Fees keep going up. And every time they go up, more of the money stored on the blockchain becomes worthless.
Over 3000 BTC, worth over $4M, is stored in “coins” (or “utxos”) whose value is too low to be spent in a normal transaction without incurring fees greater than the value of the “coin”.
If fees were back at January 2017 levels, only half as much stored BTC would be worthless. Bitcoin is eating itself.
When you send bitcoin, you destroy some of the coins in your wallet and create new coin(s) for your recipient. All ~16 million existing BTC live in coins that each hold anywhere from 0 BTC to thousands of BTC:
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