Bitcoin – 2023 in numbers

Here is an anthology of figures putting the year 2023 for bitcoin into perspective. Fifteen years already.

Bitcoin 2023

Like every year, cypherpunk Jameson Lopp took stock of the year in publishing a series of metric data about bitcoin. Here are a few :

-Countries where searches for the word “bitcoin” were the highest on Google:

1) Salvador (the first country to make bitcoin a currency in its own right)
2) Nigeria (the first country to try to impose CBDC on its population)
3) Brazil
4) Netherlands
5) Switzerland

-More than 95 million tweets containing the word “bitcoin”. Down 9% compared to 2022.

-Bitcoin’s market share increased from 40% to 53%. In fact, bitcoin’s dominance is actually 75% if we exclude stablecoins.

-The market capitalizations of the most popular hard forks, BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision) and BCH (Bitcoin Cash), represent only 0.1% and 0.5% of that of bitcoin.

-BTC trading volume has remained calm, around $4 billion per day.

(This figure does not take into account the amounts corresponding to the change given when one or more utxos are spent).

-Hashrate increased by over 102%. It now exceeds 500 EH/s.

-The size of the blockchain increased by 20.6%, from 446 GB to 537 GB.

-The number of transactions on the Lightning Network has increased 12-fold over the past two years. The Lightning Network processes however, half as many transactions as bitcoin.

-The number of “reachable” nodes (generally full nodes which hold all the blocks) has increased by 7%. There are 16,446 of them.

On the other hand, there are more than 65,000 “pruned” nodes (which only contain the last blocks) which show an increase of 38% from one year to the next!

-Node bandwidth doubled.

The typical reachable node has fairly limited outgoing bandwidth. The reason being that most nodes are operated from homes which usually have very limited capacity to send data.

Additionally, around 60% of accessible nodes operate on the Tor network, which is quite slow by design. It is quite possible that the end of the 2022 attacks against Tor explains the increase in bandwidth.

-Revenues earned by miners thanks to transaction fees have increased by 400% compared to 2022. Or $2 million per day on average. Compare with the block reward of 6.5 BTC ($39 million per day at current prices).

This increase in transaction fees is caused by the ddos ​​registration attack.

Normally, fees represent between 2% and 4% of miners’ income. These figures will double after the halving.

-Miners raised $10 billion. These billions come in addition to the 57 billion dollars collected over the previous fourteen years.

(These figures assume that miners instantly sell mined bitcoins)

-Address reuse (to be avoided) increased from 48% in 2022 to 70% in 2023. This trend appears to coincide with the ddos ​​attack on BRC-20 token registrations in bitcoin transactions.

-The percentage of SegWit transactions increased from 85% to 97%.

As a reminder, the SegWit soft fork changed the block size from 1 MB to 1 vMB. The v means “virtual”. From now on, part of the transaction data (the signatures) is segregated in a separate section which benefits from a reduction.

The rule is that a byte located in this new section called “witness” weighs and costs four times less than outside it. Basically, blocks created by miners who have adopted SegWit can accommodate twice as many transactions.

By the way, we discovered today that this was not a good idea since scammers are squatting in the inexpensive space of the witness to accommodate the ordinals.

-The average value of transactions was $15 compared to $90 the previous year. The reason being that many transactions only serve to make ponzi-backed registrations that fill the blocks and/or the utxo set and the mempool.

-Nearly 53 million registrations were housed in the blockchain, or 20% of the space used in the blocks. These registrations require completing transactions that yielded 5,327 BTC out of a total of 23,445 BTC in transaction fees.

-The utxo set increased from 83.5 million utxo to 150 million. Or two new utxos per second on average.

The indigestible expression “utxo” refers to scripts (small pieces of code) that link an amount of bitcoin to a bitcoin address (the address is a public key encoding). Your wallet contains as many utxos as you have received transactions. A utxo can be 0.0012 BTC, 1235 BTC, etc.

-The number of OP_RETURN transactions decreased by 5% in 2023 (1,860,000).

OP_RETURN allows you to add 80 bytes of arbitrary data to a transaction. The particularity of these transactions is that the utxo created is non-spendable (the BTC are then lost forever).

These utxos therefore do not need to be in the utxo set. In other words, it is a good way to store data in the blockchain since the nodes can prune it. OP_RETURN is used in particular to timestamp data.

Ordinal sellers do not use OP_RETURN due to lack of space to accommodate a jpeg. At the same time, the bitcoin blockchain is not a jpeg parking lot anyway.

-Addresses containing more than 1 BTC marked a new record. There are more than a million of them.

-Bitcoin transaction propagation time increased by 10%. A transaction takes on average almost five seconds to reach half of the network’s nodes.

This slowdown is intentional according to Jameson Lopp: “Nodes purposely wait randomly to relay transactions to improve network privacy.”

-The number of bitcoins on exchanges fell by 2%, to 2,327,590 BTC.

Most people only look at the value of bitcoin which is sure to rise in the wake of the ETF approval. But many other metrics exist to gauge its relentless growth.

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