Monday, December 31, 2012

Bitcoin in 2012: By the Numbers

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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all the Bitcoiners out there, and may your 2013 be full of independent financial awesomeness!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Got the Smarts? Put your Bitcoins on the Line at BitTrivia.com

So, there I was, sitting at BitTrivia.com thinking to myself, "more people need to know about this site!"

Opened just two days ago, BitTrivia is exactly what it sounds like, a site where you can put your Bitcoins on the line against others in a no-holds-barred trivia competition. Got the smarts but never had an opportunity to cash-in on your talent? Now you can!



BitTrivia's design is intuitive and enjoyable, giving competitors a satisfying multiplayer experience. I've attended a few trivia nights at the local bar, and I would say that BitTrivia's bank of questions is a little easier than what you would find in a real life trivia competition, with the occasional stumper mixed in with the usual trivia fare.

The site takes a 10% cut of the prize-money, which can be as much as you're willing to bet, multiplied by the number of players who match your bet. If you're not feeling overly brainy, you can bet as little as you wish, but your winnings will never be more than you're willing to risk. Deposits are instant and withdrawals are as well, as long as your deposit has a single confirmation against it.

Update: the site now lets you play on your own!  If you get a question right, you automatically win 0.001 BTC - a great way to earn Bitcoins if you don't already have some.

I suspect the Bitcoin-backed online gaming scene has a lot of room to grow; BitTrivia is definitely a good example of its potential.

Friday, December 14, 2012

25 Bitcoins per Block - Not Enough for Some Miners

On the 28th of November, the reward for solving a Bitcoin block dropped from 50 Bitcoins to 25 as the first of several programmed Bitcoin inflation controls kicked in. There was rampant speculation on what the immediate repercussions would be at the time of the halving, with some expecting an immediate jump in the exchange rate, and others thinking that miners all over would begin turning off their rigs.

Neither of those predictions came to pass on the 28th, but they might have been correct after all.

Over the last two weeks, the exchange rate has indeed climbed, from about $12.25 USD to $13.50 today. Additionally, the network hash rate has begun to drop off, with the first decrease seen in more than six months. The current difficulty is 3,370,182, and the next could very well be south of 3,000,000, as predicted by the algorithms at BitcoinX at the time of this posting.

The question is, what happens next? My opinion is that we should continue looking to outside influences to determine how the next chapter will play out. Evidently, Bitcoin's popularity is beginning to grow rapidly, which will eventually take the exchange rate, and the difficulty, to new highs in the very new future. What we're seeing today is Bitcoin taking a short breather before the next ramp up, so hang on!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Email Address Fixed

If any of you were trying to get a hold of me over the last couple of months at gowest@thebitcointrader.com, I apologize; the address wasn't working.  It's working again.