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Blockchain.info

Blockchain.info provides a number of charts for price and several other metrics on the Bitcoin network.  Some of the charts are not completely accurate.

  • Total Bitcoins in Circulation – An unknown number of Bitcoins have been lost.  Estimates range from 1 – 5 million as many people deleted their wallets in the early days when Bitcoin had little or no value.
  • Market Capitalization.  Lost private keys that make Bitcoins inaccessible are not taken into account but there is no way to know how many keys were lost.
  • Total transaction fees.  These are artificially high due to the rapid price increase and the fixed fees in the software.  The version 0.9 will update the transaction fees so they will “float” and create a free market between users and miners.
  • Number of Transactions.
  • Number of Transactions Excluding Popular Addresses.  Some gambling sites generate large numbers of transactions that can skew the numbers.  This number is more representative of merchant transactions.
  • Number of Unique Bitcoin Addresses Used.  Anyone can use as many Bitcoin addresses as they want.
  • Number of Transactions Per Block.  The block size currently limits this to about 7 transactions per second.  Plans are being made to increase the block size.
  • Number of Orphaned Blocks.  When blocks are found they are broadcast to the network and there is latency.  Different miners may be working on different chains.  When the “winner” gets resolved some blocks get “orphaned” and the transactions need to be reprocessed in a new block.  the miner also loses the reward.
  • Total Output Volume.  This includes “change.”  If you have 10 Bitcoin and you send 1 Bitcoin then a second transactions sends 9 Bitcoin back to your wallet to a new address called a “change” address.  This obfuscates the transactions as the entire ledger is public.
  • Estimated Transaction Volume.   Algorithm that attempts to remove change and this is not completely reliable hence the term “estimated.”
  • Estimated USD Transaction Volume.  Same as above.
  • USD Exchange Volume.  Note that exchange volumes are not Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain public ledger.  These number are reported by exchanges and cannot be verified.
  • Trade Volume vs Transaction Volume Ratio.  Trade volumes are unverified and transaction volumes are estimated.
  • Mt. Gox Market Price.  Withdrawals from Mt. Gox are limited in some countries resulting in a generally higher price as compared to other exchanges.  Generally not valid for US customers.
  • Cost % of transaction volume.  These are artificially high due to the rapid price increase and the fixed fees in the software.  The version 0.9 will update the transaction fees so they will “float” and create a free market between users and miners.
  • Cost Per Transaction.  Same as above.
  • Hash Rate.  Miners use their computer power to process the transactions and protect the system from security.  The higher the hash rate the harder it is for someone to take over the network.
  • Difficulty.  As the hash rate increased the “difficulty” of the math problem increases since there is a fixed number of Bitcoins released.  Actually the number of Bitcoins released is accelerated as the hash rate increases because the system adjusts about every 2 weeks.  The increases during the “retargeting” period results in Bitcoins being released faster.  If the has rate decreases the number gets reduced.  The overall total of Bitcoins to be released is fixed at 21 million.
  • Miners’ Revenue.  Block rewards get halved about every 4 years (see above about accelerated releases) and is currently 25 Bitcoins per block.  Transactions fees are added to that.
  • Average Transaction Confirmation Time.  Miners decide which transactions to accept and some miners will not accept certain transactions, such as “low priority” transactions without a fee.  these could sit there unprocessed until a miner who accepts that type of transaction processes a block.
  • Bitcoin Days Destroyed Cumulative.  This tries to measure the turnover of Bitcoins and older Bitcoins that are moved have a much higher “days destroyed” value than recently moved Bitcoins.  Sometimes exchanges move large amounts of Bitcoin from cold storage so this could skew the data.
  • Bitcoin Days Destroyed.  See above.
  • Blockchain Size.
  • My Wallet Transaction Volume.  Specific to Blockchain.info services.
  • My Wallet Number Of Users.  Specific to Blockchain.info services.
  • My Wallet Number of Transactions per day.  Specific to Blockchain.info services.

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