Today marks a milestone in Bitcoin’s history as exactly 11 years ago, the pseudonymous creator of the protocol, Satoshi Nakamoto, first published the white paper. It goes without saying that a lot has happened since then, so let’s have a figurative walk right down memory lane and see how the network improved.
Ever since Bitcoin was first introduced to the world, the network’s hashrate has been increasing steadily. Most of the gains in this respect, however, came after 2016 and 2017. That’s probably not a surprise, as it was in late December 2017 when Bitcoin hit its current all-time high value of $20,000 and interest towards it skyrocketed as well. This is how Bitcoin’s hashrate chart looks like:
At the time of this writing, it stands at upwards of 94 million TH/second, which the current all-time high. The hashrate represents the work that miners are required to do when guessing the enormous amount of numbers they need to go through in order to come up with a certain 64-digit hexadecimal number, also referred to as a nonce. It showcases the growth of the network, as well as its increased security.
Unique Addresses And Transaction Value
Another interesting thing to note is that the number of unique Bitcoin addresses is also on its way up. However, we can also see that this particular number is more correlated to Bticoin’s price, which is perhaps to be expected. As the price goes up, Bitcoin becomes more popular among the mainstream and more people want to get involved mostly in order not to miss out. Hence, the number of unique addresses is also going up.
We would also want to mention that the estimated transaction value on Bitcoin’s blockchain is increasing through the years.
The following chart depicts the numbers and we can see that on October 29th the estimated value of the transactions carried out on Bitcoin’s blockchain was upwards of 129,000 BTC. For comparison, this number ranged between 0 and 10,000 for the first couple of years since Bitcoin was introduced.
Other Important Fundamentals
Chain metrics are definitely to be considered but they’re not the only thing that counts. We’ll steer aside from the most obvious development in Bitcoin, which is undoubtedly its price, despite the fact that it’s usually the one thing that people are most interested in.
Bitcoin has gone a long way in the past 10 years and people are starting to recognize it for some of its inherent qualities. For once, Bitcoin’s scarcity is one of the reasons for which the cryptocurrency is commonly compared to gold and has even been referred to as “digital gold.” A prominent endorsement in this direction came from the chair of the US Federal Reserve, who acknowledged that Bitcoin is a store of value, just like gold.
Going forward, we also saw serious developments in terms of trading infrastructure. We now have Bakkt, the Bitcoin futures trading platform geared to deliver institutions with regulated warehousing and trading experience.
Interesting developments are also coming from the Lightning Network project – a layer-two scalability solution for Bitcoin’s network. Its capacity is already more than 826 BTC or around $7.4 million at the time of this writing, boasting upwards of 35,000 channels.
In general, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of improvements and developments around Bitcoin which took place over the past 10 years. It’s particularly interesting to see whether they will continue with this pace and if we’d really see Satoshi’s vision coming to life and Bitcoin becoming a mainstream payment method.