Top 10 Bitcoin Statistics

By Jon Matonis,
Jul 31st, 2012 | 3 min read

The concept of a decentralized cryptocurrency without political borders can be challenging at first. Bitcoin forces us to adjust the way that we think about money and value transfer. Fortunately, the bitcoin community has been excellent at consolidating informational data through a loosely-integrated group of dedicated volunteers.

Here are the top 10 bitcoin statistics in no particular order. I have intentionally omitted certain statistics like bitcoin miners' revenue and mining operating margin because they focus on a subset of the user community. Also, I have tried to provide alternate data sources where available to broaden the statistic's usefulness. If you don't see your favorite listed here or if I have missed any important statistics or charts, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.

1. Market Capitalization - This displays the historical number of total bitcoins in existence multiplied by the exchange rate for that day in US Dollars. It can be considered the bitcoin monetary base.

2. Price Chart - This chart displays the last trade price for bitcoin (BTC) against a number of currencies and ranks the exchanges by 30-day volume. Advanced charting capability is provided here. The price depth chart of BTC/USD on the MtGox exchange is usually the best indication of overall market price.

3. Exchange Volume Distribution - This pie chart displays trading volume distribution by exchange and by various bitcoin currency pairs.

4. Network Hashing Rate - This displays hashing difficulty and the estimated number of Giga hashes per second (computation speed) that the network is performing for various time windows. Calculated by dividing maximum target by current target where target is a 256-bit number, difficulty measures how difficult it is to find a new block compared to the easiest it can ever be. Difficulty adjusts every 2016 blocks (or two weeks) and to find a block, the SHA-256 hash of a block's header must be lower than or equal to the current target for the block to be accepted by the network.

5. Hash Rate Distribution - This pie chart is an estimation of hash rate distribution amongst the largest mining pools. It is important to monitor because the integrity of the network depends on a single actor not exceeding 50% of the overall hashing power. A more detailed alternate chart using a different data source, IP address that first relayed the block, is Block Origin.

6. Number of Daily Transactions - This chart displays the total number of unique bitcoin transactions per day. An alternate version is also provided that excludes transactions with the top 100 popular bitcoin addresses based on number of outputs. The advent of Satoshi Dice has probably been most responsible for the surge in nominal transaction count since late April.

7. Daily Transaction Volume - This measures the estimated transaction volume per day in US Dollars. An alternate graph visualizes bitcoin network activity in real-time, including transactions, block creation, and currency trade measured in BTC.

8. Bitcoin Days Destroyed - Applying a 7-day average to the non-cumulative chart calculation, Bitcoin Days Destroyed for any given transaction is calculated by taking the number of bitcoin in a transaction and multiplying it by the number of days it has been since those coins were last spent. Bitcoin Days Destroyed attempts to provide a reliable indication of transaction volume that strips out transfers to oneself and immediate account reorganizations since a high value for days destroyed indicates less hoarding and more old bitcoin on the move. It can be considered a measure of monetary velocity. The cumulative version can be found here.

9. Average Transaction Confirmation Time - This measures the average (mean) amount of time in minutes that it takes for a transaction to be accepted into a block. Reasonable estimates differ on the amount of time and confirmations for a transaction to be considered cleared and 'good' but that appropriate risk level would be associated with the transaction's value. Also, see this excellent chart that displays transactions with fees paid against those with no fees paid.

10. Largest Recent Transactions - Culled from the last 50,000 transactions, this top 100 list gives an indication of actual transaction sizes in bitcoin occurring on the network.

Another useful site with real-time statistics and tools that I like is provided by Bitcoin Block Explorer.

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I cover payments, cryptography, and digital currencies.