In brief

  • Bitcoin's price may have crashed but the network is still making progress.
  • The network is seeing more transactions and processing more money.
  • Trading volume has seen an uptick in recent weeks.

The Bitcoin price may be down but the network continues to get bigger. Here are seven ways the Bitcoin network is continuing to grow.

Making more Bitcoin transactions

Over the long term, the number of Bitcoin transactions continues to grow. Since the start of the year, the number of daily Bitcoin transactions has built up from 295,00 to recent highs of 340,000.

Bitcoin network sees a growth in transactions. Image: Blockchain.

In fact, the recent pressure was so big on the network that it amplified the recent market crash—which was triggered by a sudden drop in traditional markets.

While the number of transactions has seen a drop in the last few days, looking at the “All Time” graph, it shows that every time there is a significant drop in transaction count, it slowly builds up even higher.

More efficient Bitcoin transactions

When the levels of transactions peaked during the market crash, crypto exchange Coinbase found it hard to make transactions on behalf of its customers. As a result it started batching transactions.

Batching is the process of combining a bunch of transactions together to form one, more complicated, transaction. This reduces the strain on the Bitcoin blockchain and frees up space for everyone else.

According to one analyst, it may explain the recent drop in Bitcoin transactions—something that should make the network faster and cheaper.

More money transferred on Bitcoin

According to Blockchain, the amount of money, in US dollar value, moving across the Bitcoin network has been growing since the start of the year. The daily transaction volume has increased from a low of $640 million to a recent high of $1.9 million on March 15—a 200% rise.

More money is being transferred over the Bitcoin blockchain. Image: Blockchain.

Steady demand for Bitcoin mining machines

The Bitcoin mining industry is struggling at the moment. The Bitcoin hash rate—computing power keeping the network secure—has dropped as miners are leaving the network, since it’s less profitable now the prices are lower. And things are going to get worse, with the upcoming Bitcoin halving set to cut revenues in half.

But despite all of that, Bitcoin mining machines are still in high demand. On March 23, mining hardware giant Bitmain announced the start of sales of its latest Antminer S19 systems. The first batch was sold out in a matter of hours.

Number of Bitcoin wallets grows

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and price crash, the number of Bitcoin wallets continues to grow steadily, showing that people are continuing to join the network.

There are now more Bitcoin wallets than ever. Image: Blockchain.

Since January, Bitcoiners have created around 3 million more wallets on the network. The current total of all Bitcoin wallets is getting closer towards 50 million, and currently rests at 47 million.

Each wallet does not necessarily mean a new user. It’s trivial for anyone to create a new wallet—a public address as they’re known—or even hundreds of them at a time. Bitcoin exchanges do so regularly, such as creating new deposit addresses each time someone sends money to their account.

But it still shows the growing adoption and use of the Bitcoin network.

A surge in trading volume

Bitcoin trading volume reflects how many people are trading the cryptocurrency, either buying or selling it. And it’s been picking up in recent weeks.

As Blockchain shows, Bitcoin’s USD trade volume surged in mid-March, reaching around $685 million a day.

There has been an uptick in trading volume. Image: Blockchain.

It’s not just big centralized exchanges. Bitcoin trading volume on the peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins has recently experienced its biggest surge of the year. At the end of February, volume stood at around 491 Bitcoin per day. By mid-March, that figure had increased to 540 Bitcoin, worth $3.6 million today.

The same can be seen around the world. After the Venezuelan entire national banking system was shut amid the coronavirus outbreak, Bitcoin trading has soared in the country.

In Colombia, for example, Bitcoin trading volume went from 289 BTC to 403 BTC in just one week in the midst of the pandemic, which are figures not seen in the country since mid-2019. In Argentina, traders broke the weekly barrier of 50 BTC—a milestone that has been reached fewer than 10 times in the last three years.

Spikes in Google searches for Bitcoin

The price of Bitcoin may be down but searches have seen a big spike upwards.

On Google, searches for Bitcoin doubled since the start of this month, rising to a peak on March 12, when Bitcoin’s price dropped 20%.

There was a spike in search volume for Bitcoin. Image: Google Trends.

A similar pattern was seen in the East too. The number of Bitcoin-related searches on the Chinese search engine Baidu increased by 183% in March, according to the Baidu index.