced that they would not be able to muster adequate support, some of SegWit2x’s most prominent and well-resourced backers called the fork off.
Following the announcement, Ether experienced a moderate spike in its value, though it remains to be seen whether Bitcoin users will defect to Ethereum as a result of SegWit2x’s defeat.
A soft fork called SegWit, executed with the mining of block #481824 on August 24, 2017, contained some changes to Bitcoin’s constituent code that could enable faster confirmation times, including by making the blockchain more compatible with second-layer solutions that could take some activity off the primary chain. However, since August, the Bitcoin blockchain has confirmed no more than 356,985 transactions in a single day. Forthcoming second layer applications may eventually help Bitcoin compete with Ethereum’s transaction processing rate.