Bitcoin’s tremendous performance isn’t limited only to the crypto market where it is trying to cross the $11,000 benchmark. The trending decentralized cryptocurrency has impressively achieved a milestone by surpassing 1 million daily active addresses.
Previously, bitcoin managed such huge user participation in November 2017. The data shows that almost 10 days ago, there were only about half a million active addresses. Over a short span of time, along with the positive developments in the crypto market that are floating bullish sentiments regarding the price of bitcoin, the participation from users experienced a marvelous increase.
Bitcoin compelling over a million users to remain active on the network is a delightful development for bitcoin enthusiasts all over the world. Now, they can easily respond with evidence to the adversaries of bitcoin who claim that only a handful uses bitcoin.
Kevin Rooke, a journalist and a cryptocurrency analyst who keeps notice of fundamentals of different cryptocurrency such as Daily Active Users (DAU), was the first one to notice the milestone achieved by bitcoin and sarcastically address the people disbelieving bitcoin’s popularity.
While comparing both occasions when bitcoin broke 1 million addresses, he revealed that the median transaction fee has dropped substantially. While in 2017 the transaction fee was about $3.23, at present, it has lowered down to about $1.33 only.
When Bitcoin first broke 1 million active addresses (Nov 27, 2017), 1 BTC was $9,352 and the median tx fee was $3.23.
Yesterday 1 BTC was $8,230 and the median tx fee was $1.33.
— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) June 15, 2019
As mentioned earlier, Rooke keeps an eye over different parameters related to cryptocurrency, he notified in 2018 that only 27 cryptocurrencies had over 400 active addresses. Recently, he enlightened on the daily user traffic on the crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase. He informed that site traffic to both exchanges hit new highs in the month of May. Up by 16%, Binance managed to attract 1.37 million visits in a day and Coinbase with 23% surge saw 1.14 million visits in a single day. A few weeks back, regarding bitcoin’s trading volume, he revealed that bitcoin on chain transaction volume was over $60 billion.
Although bitcoin’s capability to mark billions in trading volume and millions of active users is quite a positive sign for mass adoption, this surely is not the best for the world already burdened with the environmental issues such as global warming. As per the research of Technical University of Munich (TUM), bitcoin is contributing about 22 megatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. The research tells that this amount of CO2 is comparable to the total emissions of cities such as Hamburg or Las Vegas.
Bitcoin is a virtually programmed currency but the process of bitcoin mining, an energy-intensive process for making new bitcoin, is for real. Unlike other studies, intended to determine the quantity of CO2 emissions caused by bitcoin mining, that used several approximations, a detective like approach was taken during research to gather conclusive results.
At the beginning of the research, the power consumption of the bitcoin network was processed and the IPO filings of three manufacturers controlling the ASIC miner market were analyzed. After discovering that bitcoin mining quadrupled in 2018, the researchers in November 2018 calculated that the annual consumption of electricity by bitcoin was 46 TWh (TeraWATT hour). After locating different mining centers of the world with the aid of IP addresses, the team of researchers estimated the CO2 emissions resulting because of bitcoin mining. In this regard, the report explained:
Using the IP addresses, the team was able to localize 68 percent of the Bitcoin network computing power in Asian countries, 17 percent in European countries, and 15 percent in North America. In the end, the total carbon footprint of the Bitcoin system was between 22 and 22.9 megatons per year.
While an increase in the number of bitcoin users is desirable for making bitcoin mainstream currency, the impacts this will have on bitcoin mining and later on the environment can’t be ignored. The popularity and wide use of the world’s first and largest decentralized cryptocurrency by market cap shouldn’t face any restrictions due to environmental impacts so it is necessary that renewable resources are utilized as much as possible.
Concluded by Christian Stoll, who conducts research at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
To improve the ecological balance, one possibility might be to link more mining farms to additional renewable generating capacity.