State of the Coin 2012


Dec 3, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)


State of the Coin 2012
Jeff Garzik <
Bitcoin core developer
pynode, pybond (distributed bond project),
cpuminer, pushpool, python-bitcoinrpc, …
Linux kernel hacker
Dunvegan Space Systems

Bitcoin development
Like trying to fix and upgrade a car,
While the car is going 100 m.p.h.,
With users fighting over the driver's seat,
Including one big burly driver named
All of whom do not really listen to the mechanic,
Who will lose all their money if the car crashes.
And this is what we call fun!

Bitcoin reference client changes

User interface rewritten, using Qt

Internal test suite greatly improved; embedded in testnet chain

IPv6, SOCKS5, Tor/I2P hidden service

Native p2pool support (getblocktemplate, then BIP 22)

Better P2P peer selection (“addrman”)

Pay-to-script-hash (“P2SH”)

Multi-Signature transactions are now standard

Tightening validation of transactions, blocks

Raw transaction RPC API

Block download speed-up (better, but still painful)

Transaction fees – sort by fee-per-kB

Digital signatures for external messages (prove key ownership)

Key import, export; improved support for external wallets

Bitcoin ecosystem

How to quantify success, or failure?

Many premature predictions, from sources
who should know better

Use precise metrics (see next slides)

How long does it take to bootstrap a new currency
from scratch?

#FAIL: “The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin”, Wired
Magazine, November 2011

Bitcoin network “horsepower”

December 2009:
0.008 Ghash/sec

December 2010:
103 Ghash/sec

December 2011:
8,303 Ghash/sec

September 2012:
19,284 Ghash/sec

Number of transactions, by year





Bitcoins sent, by year

35 trillion BTC

1,925 trillion BTC

29,497 trillion BTC

60,896 trillion BTC

Bitcoin value ($USD), by year

July 2010:
$0.04 (first mtgox quote)

January 2011:
$0.30 (pre-bubble)

January 2012:
$5.26 (post-bubble)

September 2012:

Bitcoin ecosystem

Pools: more diverse. deepbit no longer has 50%+ network
strength. Try p2pool!

Businesses: Bitpay signed their 1,000th merchant. Plenty
of new interest.

Government: BitInstant is a registered MSB with FinCEN

Users: Difficult to estimate, but probably over 500,000 at
this point.

Exchanges: Learning lessons. Trial by fire. MtGox still
volume and transparency leader.

Websites: Plenty of new interest (including thieves)

Interlude: Bitcoin website best

Try it first on testnet

Create testnet version of your product

Wallet encryption at all times

Multi-signature transactions

Withdrawal delays

Withdrawal alarms

Download these slides from:
Project plugs:

Distributed bonds (pybond)

Bitcoins in space! (cubesat)