Our humble digital currency continued to show resilience in 2012, growing in all respects and steadily building its user base. The expression "slow and steady" is a fitting descriptor; let's take a look at the stats:
The rate of downloads of the main client increased slightly toward the latter half of the year, with approximately 70,000 per month.
The number of users of the popular "My Wallet" service provided by blockchain.info has grown nearly exponentially, especially over the last month. Blockchain.info arguably has the most user-friendly mobile app for Bitcoin, which has likely contributed to the success shown in this chart.
Another popular client, MultiBit, receives approximately 200 downloads per day (6000 per month), which is quite respectable.
Always a favourite statistic is the exchange rate. Over the past year Bitcoin's value when compared to the US Dollar, and most other currencies, increased steadily, though there was a large spike and subsequent dip in August.
Interestingly, the current market cap is actually at a peak for 2012, exceeding the spike in August. This can be attributed to the fact that tens of thousands of Bitcoins have been introduced into the economy since August, though now at the slower rate of 25 per block.
Bitcoindata.net has been tracking several other statistics, including the number of items listed at Bitmit (an auction site that operates in Bitcoin), the number of users at Ogrr (an MMORPG marketplace), and the number of views of the "What is Bitcoin" YouTube video. All three of these have shown steady growth over the past year.
Bitcointalk forum membership growth and subscribers to the Bitcoin sub-reddit are also increasing steadily (charts again courtesy of Bitcoindata.net):
In the online gambling scene, things appear to be looking up as well. Bitcoin's top poker site, SealswithClubs, is gaining new users on a daily basis, with attendance at the tables on the rise:
Even the Bitcoin discussion on the TwoPlusTwo forums, the most popular poker discussion forum on the 'net, has 3,000 posts and 165,000 views!
Other notable stats:
Bets made at SatoshiDice.com: 2,354,830
Merchants using Bit-Pay: 1000+ in 98 countries (as of Sept 2012)
All-in-all, a very impressive year for Bitcoin. Here's to an even stronger performance in 2013!