Bitcoin (BTC) Network Moves over $3.3T Worth of Coins in 2018

The exact account for the transfer of economic value is somewhat different as a lot of transactions are merely the movement of funds between exchange wallets.

The Bitcoin (BTC) network carried transactions worth $3.3 trillion in 2018, shows data by Satoshi Capital Research spreading on social media. The dollar amount is six times the funds that went through PayPal last year.

In the past three months, the speed of moving Bitcoin increased, and transactions picked up. However, it is difficult to say which transfers represented the exchange of value and which were mere technicalities. As for PayPal, it is mostly used for small-scale transactions and has limitations for some of the accounts due to anti-money-laundering regulations.

Exchanges have been known to move funds between hot and cold wallets or to new cold wallets for extra security. In addition, “whale” traders also account for a significant portion of transactions, in case they want to move funds to a new market or between wallets. The other reason for the skewed accounting of economic value exchanged is the fact that each BTC transfer involves two transactions, in which the unspent balance is returned to a new address.

In 2018, using Bitcoin for spending purposes was abandoned by many merchants, mostly due to price volatility but also because of speed and transaction costs. Merchants also have little time to wait for confirmations, so the only viable way to adopt crypto assets is to use zero-confirmation transactions. This may be risky for some assets as it would allow for double-spending.

The exact number of Bitcoin transactions also varies depending on the reporting tool. Blocktivity regularly reports above 700,000 in 24 hours, while Bitinfocharts reports around 315,000 in a day. Also, Bitcoin adoption has proven difficult even for crypto enthusiasts as wallets are still relatively difficult to use.

At the same time, Bitcoin mining and node counts have remained robust, showing that the network is still attractive to miners. With the wet season in China approaching and hydroelectric power about to become more abundant, mining may pick up again in the coming weeks.

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