Bitcoin Had A Great 2018
In the eyes of many consumers, especially those without a vested interest in the cryptocurrency industry, Bitcoin (BTC) has had a terrible year. Since establishing its all-time high at $20,000, the leading digital asset has fallen to low valuations, as its altcoin brethren followed. In fact, BTC fell so far that it lost 84.5% of its peak value just weeks back.
However, many, including Armin Van Bitcoin and other leading crypto insiders, have argued that the world’s first blockchain well outperformed its falling valuation. Jameson Lopp, the chief technology officer at Casa and a leading Bitcoiner, issued a Medium post on the matter, compiling pertinent data about the fundamental performance of the aforementioned crypto.
What follows are key data points, coupled with analysis and related stories.
- BTC Proclaimed Dead 90 Times In 2018: As compiled by 99Bitcoins, BTC has been proclaimed dead over 90 times. This figure, interestingly, is down from 2017’s all-time high of 125 but is still up drastically from the 28 obituaries posted in 2016. A notable obituary was issued by Erik Finman, the world’s first public teenage Bitcoin millionaire, who told MarketWatch that he believes BTC will perish after one or two more bull runs.
- /r/bitcoin Subreddit Saw 61% Growth Throughout ’18: Reddit’s in-house Bitcoin community grew by 380,000 throughout 2018 — which amounts to a 61% growth figure for all of 2018. And while this is down from 2017’s growth stat of ~200%, 61% is still impressive, especially considering the fact that BTC tumbled by 70% during that same time period. The forum surpassed one million subscribers in early-December.
- BTC Market Dominance Now Sits At 52%, After Falling To 32.5%: Throughout 2018, BTC market dominance has returned to above 50% after altcoins ran in 2017.
- SegWit Adoption Rose From 10% To 40%: SegWit, deemed a short-term scaling solution that reduces the size of transactions, saw a substantial amount of adoption in 2018. Now, 40% of all Bitcoin transactions utilize the protocol, up from 10% at 2017’s start.
- Lightning Network Capacity Has Gone From Nothing To 500 BTC: Throughout 2018, the Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling solution that facilitates low-cost, near-instant, scalable, and secure transactions, went live. The scaling solution has since swelled to hold 500 BTC at maximum capacity. Just recently, pseudonymous crypto-friendly artist CryptoGraffiti sold a micro-painting of a Black Swan made of U.S. dollars, likely a jab at the centralized financial system and Bitcoin’s potential, on the Lightning Network for $0.000000037 — or 0.000000001 BTC.
- Hashrate Doubled Throughout 2018: In spite of the rumors that Bitcoin is poised to enter a “death spiral” due to capitulating miners, the hashrate of the network only doubled throughout 2018, from 19 to 38 exahashes per second. It would now take 270 days for an attacker with 100% of current hashrates to rewrite the entire blockchain.
- $410 Billion Was Transacted In BTC During ’18: Over $410 billion worth of BTC was reportedly transacted on the network throughout the past year. This averages out to about $13,000 per second. Wow!
- Bitcoin Trading Volumes Dropped, But Some Nations Saw An Explosion: Although trading volumes dropped across the board, in nations like Colombia, India, Peru, and Venezuela, volumes moved parabolically on LocalBitcoins. This statistic was recently pointed out by Andreas Antonopoulos, who claimed that cryptocurrencies and BTC are a great way to protect capital in currency crises, like with the Venezuelan Bolivar.
- The Number of Bitcoin-Friendly ATMs Doubled: The number of Bitcoin-centric automated teller machines (BATMs) doubled in 2018 to 4,000, giving consumers another medium to cash-in and cash-out of the cryptosphere. 2018’s ~100% growth in BATMs “continues a three-year trend of 100% year-over-year growth,” as put by Lopp. And while a recent Twitter poll revealed that less than 20% of people have used this form of crypto infrastructure, many have lauded BATMs as a way to catalyze global adoption, making this statistic bullish beyond compare.