It was an eventful long weekend for Bitcoin. On Christmas Day, it reached a symbolic milestone when the 100 millionth transaction was recorded on its network.
The number of transactions per day has been steadily growing over time. The phenomenon is interpreted by some as evidence of the increasing adoption of Bitcoin, though most of the transactions are not commercial in nature.
During the past year, the growth profile is slightly steeper than linear; the count nearly doubled. Over a 5.5-year period, the total increased 100-fold.
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The other milestone reached on Christmas Day was that total circulation reaching 15 million coins. Based on a price of $455 at the time, Bitcoin’s market cap was $6.8 billion. It took roughly 9 months to create the last million; the next million will take longer as the reward level will be halving from 25 to 12.5 coins in the meantime.
The weekend also saw the bitcoin price tumble by as much as 11% before making a modest recovery. According to reported exchange data, new records for trade volume were set, though the figures cannot be verified. Over 90% of the reported volume was on Chinese exchanges. Bitcoin is up by 33% year-to-date.
Assuming bitcoin prices don’t crash, the total mining hash rate is on pace to reach the 1 EH/s (exahash per second; 1 EH = 1018 hashes, or encryption calculations) threshold in 2016.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the reward halving will be from 50 to 25 bitcoins. The halving will in fact be from 25 to 12.5 bitcoins.