It seems like the current rise in the Bitcoin price has begun to settle. The price has been rising sharply throughout December, but seems to have slowed and seems to be hovering around the $880 – $900 USD mark as of the early hours of Christmas day.
The sudden price rise, triggered by increased adoption, mining difficulty, and many Bitcoin startups and reduced supply in the market along with speculation and panic buying seems to have contributed to this increase. With a limit of 21 million tokens, it is likely such increases will continue as long as the Bitcoin network remains healthy.
It seems though despite the price rise the Bitcoin network has not experienced a significant increase in transactions during the time, the mempool size remaining relatively consistent. There have been blocks that are less than full even:
Antpool typically mine blocks that are less than full or sometimes do not include any transactions within them, pools of this kind should be avoided as they are putting profits before allowing peoples transactions in. The others are either not including transactions below a certain (high) fee or the network is simply not overloaded or at peak at this time, the size of the block by kano CKPool, 988 KB in size is a less than full block, and kano CKPool will always pack the blocks full of transactions if they are in the queue to the best it can up to the 1MB limit.
So it seems the transaction volume has not greatly increased with the price increase, although it will be interesting to see how the higher price drives more people to Bitcoin and increases transaction volumes. Now is the best time to deploy the Block Size fix SegWit, before adoption makes this more difficult to do.
It looks like the rapid rise has stabilized, time will tell if it holds well here or if it was a temporary pump. We will update as more information becomes available.