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Author Topic: Is there a way to track how many people use Bitcoin?  (Read 990 times)
Elokane
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June 28, 2011, 02:45:37 PM
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I am wondering how many people use Bitcoin (i.e. have a wallet with at least 0.01 BTC in it) and how this has changed (and will change) with time.
I know that there were only ~3k users on MtGox 3 months ago and when the DB was leaked there were 60,000, but that's just one statistic.

Is there anything more accurate?

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Turix
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June 28, 2011, 02:51:03 PM
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The most accurate way I can think of off the top of my head would be to monitor the bootstrapping IRC channels for unique IP addresses over a given period - this wouldn't be 100% accurate however.

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June 28, 2011, 02:55:39 PM
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The IRC channels? That doesn't seem an accurate way at all, I know I've never used them. I know there is a way to look at the number of bitcoin nodes. Which would give you the number of machines running a bitcoin client at this moment. Double or triple that and you would have an order of magnitude guess.

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June 28, 2011, 03:01:55 PM
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The IRC channels? That doesn't seem an accurate way at all, I know I've never used them. I know there is a way to look at the number of bitcoin nodes. Which would give you the number of machines running a bitcoin client at this moment. Double or triple that and you would have an order of magnitude guess.

I think you might have the wrong idea of IRC there, basically there exist 100 channels on freenode(?) named something like #bitcoin-(1-99) or something like that; when you start your bitcoin client it joins one of these channels at random and collects a list of initial peers for it connect to - this process is known as Bootstrapping. Once it has this initial list is doesn't necessarily need to talk to IRC again since it can then fetch new peers via its peers and so and and so forth, the slight downside to collecting the stats like this is that you can disable IRC bootstrapping in the bitcoin.conf and either enable a static DNS bootstrap (aka fetch a list of peers from a predetermined address) or simply manually add nodes/connect directly to someone.

Edit: To more accurately answer the OP if you wanted to only find a list of addresses that contained at least some currency or have had some kind of transactions in the last x days this could be done by analysis of the block chain, blockexplorer would probably be a good place to start.

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June 28, 2011, 03:13:46 PM
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The IRC channels? That doesn't seem an accurate way at all, I know I've never used them. I know there is a way to look at the number of bitcoin nodes. Which would give you the number of machines running a bitcoin client at this moment. Double or triple that and you would have an order of magnitude guess.

I think you might have the wrong idea of IRC there, basically there exist 100 channels on freenode(?) named something like #bitcoin-(1-99) or something like that; when you start your bitcoin client it joins one of these channels at random and collects a list of initial peers for it connect to - this process is known as Bootstrapping. Once it has this initial list is doesn't necessarily need to talk to IRC again since it can then fetch new peers via its peers and so and and so forth, the slight downside to collecting the stats like this is that you can disable IRC bootstrapping in the bitcoin.conf and either enable a static DNS bootstrap (aka fetch a list of peers from a predetermined address) or simply manually add nodes/connect directly to someone.

Edit: To more accurately answer the OP if you wanted to only find a list of addresses that contained at least some currency or have had some kind of transactions in the last x days this could be done by analysis of the block chain, blockexplorer would probably be a good place to start.

Oh, ok. I didn't know that. I was wondering if I was missing something since your answer didn't make much sense to me. I see now.

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stic.man
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June 28, 2011, 03:15:40 PM
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Is there a way to determine what percentage of the bitcoin client downloads are actually installed/utilized?
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June 28, 2011, 03:56:01 PM
 #7

One thing we know for sure is that there were around 60,000 people trading on Mt.Gox. No wait - 60,000 *accounts* on Mt.Gox. So, my guess is "anything between 50,000 and 100,000". But that's kind of a wild guess.

Would be nice to have a way to really track the number but that's probably hard given the peer-to-peer-nature of Bitcoin.

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June 28, 2011, 04:07:29 PM
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List I checked, the count of IPs seen within 24 hours by the client was around 70,000.

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