For the first time in 2021 the collective Bitcoin network mempool cleared.
Some of you may be asking, "What does this mean?"
For a refresher on what mempools are and how they operate, I recommend you peep this rag from last April. If you're too lazy to peep that, the TLDR on mempools is that they are where unconfirmed transactions live within the full nodes that are providing consensus and validation to the network and its participants. Each node has its own mempool that keeps track of unconfirmed transactions that have been relayed to it and match a certain criteria as defined by the node operator or the out-of-the-repository code provided by Bitcoin Core and other implementations. When the mempool "clears" it means that every transaction in the world that was looking to get confirmed was included in a block. This happened this morning as our friend Jan points out.
"What does this mean?" You ask again. Well, it means that miners collected all of the unconfirmed transactions and included them in blocks. It may also signal that there is a relative drop in transaction activity. Let's check the chart.
Yup. It certainly looks like there has been a drop in transaction count down to levels not seen since late 2018.
"Why is that, Uncle Marty?"
Can't really say for sure but I'd wager that it's a combination of many traders getting scared out of the market after the recent mass deleveraging event, big economic actors getting wiser with transaction batching, and many other market participants sitting in HODL mode after accumulating what they deem to be a sizable stack. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.
If you're looking to consolidate UTXOs or open up Lightning Channels today is a great day to get that done.