Bitcoin has reached a historic milestone of half a billion proceeded transactions. But what exactly does it mean for the cryptocurrency world?
The leading cryptocurrency, according to market capitalization, is recently going through a prosperous period. Bitcoin’s price is the highest since last summer, and the ongoing bull run is apparently going to continue. And recently, we have heard about another good news: the number of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain reached the remarkable milestone of half a billion transactions. Does that mean we are on a good way to spread the idea of decentralized money even further?
The first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain was made eleven years ago when Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 bitcoins to his fellow developer Hal Finney. This historical moment takes the first decentralized currency from the theory to practice, setting up the roads for the first commercial transaction (pizzas bought by Laszlo Hanyecz for 10,000 BTC) and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Many things have changed since those days. Nakamoto went dark, and Finney passed out due to complications of ALS. But their work not only survived but grew to be the most successful use of blockchain technology, popularizing the idea of decentralized assets. Already in 2011, about 2 million transactions were made, with an average of 5 thousand transactions per day.
And now, nine years later, we have reached an overwhelming number of 500 million, with 3,77 transactions per second. The good news came from the statoshi.info website, which is monitoring the activity on Bitcoin blockchain. The information was given by the creator of the website, Jamesson Lop:
A functional means of payment?
Such a milestone is undoubtedly a good reason to celebrate. The impressive amount of delivered transactions prove that Bitcoin is both a popular and effective asset, and its position in the modern economy is undeniable. But does this achievement really stand for its efficiency as a means of payment?
Among this tremendous number of transactions, many of these are related to the maintenance of the blockchain network itself. We can’t precisely tell how many of them are related to commercial applications, which would ensure the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
The dark side of the blockchain
We also shouldn’t forget about the less desirable part of that half a billion transactions. Since its introduction, Bitcoin has become an interesting tool for some criminal activities. Tax evasion, money laundering, or trading with illegal goods have become much easier when it comes to using decentralized, untraceable money.
The times of the most infamous criminal activities related to bitcoins, like the darknet marketplace Silk Road, appear to be gone, for the time being, thanks to introduced regulations and the industry development. But it doesn’t mean that the precedent of using bitcoins for shady businesses has gone forever.
According to the New York Times, the value of cryptocurrencies spent on various darknet marketplaces reached $601 million in the last three months of 2019. Of course, this data refers not only to bitcoins, but every other cryptocurrency used there – but still, the Satoshi Nakamoto’s coin is a popular one for illicit payments.
A persistent hope
But those less bright sides of the Bitcoin environment do not diminish the success of half a billion transactions. From the perspective of the decade of its activity, the first cryptocurrency achieved much, and it is still continually pushing forward. This achievement is just another proof that the cryptocurrencies have settled in the world of the modern economy and will not leave soon. And the growing popularity, along with the constant development of the industry, may soon make Bitcoin payments easy and universal – just as Satoshi and Hal dreamed ten years ago.
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