A couple of years ago in the early months of the 2017, I published a piece called Abundance Via Cryptocurrencies (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/69d12a/abundance\_via\_cryptocurrencies/
) in which I kind of foresaw the crypto boom that had bitcoin go from $1k to $21k and the alt-coin economy swell up to have more than 60% of the bitcoin market capitalisation. At the time, I spoke of coming out from “the Pit” of conspiracy research and that I was a bit suss on bitcoin’s inception story. At the time I really didn’t see the scaling solution being put forward as being satisfactory and the progress on bitcoin seemed stifled by the politics of the social consensus on an open source protocol so I was looking into alt coins that I thought could perhaps improve upon the shortcomings of bitcoin. In the thread I made someone recommended to have a look at 4chan’s business and finance board. I did end up taking a look at it just as the bull market started to really surge. I found myself in a sea of anonymous posters who threw out all kinds of info and memes about the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of different shitcoins and why they’re all going to have lambos on the moon. I got right in to it, I loved the idea of filtering through all the shitposts and finding the nuggest of truth amongst it all and was deeply immersed in it all as the price of bitcoin surged 20x and alt coins surged 5-10 times against bitcoin themselves. This meant there were many people who chucked in a few grand and bought a stash of alt coins that they thought were gonna be the next big thing and some people ended up with “portfolios” 100-1000x times their initial investment.
To explain what it’s like to be on an anonymous business and finance board populated with incel neets, nazis, capitalist shit posters, autistic geniuses and whoever the hell else was using the board for shilling their coins during a 100x run up is impossible. It’s hilarious, dark, absurd, exciting and ultimately addictive as fuck. You have this app called blockfolio that you check every couple of minutes to see the little green percentages and the neat graphs of your value in dollars or bitcoin over day, week, month or year. Despite my years in the pit researching conspiracy, and my being suss on bitcoin in general I wasn’t anywhere near as distrustful as I should have been of an anonymous business and finance board and although I do genuinely think there are good people out there who are sharing information with one another in good faith and feel very grateful to the anons that have taken their time to write up quality content to educate people they don’t know, I wasn’t really prepared for the level of organisation and sophistication of the efforts groups would go to to deceive in this space.
Over the course of my time in there I watched my portfolio grow to ridiculous numbers relative to what I put in but I could never really bring myself to sell at the top of a pump as I always felt I had done my research on a coin and wanted to hold it for a long time so why would I sell? After some time though I would read about something new or I would find out of dodgy relationships of a coin I had and would want to exit my position and then I would rebalance my portfolio in to a coin I thought was either technologically superior or didn’t have the nefarious connections to people I had come across doing conspiracy research. Because I had been right in to the conspiracy and the decentralisation tropes I guess I always carried a bit of an antiauthoritarian/anarchist bias and despite participating in a ridiculously capitalistic market, was kind of against capitalism and looking to a blockchain protocol to support something along the lines of an open source anarchosyndicalist cryptocommune. I told myself I was investing in the tech and believed in the collective endeavour of the open source project and ultimately had faith some mysterious “they” would develop a protocol that would emancipate us from this debt slavery complex.
As I became more and more aware of how to spot artificial discussion on the chans, I began to seek out further some of the radical projects like vtorrent and skycoin and I guess became a bit carried away from being amidst such ridiculous overt shilling as on the boards so that if you look in my post history you can even see me promoting some of these coins to communities I thought might be sympathetic to their use case. I didn’t see it at the time because I always thought I was holding the coins with the best tech and wanted to ride them up as an investor who believed in them, but this kind of promotion is ultimately just part of a mentality that’s pervasive to the cryptocurrency “community” that insists because it is a decentralised project you have to in a way volunteer to inform people about the coin since the more decentralised ones without premines or DAO structures don’t have marketing budgets, or don’t have marketing teams. In the guise of cultivating a community, groups form together on social media platforms like slack, discord, telegram, twitter and ‘vote’ for different proposals, donate funds to various boards/foundations that are set up to give a “roadmap” for the coins path to greatness and organise marketing efforts on places like reddit, the chans, twitter. That’s for the more grass roots ones at least, there are many that were started as a fork of another coin, or a ICO, airdrop or all these different ways of disseminating a new cryptocurrency or raising funding for promising to develop one. Imagine the operations that can be run by a team that raised millions, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars on their ICOs, especially if they are working in conjunction with a new niche of cryptocurrency media that’s all nepotistic and incestuous.
About a year and a half ago I published another piece called “Bitcoin is about to be dethroned” (https://www.reddit.com/C\_S\_T/comments/7ewmuu/bitcoin\_is\_about\_to\_be\_dethroned/
) where I felt I had come to realise the scaling debate had been corrupted by a company called Blockstream and they had been paying for social media operations in a fashion not to dissimilar to correct the record or such to control the narrative around the scaling debate and then through deceit and manipulation curated an apparent consensus around their narrative and hijacked the bitcoin name and ticker (BTC). I read the post again just before posting this and decided to refer to it to to add some kind of continuity to my story and hopefully save me writing so much out. Looking back on something you wrote is always a bit cringey especially because I can see that although I had made it a premise post, I was acting pretty confident that I was right and my tongue was acidic because of so much combating of shills on /biz/ but despite the fact I was wrong about the timing I stand by much of what I wrote then and want to expand upon it a bit more now.
The fork of the bitcoin protocol in to bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) is the biggest value fork of the many that have occurred. There were a few others that forked off from the core chain that haven’t had any kind of attention put on them, positive or negative and I guess just keep chugging away as their own implementation. The bitcoin cash chain was supposed to be the camp that backed on chain scaling in the debate, but it turned out not everyone was entirely on board with that and some players/hashpower felt it was better to do a layer two type solution themselves although with bigger blocks servicing the second layer. Throughout what was now emerging as a debate within the BCH camp, Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre of Coin Geek said they were going to support massive on chain scaling, do a node implementation that would aim to restore bitcoin back to the 0.1.0 release which had all kinds of functionality included in it that had later been stripped by Core developers over the years and plan to bankrupt the people from Core who changed their mind on agreeing with on-chain scaling. This lead to a fork off the BCH chain in to bitcoin satoshis vision (BSV) and bitcoin cash ABC.
The premise for this post is that Craig S Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an interesting premise because depending upon your frame of reference the premise may either be a fact or to some too outrageous to even believe as a premise. Yesterday it was announced via CoinGeek that Craig Steven Wright has been granted the copyright claim for both the bitcoin white-paper under the pen name Satoshi Nakamoto and the original 0.1.0 bitcoin software (both of which were marked (c) copyright of satoshi nakamoto. The reactions to the news can kind of be classified in to four different reactions. Those who heard it and rejected it, those who heard it but remained undecided, those who heard it and accepted it, and those who already believed he was. Apparently to many the price was unexpected and such a revelation wasn’t exactly priced in to the market with the price immediately pumping nearly 100% upon the news breaking. However, to some others it was a vindication of something they already believed. This is an interesting phenomena to observe. For many years now I have always occupied a somewhat positively contrarian position to the default narrative put forward to things so it’s not entirely surprising that I find myself in a camp that holds the minority opinion. As you can see in the bitcoin dethroned piece I called Craig fake satoshi, but over the last year and bit I investigated the story around Craig and came to my conclusion that I believed him to be at least a major part of a team of people who worked on the protocol I have to admit that through reading his articles, I have kind of been brought full circle to where my contrarian opinion has me becoming somewhat of an advocate for “the system’. https://coingeek.com/bitcoin-creator-craig-s-wright-satoshi-nakamoto-granted-us-copyright-registrations-for-bitcoin-white-paper-and-code/
When the news dropped, many took to social media to see what everyone was saying about it. On /biz/ a barrage of threads popped up discussing it with many celebrating and many rejecting the significance of such a copyright claim being granted. Immediately in nearly every thread there was a posting of an image of a person from twitter claiming that registering for copyright is an easy process that’s granted automatically unless challenged and so it doesn’t mean anything. This was enough for many to convince them of the insignificance of the revelation because of the comment from a person who claimed to have authority on twitter. Others chimed in to add that in fact there was a review of the copyright registration especially in high profile instances and these reviewers were satisfied with the evidence provided by Craig for the claim. At the moment Craig is being sued by Ira Kleiman for an amount of bitcoin that he believes he is entitled to because of Craig and Ira’s brother Dave working together on bitcoin. He is also engaged in suing a number of people from the cryptocurrency community for libel and defamation after they continued to use their social media/influencer positions to call him a fraud and a liar. He also has a number of patents lodged through his company nChain that are related to blockchain technologies. This has many people up in arms because in their mind Satoshi was part of a cypherpunk movement, wanted anonymity, endorsed what they believed to be an anti state and open source technologies and would use cryptography rather than court to prove his identity and would have no interest in patents. https://bitstagram.bitdb.network/m/raw/1fce34a7004759f8db16b2ae9678e9c6db434ff2e399f59b5a537f72eff2c1a1 https://imgur.com/a/aANAsL3
If you listen to Craig with an open mind, what cannot be denied is the man is bloody smart. Whether he is honest or not is up to you to decide, but personally I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and then cut them off if i find them to be dishonest. What I haven’t really been able to do with my investigation of craig is cut him off. There have been many moments where I disagree with what he has had to say but I don’t think people having an opinion about something that I believe to be incorrect is the same as being a dishonest person. It’s very important to distinguish the two and if you are unable to do so there is a very real risk of you projecting expectations or ideals upon someone based off your ideas of who they are. Many times if someone is telling the truth but you don’t understand it, instead of acknowledging you don’t understand it, you label them as being stupid or dishonest. I think that has happened to an extreme extent with Craig. Let’s take for example the moment when someone in the slack channel asked Craig if he had had his IQ tested and what it was. Craig replied with 179. The vast majority of people on the internet have heard someone quote their IQ before in an argument or the IQ of others and to hear someone say such a score that is actually 6 standard deviations away from the mean score (so probably something like 1/100 000) immediately makes them reject it on the grounds of probability. Craig admits that he’s not the best with people and having worked with/taught many high functioning people (sometimes on the spectrum perhaps) on complex anatomical and physiological systems I have seen some that also share the same difficulties in relating to people and reconciling their genius and understandings with more average intelligences. Before rejecting his claim outright because we don’t understand much of what he says, it would be prudent to first check is there any evidence that may lend support to his claim of a one in a million intelligence quotient.
Craig has mentioned on a number of occasions that he holds a number of different degrees and certifications in relation to law, cryptography, statistics, mathematics, economics, theology, computer science, information technology/security. I guess that does sound like something someone with an extremely high intelligence could achieve. Now I haven’t validated all of them but from a simple check on Charles Sturt’s alumni portal using his birthday of 23rd of October 1970 we can see that he does in fact have 3 Masters and a PhD from Charles Sturt. Other pictures I have seen from his office at nChain have degrees in frames on the wall and a developer published a video titled Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 degrees where he went and validated at least 8 of them I believe. He is recently publishing his Doctorate of Theology through an on-chain social media page that you have to pay a little bit for access to sections of his thesis. It’s titled the gnarled roots of creation. He has also mentioned on a number of occasions his vast industry experience as both a security contractor and business owner. An archive from his LinkedIn can be seen below as well.
LinkedIn - https://archive.is/Q66Gl https://youtu.be/nXdkczX5mR0
- Craig Wright is a Genius with 17 Degrees https://www.yours.org/content/gnarled-roots-of-a-creation-mythos-45e69558fae0
- Gnarled Roots of Creation.
In fact here is an on chain collection of articles and videos relating to Craig called the library of craig - https://www.bitpaste.app/tx/94b361b205196560d1bd09e4e3b3ec7ad6bea478af204cabfe243efd8fc944dd
So there is a guy with 17 degrees, a self professed one in a hundred thousand IQ, who’s worked for Australian Federal Police, ASIO, NSA, NASA, ASX. He’s been in Royal Australian Air Force, operated a number of businesses in Australia, published half a dozen academic papers on networks, cryptography, security, taught machine learning and digital forensics at a number of universities and then another few hundred short articles on medium about his work in these various domains, has filed allegedly 700 patents on blockchain related technology that he is going to release on bitcoin sv, copyrighted the name so that he may prevent other competing protocols from using the brand name, that is telling you he is the guy that invented the technology that he has a whole host of other circumstantial evidence to support that, but people won’t believe that because they saw something that a talking head on twitter posted or that a Core Developer said, or a random document that appears online with a C S Wright signature on it that lists access to an address that is actually related to Roger Ver, that’s enough to write him off as a scam. Even then when he publishes a photo of the paper copy which appears to supersede the scanned one, people still don’t readjust their positions on the matter and resort back to “all he has to do is move the coins or sign a tx”.
Yes Craig was on the Cypherpunk mailing list back in the day, but that doesn’t mean that he was or is an anarchist. Or that he shares the same ideas that Code Is Law that many from the crypto community like to espouse. I myself have definitely been someone to parrot the phrase myself before reading lots of Craig’s articles and trying to understand where he is coming from. What I have come to learn from listening and reading the man, is that although I might be fed up with the systems we have in place, they still exist to perform important functions within society and because of that the tools we develop to serve us have to exist within that preexisting legal and social framework in order for them to have any chance at achieving global success in replacing fiat money with the first mathematically provably scarce commodity. He says he designed bitcoin to be an immutable data ledger where everyone is forced to be honest, and economically disincentivised to perform attacks within the network because of the logs kept in a Write Once Read Many (WORM) ledger with hierarchical cryptographic keys. In doing so you eliminate 99% of cyber crime, create transparent DAO type organisations that can be audited and fully compliant with legislature that’s developed by policy that comes from direct democratic voting software. Everyone who wants anonymous coins wants to have them so they can do dishonest things, illegal things, buy drugs, launder money, avoid taxes.
Now this triggers me a fair bit as someone who has bought drugs online, who probably hasn’t paid enough tax, who has done illegal things contemplating what it means to have that kind of an evidence ledger, and contemplate a reality where there are anonymous cryptocurrencies, where massive corporations continue to be able to avoid taxes, or where methamphetamine can be sold by the tonne, or where people can be bought and sold. This is the reality of creating technologies that can enable and empower criminals. I know some criminals and regard them as very good friends, but I know there are some criminals that I do not wish to know at all. I know there are people that do horrific things in the world and I know that something that makes it easier for them is having access to funds or the ability to move money around without being detected. I know arms, drugs and people are some of the biggest markets in the world, I know there is more than $50 trillion dollars siphoned in to off shore tax havens from the value generated as the product of human creativity in the economy and how much human charity is squandered through the NGO apparatus. I could go on and on about the crappy things happening in the world but I can also imagine them getting a lot worse with an anonymous cryptocurrency. Not to say that I don’t think there shouldn’t be an anonymous cryptocurrency. If someone makes one that works, they make one that works. Maybe they get to exist for a little while as a honeypot or if they can operate outside the law successfully longer, but bitcoin itself shouldn’t be one. There should be something a level playing field for honest people to interact with sound money. And if they operate within the law, then they will have more than adequate privacy, just they will leave immutable evidence for every transaction that can be used as evidence to build a case against you committing a crime.
His claim is that all the people that are protesting the loudest about him being Satoshi are all the people that are engaged in dishonest business or that have a vested interest in there not being one singular global ledger but rather a whole myriad of alternative currencies that can be pumped and dumped against one another, have all kinds of financial instruments applied to them like futures and then have these exchanges and custodial services not doing any Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes. Bitcoin SV was delisted by a number of exchanges recently after Craig launched legal action at some twitter crypto influencetalking heads who had continued to call him a fraud and then didn’t back down when the CEO of one of the biggest crypto exchanges told him to drop the case or he would delist his coin. The trolls of twitter all chimed in in support of those who have now been served with papers for defamation and libel and Craig even put out a bitcoin reward for a DOX on one of the people who had been particularly abusive to him on twitter. A big european exchange then conducted a twitter poll to determine whether or not BSV should be delisted as either (yes, it’s toxic or no) and when a few hundred votes were in favour of delisting it (which can be bought for a couple of bucks/100 votes). Shortly after Craig was delisted, news began to break of a US dollar stable coin called USDT potentially not being fully solvent for it’s apparent 1:1 backing of the token to dollars in the bank. Binance suffered an alleged exchange hack with 7000 BTC “stolen” and the site suspending withdrawals and deposits for a week. Binance holds 800m USDT for their US dollar markets and immediately once the deposits and withdrawals were suspended there was a massive pump for BTC in the USDT markets as people sought to exit their potentially not 1:1 backed token for bitcoin. The CEO of this exchange has the business registered out of Malta, no physical premises, the CEO stays hotel room to hotel room around the world, has all kind of trading competitions and the binance launchpad, uses an unregistered security to collect fees ($450m during the bear market) from the trading of the hundreds of coins that it lists on its exchange and has no regard for AML and KYC laws. Craig said he himself was able to create 100 gmail accounts in a day and create binance accounts with each of those gmail accounts and from the same wallet, deposit and withdraw 1 bitcoin into each of those in one day ($8000 x 100) without facing any restrictions or triggering any alerts or such.
This post could ramble on for ever and ever exposing the complexities of the rabbit hole but I wanted to offer some perspective on what’s been happening in the space. What is being built on the bitcoin SV blockchain is something that I can only partially comprehend but even from my limited understanding of what it is to become, I can see that the entirety of the crypto community is extremely threatened as it renders all the various alt coins and alt coin exchanges obsolete. It makes criminals play by the rules, it removes any power from the developer groups and turns the blockchain and the miners in to economies of scale where the blockchain acts as a serverless database, the miners provide computational resources/storage/RAM and you interact with a virtual machine through a monitor and keyboard plugged in to an ethernet port. It will be like something that takes us from a type 0 to a type 1 civilisation. There are many that like to keep us in the quagmire of corruption and criminality as it lines their pockets. Much much more can be read about the Cartel in crypto in the archive below. Is it possible this cartel has the resources to mount such a successful psychological operation on the cryptocurrency community that they manage to convince everyone that Craig is the bad guy, when he’s the only one calling for regulation, the application of the law, the storage of immutable records onchain to comply with banking secrecy laws, for Global Sound Money?
Please note, where possible, images were uploaded onto the bitcoin sv blockchain through bitstagram paying about 10c a pop. If I wished I could then use an application etch and archive this post to the chain to be immutably stored. If this publishing forum was on chain too it would mean that when I do the archive the images that are in the bitstragram links (but stored in the bitcoin blockchain/database already) could be referenced in the archive by their txid so that they don’t have to be stored again and thus bringing the cost of the archive down to only the html and css.
On May 6th, 2017, Bitcoin hit an all-time high in transactions processed on the network in a single day: it moved 375,000 transactions which accounted for a nominal output of about $2.5b. Average fees on the Bitcoin network had climbed over a dollar for the first time a couple days prior. And they kept climbing: by early June average fees hit an eye-watering $5.66. This was quite unprecedented. In the three-year period from Jan. 1 2014 to Jan. 1 2017, per-transaction fees had never exceeded 31 cents on a weekly average. And the hits kept coming. Before 2017 was over, average fees would top out at $48 on a weekly basis. When the crypto-recession set in, transaction count collapsed and fees crept back below $1.
During the most feverish days of the Bitcoin run-up, when normal users found themselves with balances that would cost more to send than they were worth, cries for batching — the aggregation of many outputs into a single transaction — grew louder than ever. David Harding had written a blog post on the cost-savings of batching at the end of August and it was reposted to the Bitcoin subreddit on a daily basis.
The idea was simple: for entities sending many transactions at once, clustering outputs into a single transaction was more space- (and cost-) efficient, because each transaction has a fixed data overhead. David found that if you combined 10 payments into one transaction, rather than sending them individually, you could save 75% of the block space. Essentially, batching is one way to pack as many transactions as possible into the finite block space available on Bitcoin.
When fees started climbing in mid-2017, users began to scrutinize the behavior of heavy users of the Bitcoin blockchain, to determine whether they were using block space efficiently. By and large, they were not — and an informal lobbying campaign began, in which these major users — principally exchanges — were asked to start batching transactions and be good stewards of the scarce block space at their disposal. Some exchanges had been batching for years, others relented and implemented it. The question faded from view after Bitcoin’s price collapsed in Q1 2018 from roughly $19,000 to $6000, and transaction load — and hence average fee — dropped off.
But we remained curious. A common refrain, during the collapse in on-chain usage, was that transaction count was an obfuscated method of apprehending actual usage. The idea was that transactions could encode an arbitrarily large (within reason) number of payments, and so if batching had become more and more prevalent, those payments were still occurring, just under a regime of fewer transactions.
Some sites popped up to report outputs and payments per day rather than transactions, seemingly bristling at the coverage of declining transaction count. However, no one conducted an analysis of the changing relationship between transaction count and outputs or payments. We took it upon ourselves to find out.
Table Of Contents:
Introduction to batching
Bonus content: UTXO consolidation
- Introduction to batching
Bitcoin uses a UTXO model, which stands for Unspent Transaction Output. In comparison, Ripple and Ethereum use an account/balance model. In bitcoin, a user has no balances, only UTXOs that they control. If they want to transfer money to someone else, their wallet selects one or more UTXOs as inputs that in sum need to add up to the amount they want to transfer. The desired amount then goes to the recipient, which is called the output, and the difference goes back to the sender, which is called change output. Each output can carry a virtually unlimited amount of value in the form of satoshis. A satoshi is a unit representing a one-hundred-millionth of a Bitcoin. This is very similar to a physical wallet full of different denominations of bills. If you’re buying a snack for $2.50 and only have a $5, you don’t hand the cashier half of your 5 dollar bill — you give him the 5 and receive some change instead.
Unknown to some, there is no hardcoded limit to the number of transactions that can fit in a block. Instead, each transaction has a certain size in megabytes and constitutes an economic incentive for miners to include it in their block. Because miners have limited space of 2 MB to sell to transactors, larger transactions (in size, not bitcoin!) will need to pay higher fees to be included. Additionally, each transaction can have a virtually unlimited number of inputs or outputs — the record stands at transactions with 20,000 inputs and 13,107 outputs.
So each transaction has at least one input and at one output, but often more, as well as some additional boilerplate stuff. Most of that space is taken up by the input (often 60% or more, because of the signature that proves they really belong to the sender), while the output(s) account for 15–30%. In order to keep transactions as small as possible and save fees, Bitcoin users have two major choices:
Use as few inputs as possible. In order to minimize inputs, you can periodically send your smaller UTXOs to yourself in times when fees are very low, getting one large UTXO back. That is called UTXO consolidation or consolidating your inputs.
Users who frequently make transfers (especially within the same block) can include an almost unlimited amount of outputs (to different people!) in the same transaction. That is called transaction batching. A typical single output transaction takes up 230 bytes, while a two output transaction only takes up 260 bytes, instead of 460 if you were to send them individually.
This is something that many casual commentators overlook when comparing Bitcoin with other payment systems — a Bitcoin transaction can aggregate thousands of individual economic transfers! It’s important to recognize this, as it is the source of a great deal of misunderstanding and mistaken analysis.
We’ve never encountered a common definition of a batched transaction — so for the purposes of this study we define it in the loosest possible sense: a transaction with three or more outputs. Commonly, batching is understood as an activity undertaken primarily by mining pools or exchanges who can trade off immediacy for efficiency. It is rare that a normal bitcoin user would have cause to batch, and indeed most wallets make it difficult to impossible to construct batched transactions. For everyday purposes, normal bitcoiners will likely not go to the additional effort of batching transactions.
We set the threshold at three for simplicity’s sake — a normal unbatched transaction will have one transactional output and one change output — but the typical major batched transaction from an exchange will have dozens if not hundreds of outputs. For this reason we are careful to provide data on various different batch sizes, so we could determine the prevalence of three-output transactions and colossal, 100-output ones.
We find it helpful to think of a Bitcoin transaction as a mail truck full of boxes. Each truck (transaction) contains boxes (outputs), each of contains some number of letters (satoshis). So when you’re looking at transaction count as a measure of the performance and economic throughput of the Bitcoin network, it’s a bit like counting mail trucks to discern how many letters are being sent on a given day, even though the number of letters can vary wildly. The truck analogy also makes it clear why many see Bitcoin as a settlement layer in the future — just as mail trucks aren’t dispatched until they’re full, some envision that the same will ultimately be the case for Bitcoin.
- A timeline
So what actually happened in the last six months? Let’s look at some data. Daily transactions on the Bitcoin network rose steadily until about May 2017, when average fees hit about $4. This precipitated the first collapse in usage. Then began a series of feedback loops over the next six months in which transaction load grew, fees grew to match, and transactions dropped off. This cycle repeated itself five times over the latter half of 2017.
more like this on coinmetrics.io
The solid red line in the above chart is fees in BTC terms (not USD) and the shaded red area is daily transaction count. You can see the cycle of transaction load precipitating higher fees which in turn cause a reduction in usage. It repeats itself five or six times before the detente in spring 2018. The most notable period was the December-January fee crisis, but fees were actually fairly typical in BTC terms — the rising BTC price in USD however meant that USD fees hit extreme figures.
In mid-November when fees hit double digits in USD terms, users began a concerted campaign to convince exchanges to be better stewards of block space. Both Segwit and batching were held up as meaningful approaches to maximize the compression of Bitcoin transactions into the finite block space available. Data on when exchanges began batching is sparse, but we collected information where it was available into a chart summarizing when exchanges began batching.
Batching adoption at selected exchanges
We’re ignoring Segwit adoption by exchanges in this analysis; as far as batching is concerned, the campaign to get exchanges to batch appears to have persuaded Bitfinex, Binance, and Shapeshift to batch. Coinbase/GDAX have stated their intention to begin batching, although they haven’t managed to integrate it yet. As far as we can tell, Gemini hasn’t mentioned batching, although we have some mixed evidence that they may have begun recently. If you know about the status of batching on Gemini or other major exchanges please get in touch.
So some exchanges have been batching all along, and some have never bothered at all. Did the subset of exchanges who flipped the switch materially affect the prevalence of batched transactions? Let’s find out.
3.1 How common is batching?
We measured the prevalence of batching in three different ways, by transaction count, by output value and by output count.
Batching accounts for roughly 12% of all transactions, 40% of all outputs, and 30–60% of all raw BTC output value. Not bad.
3.2 Have batched transactions become more common over time?
From the chart in 3.1, we can already see a small, but steady uptrend in all three metrics, but we want to dig a little deeper. So we first looked at the relationship of payments (all outputs that actually pay someone, so total outputs minus change outputs) and transactions.
More at transactionfee.info/charts
The first thing that becomes obvious is that the popular narrative — that the drop in transactions was caused by an increase in batching — is not the case; payments dropped by roughly the same proportion as well.
Dividing payment count by transaction count gives us some insight into the relationship between the two.
In our analysis we want to zoom into the time frame between November 2017 and today, and we can see that payments per transactions have actually been rallying, from 1.5 payments per transaction in early 2017 to almost two today.
3.3 What are popular batch sizes?
In this next part, we will look at batch sizes to see which are most popular. To determine which transactions were batched, we downloaded a dataset of all transactions on the Bitcoin network between November 2017 and May 2018from Blockchair.
We picked that period because the fee crisis really got started in mid-November, and with it, the demands for exchanges to batch. So we wanted to capture the effect of exchanges starting to batch. Naturally a bigger sample would have been more instructive, but we were constrained in our resources, so we began with the six month sample.
We grouped transactions into “batched” and “unbatched” groups with batched transactions being those with three or more outputs.
We then divided batched transactions into roughly equal groups on the basis of how much total output in BTC they had accounted for in the six-month period. We didn’t select the batch sizes manually — we picked batch sizes that would split the sample into equal parts on the basis of transaction value. Here’s what we ended up with:
All of the batch buckets have just about the same fraction of total BTC output over the period, but they account for radically different transaction and output counts over the period. Notice that there were only 183,108 “extra large” batches (with 41 or more outputs) in the six-month period, but between them there were 23m outputs and 30m BTC worth of value transmitted.
Note that output value in this context refers to the raw or unadjusted figure — it would have been prohibitively difficult for us to adjust output for change or mixers, so we’re using the “naive” estimate.
Let’s look at how many transactions various batch sizes accounted for in the sample period:
Batched transactions steadily increased relative to unbatched ones, although the biggest fraction is the small batch with between 3 and 5 outputs. The story for output counts is a bit more illuminating. Even though batched transactions are a relatively small fraction of overall transaction count, they contain a meaningful number of overall outputs. Let’s see how it breaks down:
Lastly, let’s look at output value. Here we see that batched transactions represent a significant fraction of value transmitted on Bitcoin.
As we can see, even though batched transactions make up an average of only 12% of all transactions, they move between 30%-60% of all Bitcoins, at peak times even 70%. We think this is quite remarkable. Keep in mind, however that the ‘total output’ figure has not been altered to account for change outputs, mixers, or self-churn; that is, it is the raw and unadjusted figure. The total output value is therefore not an ideal approximation of economic volume on the Bitcoin network.
3.4 Has transaction count become an unreliable measure of Bitcoin’s usage because of batching?
Yes. We strongly encourage any analysts, investors, journalists, and developers to look past mere transaction count from now on. The default measure of Bitcoin’s performance should be “payments per day” rather than transaction count. This also makes Bitcoin more comparable with other UTXO chains. They generally have significantly variable payments-per-transaction ratios, so just using payments standardizes that. (Stay tuned: Coinmetrics will be rolling out tools to facilitate this very soon.)
More generally, we think that the economic value transmitted on the network is its most fundamental characteristic. Both the naive and the adjusted figures deserve to be considered. Adjusting raw output value is still more art than science, and best practices are still being developed. Again, Coinmetrics is actively developing open-source tools to make these adjustments available.
We started by revisiting the past year in Bitcoin and showed that while the mempool was congested, the community started looking for ways to use the blockspace more efficiently. Attention quickly fell on batching, the practice of combining multiple outputs into a single transaction, for heavy users. We showed how batching works on a technical level and when different exchanges started implementing the technique.
Today, around 12% of all transactions on the Bitcoin network are batched, and these account for about 40% of all outputs and between 30–60% of all transactional value. The fact such that a small set of transactions carries so much economic weight makes us hopeful that Bitcoin still has a lot of room to scale on the base layer, especially if usage trends continue.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that the increase in batching on the Bitcoin network may not be entirely due to deliberate action by exchanges, but rather a function of its recessionary behavior in the last few months. Since batching is generally done by large industrial players like exchanges, mixers, payment processors, and mining pools, and unbatched transactions are generally made by normal individuals, the batched/unbatched ratio is also a strong proxy for how much average users are using Bitcoin. Since the collapse in price, it is quite possible that individual usage of Bitcoin decreased while “industrial” usage remained strong. This is speculation, but one explanation for what happened.
Alternatively, the industrial players appear to be taking their role as stewards of the scarce block space more seriously. This is a significant boon to the network, and a nontrivial development in its history. If a culture of parsimony can be encouraged, Bitcoin will be able to compress more data into its block space and everyday users will continue to be able to run nodes for the foreseeable future. We view this as a very positive development. Members of the Bitcoin community that lobbied exchanges to add support for Segwit and batching should be proud of themselves.
- Bonus content: UTXO consolidation
Remember that we said that a second way to systematically save transaction fees in the Bitcoin network was to consolidate your UTXOs when fees were low? Looking at the relationship between input count and output count allows us to spot such consolidation phases quite well.
Typically, inputs and outputs move together. When the network is stressed, they decouple. If you look at the above chart carefully, you’ll notice that when transactions are elevated (and block space is at a premium), outputs outpace inputs — look at the gaps in May and December 2017. However, prolonged activity always results in fragmented UTXO sets and wallets full of dust, which need to be consolidated. For this, users often wait until pressure on the network has decreased and fees are lower. Thus, after transactions decrease, inputs become more common than outputs. You can see this clearly in February/March 2017.
Here we’ve taken the ratio of inputs to outputs (which have been smoothed on a trailing 7 day basis). When the ratio is higher, there are more inputs than outputs on that day, and vice versa. You can clearly see the spam attack in summer 2015 in which thousands (possibly millions) of outputs were created and then consolidated. Once the ratio spikes upwards, that’s consolidation. The spike in February 2018 after the six weeks of high fees in December 2017 was the most pronounced sigh of relief in Bitcoin’s history; the largest ever departure from the in/out ratio norm. There were a huge number of UTXOs to be consolidated.
It’s also interesting to note where inputs and outputs cluster. Here we have histograms of transactions with large numbers of inputs or outputs. Unsurprisingly, round numbers are common which shows that exchanges don’t publish a transaction every, say, two minutes, but instead wait for 100 or 200 outputs to queue up and then publish their transaction. Curiously, 200-input transactions were more popular than 100-input transactions in the period.
We ran into more curiosities when researching this piece, but we’ll leave those for another time.
Future work on batching might focus on:
Determining batched transactions as a portion of (adjusted) economic rather than raw volume
Looking at the behavior of specific exchanges with regards to batching
Investigating how much space and fees could be saved if major exchanges were batching transactions
Lastly, we encourage everyone to run their transactions through the service at transactionfee.info
to assess the efficiency of their transactions and determine whether exchanges are being good stewards of the block space.
Antoine Le Calvez has created a series of live-updated charts to track batching and batch sizes, which you can find here.
We’d like to thank 0xB10C for their generous assistance with datasets and advice, the people at Blockchair for providing the core datasets, and David A. Harding for writing the initial piece and answering our questions.
I have been in crypto technically for 2+ years but, since last spring gotten very into it. Here is my opinion on a bunch of coins. I know I don't know everything about crypto, but I also know nobody (except maybe Satoshi) can say for sure how this will play out. Here's my analysis(half-assed bullshit guesses). Yea I'm very bullish. submitted by
BTC The king. I think it has the best likelihood of mass adoption. Wales want to see liquidity before they jump in. But more importantly they want to see big marketcap. They don't want to be a huge % of a market and not be able to pull out if it drops. I think there will be a tipping point in the near future where all of a sudden major financial companies start to pour in investments and millionares/billionares dump tons of money in. Wales are what takes us to 50-100k per coin. Also at a critical mass of marketcap the stigma of "betting on bitcoin" will turn to "putting it in bitcoin". Still too early to call a winner, but once they dive in it might be too late for other coins to top it. The tech that is massively adopted is not always the best. Yea there are fees, but it is still better than a wire transfer.
Jan 1 2018: 12050 April 1 2018: 16800
ETH Very strong. Accurately valued imo. I think it might go down a bit in the next year or so to 280 and stay, but I also think it will only take a few very successful Dapps for it to explode. Good leader too. I think the move to POS is great and I think the people behind it are very dedicated and pumped.
Jan 1 2018: 310 April 1 2018: 750
LTC- solid coin. Stability and a good leader. It could become the silver to the gold. I see it continuing to be very high volume.
Jan 1 2018: 72 April 1 2018: 105
BCC- No idea.
XRP- maybe great for a short term gain but I see major problems for it long term. I know a lot of people here don't like it because they think it's centralized but that's not why I don't like it. To me the problem is that for the "product" they offer to banks they can easily face competition and lose. There are already other coins that do similar things.
Jan 1 2018: .23 April 1 2018: .40
NEM Cool idea. I really like their coin and PoI. I think this coin has a chance of being massively adopted. The only problem is that they don't market much and don't get hype going. If they saw another big 20% burst I think they would snowball and more people would look up what they were about. They have small volume which isn't good, but I think it is because those who are in it see it as the best tech.
Jan 1 2018: .25 April 1 2018: .85
NEO Another coin that could be massively adopted. I don't see it going down too much anytime soon. After all the China FUD it only took a small hit and is still in the top 10. If China endorses it or has some kind of statement that can be interpreted as pro NEO I think it will explode. I like their model and how gas works with the POS. You can't go wrong with this one.
Jan 1 2018: 42 April 1 2018: 115
**DASH- PIVX is better in EVERY way.
IOTA- I think many can agree that this is the biggest question mark. I think it is the riskiest coin, but also potentially could see the most incredible gains. If the ball starts rolling with this and if they every get to the point where they can remove the coordinator I think it's lights out. GG. The question imo is can they get to that point while still being relevant and while people still believe in them. They have to get many people using the coin before they can get to that point.
Jan 1 2018: .62 April 1 2018: 1.8
XMR (monero) Awesome coin. Honestly I think this the safest bet. It has one of the most passionate communities and a good visible leader who understands his role is replaceable. The fungibility factor is SOOOOOO under valued and I wish more coins took this part more seriously. I like that there is no rich list. This coin seems to 2x all the time. The community has the "ask not what Monero can do for you but what you can do for Monero vibe"
Jan 1 2018: 195 April 1 2018: 405
QTUM, OMG, CARDANO all seem solid, but I haven't looked into them enough.
Bitconneeeeeeeeeeeect Not feelin it.
Jan 1 2018: 380 April 1 2018: .380
LISK- I think Lisk is awesome and will pop up to 12 by spring. JS is one of the most popular languages and its users are growing. At the end of the day it's the developer that makes widespread adoption. The easier it is for them to make apps for the block chain, the faster people can adopt it. DPOS imo is pretty cool. The people behind it seem really motivated and imo they have a cool logo and easy to remember name.
Jan 1 2018: 8.14 April 1 2018: 14.01
ARK I'm not gonna pretend to understand how smart bridges work, but I think they will go up. Their team seems professional and passionate and I like DPOS.
Jan 1 2018: 3.01 April 1 2018: 7.22
ZCASH Better off with XMR or PIVX. The tweet their boss gave was pretty telling. I have a bad vibe about them.
Stellar lumens IDK. Seems a lot like ripple
Jan 1 2018: .09 April 1 2018: .112
Stratis Better off with LISK or NEM imo
Jan 1 2018: 6.11 April 1 2018: 7.18
EOS I don't really understand this coin yet
MonaCoin Japan's coin. I think NEM is better because I like their POI and the fact they have been around longer. I don't think a coin can win off just strong patriotism/nationalism unless it is directly/officially endorsed by their gov't or issued (doubt that will happen)
Jan 1 2018: 4.42 April 1 2018: 6.44
PIVX Great coin. Their dev team sets targets and hits them. ZEROCOIN + super fast transactions are hard to beat. One of the most ideal coins with a community that's very passionate.
Jan 1 2018: 4.12 April 1 2018: 10.87
Decred One of the best long term coins. They have a good team and one of the smartest roadmaps. If crypto ever gets to maximal adoption you are basically talking about universal self governance and decred has a lot of foresight with their voting system. The down sides are that it's kinda complex and a lot to read though. New comers to crypto already have enough on their plate.
Jan 1 2018: 39.55 April 1 2018: 58.86
Steem Cool idea. I don't think its going away. At the same time I wouldn't buy this unless you like using the platform
Jan 1 2018: 1.02 April 1 2018: 3.31
Augur /Gnosis cool ideas. I see more competition coming for them. The draft kings and predictit markets are already huge. it's just a matter of showing the base how to use the platform
Jan 1 2018: 21.05 April 1 2018: 38.07 Jan 1 2018: 75.33 April 1 2018: 80.60
Binance I think this will pop up. Binance already has some of the lowest fees and BNB is functional already.
Jan 1 2018: 4.22 April 1 2018: 8.64
*Vertcoin/Grostle * I think people think because it's asic resistant it's more decentralized, but I think that's only is true in early stages. If it catches on people will figure how to rig many GPUs together and mine that way. I think they will be pumped and dumped again. I think they are the new DGB VTC: Jan 1 2018: 8.94 April 1 2018: 10.20
Populous/tenx Haven't looked into it enough but have heard good things
Salt I think Salt is a great. I think they might face more competition later, but if they can be stable and reliable, people will use their services and the price will keep going up.
Jan 1 2018: 5.44 April 1 2018: 10.91
Golem Big gamble. One coin that has tremendous upside(10x) but could also fade into obscurity. It faces a lot of competition but it seems like given it's niche function it has a strong following. The Devs for this I think are good. This is a very ambitious project. Who knows maybe 1 day a super AI will run on it.
Jan 1 2018: .34 April 1 2018: .81
Factom/Civic Great ideas. I really hope one of them becomes widely accepted/adopted. FCT
Jan 1 2018: 22.47 April 1 2018: 10.87
BAT Another great idea. I hope it does well. I like trying out new browsers
Sia/Storage I think these could moon but you will have to wait a while. I like Sia a bit better.
Sia > 1 dollar 2019
ZEN/VERG/ZCOIN Great on privacy. I'm not as big on POW and I think MONERO might have too much of a head start but these coins are unique. It's still early for any of them to become top dog
Byteballs cool Idea. I like IOTA better. Raiblocks might be better than both. but they are small and not on many exchanges. And as you can tell from the quality of this post I am too lazy to sign up for some new exchange right now.
Why so Bullish? You already know Where should ppl put money? Banks... almost no interest. If they raise interest rates they could crash the market. Either way $ will be printed in mass. Bonds..... terrible rates give me a break Stocks..... Market will probably go up but could crash any time. Not as liquid as crypto (I can't buy a computer with stock on robinhood). The whole point of stocks used to be owning a part of a company and having a say. That part of the value of a stock is long gone and diluted with these mega corps and everyone just hopes for capital gains. We all know where to go for gains. gold/silver... maybe. Crypto... Sky is the limit. It will soak up all the money that people hide, new money from the young kids in tech sectors, old money who want to pass crypos to their kids, and any sector that see's the benefit of it.
Best of luck to everyone out there.
In my first shitshow post i told you guys about the paradigm shift. Then i talked about the importance of nonprofits in said shift and that no
privately owned company will play an important role in it. I then digged out some possible third VC that IOTA has, in response to shit being talked online about IOTA.
Then verge pumped because of a Tweet that you need to donate for a partnership... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U1PM-p3860 Verge is a 1B Cryptocurrency
while IOTA is about 2B.. it does make you wonder how that can be. Now before we start to dig into things let me make it clear that i have no formal education on finance or economics. If you do, you probably should skip this one. Also, if you invest based on this Thread, it is only fair that you lose all your money because you are a dumbass.
It's almost impossible to value cryptos. "There is no Fundamentals" - is what a legacy market guy would tell you. As we learned in one of my other posts, the IF itself doesn't even need to issue public financial statements (which in my opinion it should do).
What we can do however compare different ledgers and or research projects against each other. So let's go back to Verge. Verge is a Shitcoin. IOTA is not. If you agree with that you come to the following conclusion: Either the altcoin market will still have to fall about 95% in value to follow common sense or IOTA is highly undervalued.
Or maybe IOTA is a bit overvalued and others have to fall more or.... you get my point.
First things first: Bitcoin is here to stay. It is not an altcoin and it won't be one for a long time. Bitcoin can exist as a store of value alone - it does not need the "buying coffee" use case bitcoin maximalists can't shut up about. https://twitter.com/MacroScope17/status/961622167048859648
If you are using Bitcoin to provide a negative before telling people why IOTA can do everything better you are lost in the woods. I know this is a very popular narrative among IOTA aficionados and this might be hard for you to hear.
Yes, having a DAG without mining is wonderful - but using energy to secure a public ledger is not the dumbest thing in the world. As of now, IOTA is nowhere near being called immutable. This will take time.
If you are relatively new to cryptos in general, most likely joined last year or during this years peak - do not fall into that line of thinking. That for IOTA to grow, Bitcoin needs to vanish. Try to think for yourself. And read the following Article: https://medium.com/@vijayboyapati/the-bullish-case-for-bitcoin-6ecc8bdecc1
SHUT UP ABOUT BITCOIN. Okey, jesus. I'm sorry. I needed to make this point so i can talk shit about "Blockchain" and how it all ties together.
As a non-developer, after a while, "Blockchain" is probably the most boring, stagnant tech i can think of. It's almost as boring as Smartphones only getting a tiny bit bigger and shatter more easily when you drop them. Imho, "Bitcoin" is the only interesting thing about "Blockchain".
Today, "Blockchain" is so irrelevant that in 2018 Vitalik Buterin still publishes Text on centralized servers which are, big surprise, NOT censorship resistant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_(website) https://medium.com/@VitalikButerin "As of June 2017, Medium has been blocked in Egypt along with more than 60 online media websites in a crackdown by the Egyptian government."
Friendly reminder ETH was supposed to be THE web 3.0. Most people seem to ignore that or they never figured because of what they are presented with. Sure there is a roadmap, sharding this and that, but if i'm getting excited about future theoretical improvements on a protocol, im excited about IOTA. Simple.
With this in mind: The EU is at it again! https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/european-countries-join-blockchain-partnership "In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies. The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens".
This circlejerk from politicians is about 4 years too late. One can only hope that by "Blockchain" they simply use it as the buzzword it has degenerated into.
It is however nice to see the EU is starting to befriend distributed ledgers, they even fund privacy research on the chain: It will use blockchain technology to create tools that will give people ownership of the data which they and the devices they own generate, in order to respond to concerns about losing control of personal information on the internet.
they go on and say that: Currently, four pilot projects are being developed in Amsterdam and Barcelona, focused on the themes of the Internet of Things, open democracy and the sharing economy.
Ok so.. Blockchain and IoT? Sure bro. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/blockchain-give-people-more-control-about-their-data
Lets go one step back. How much money does the EU spend on research for this in total and how does it compare to the IOTA Foundation? 22 European countries plan to have allocated a total of 380M Euro by the end of 2020.
Let's compare this to the IF. Get ready for some quick maffs.
the IF received 5% of the total supply as donations. In addition to that the Ecosystem fund holds another 21T (correct?!). At the current price, ignoring VC hoarding, ignoring lawyers, salaries etc. the IF is worth about 220M Dollar .
Ya know. Plus minus tens of millions.
In my very humble opinion: those countries probably are well advised to get in contact with the IF (if they aren't already).
So. What if the price of 1 Miota drops to 50Cents? The Ecosystem Fund would still value 10M to support innovation
around the tangle. This holds up very well versus the 2 years 5M program the EU has going, building tools for privacy on top of Blockchain.
It should peak everyone's interest how this plays out. And how much the IF is involved here.
So.. is a 2B Market Cap still absurd for IOTA? I really hope
it is NOT. Because the current MC gives the IF the possibility to rival the research incentives of 22 European countries.
Why did i go on about Bitcoin in the beginning. You see: as long as IOTA is traded against Bitcoin, you have two different $ prices attached to it. If 1 Miota is worth 17k satoshi, the price of satoshis dictates the price of Iota. One often ignored fact is that Binance overtook Finex in volume the past few weeks (ignoring the fact here that most volume on Binance is fake). But still, in a market where (as of today) Bitcoin has 44% Market Share and IOTA a measly 1%, it is naive to think any kind of "decoupling" will happen anytime soon unless these numbers change. The best MIOTA can do is to outperform
Bitcoin with a steady uptrend. This would be best case scenario. https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/iota/#markets
The available funds of the IF, especially the Ecofund, is in direct correlation to the bitcoin price - if you like it or not. So lets be careful what we wish for.
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