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Author Topic: Bitcoin commerce may already be over $100 million per year.  (Read 1499 times)
BitcoinEconomy
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April 04, 2013, 08:58:46 PM
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Sorry this took so long, I had to manually convert all of the data into USD. AFAIK, other than the study on SilkRoad last year this is the only attempt to estimate the size of trade for actual stuff with Bitcoin.

I had over 180 responses to last weeks survey that provided a huge amount of data on Bitcoin users.

You can see a summary of most survey statistics here

Main points:
 
  • Half of Bitcoin users are American
  • 97% of Bitcoin users are male
  • Most are working or in school
  • Over half have completed at least a Bachelors
  • The average user who bought anything with Bitcoin has spent $2,180
  • Drugs/contraband are not the most popular good purchased with Bitcoin!
  • Bitcoin users have become less worried about anonymity over the last year
  • Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin users still have a very, very positive outlook on price.

Now for the fun bit.

Based on the number of unique addresses since April 2012 to just before Easter of this year, about 3.4 times more unique addresses are used every day (46,000/13,000) now. The number of transactions excluding popular addresses shows a similar tripling from just over 6,000 to just over 18,000 daily transactions (I’m ignoring the meteoric increase over the last couple of week).

As of August 2012, Mt. Gox had over 190,000 accounts but only 8% (about 15,000) had actually been active in the past month. In January 2012, Mt. Gox reported just under 23,000 active accounts based on 122,500 accounts (18.7%). Last year,

A Reddit user, John Vandivier, posted a good analysis of the number of Bitcoin users (http://thegenerallifeblog.blogspot.ca/2013/02/how-popular-is-bitcoin.html), but I believe this counts the number of users ever rather than number currently active. He estimated in February 2012 that there are about 450K accounts. As noted above, the number of active users actually dropped on Mt. Gox between January and August 2012, despite the rise in the number of accounts.

So, now here is the very, very, rough math (please feel free to provide suggestions to improve this estimate). Last year in April there were 25,000 active users multiply by 3.4 gives 85,000 active users. This is similar to taking John’s 450k estimate, adjusting for the increase in unique Bitcoin addresses in the past month (about 10%, so we’ll say 50K) and assuming about 15% of accounts are active. This estimate gives right around 80,000 active accounts.

So, if the average user spends around $2,180 on goods and services with Bitcoin about 82,500 accounts are active, and 64.4% have purchased something.

Total Bitcoin commerce in the last year was about $116 million – quadruple the amount from last April.

The users who reported over $10,000 pretty significantly skew the average and I suspect Reddit and Bitcointalk have the most active users in the entire community. Dropping the users who reported over $10,000 in spending, the average spending per Bitcoin user is a much more conservative $1,200.

At a much more conservative estimate, the total amount of Bitcoin e-commerce in the past year was just over $64 million U.S.

You can find the full follow-up post here


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April 04, 2013, 09:10:36 PM
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Are your estimates for 2013 annualized, or year to date?
BitcoinEconomy
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April 04, 2013, 09:26:33 PM
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I asked users for their spending in the past 12 months. So it's actually April 2012 to March 2013.

I should consider doing a monthly survey to track the trend better. Obviously a lot of the growth has been in the past 3 months, so I would bet that the 2013 projection would be higher than $100 million even.
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April 05, 2013, 04:59:09 AM
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I read someone was waiting to get verified by gox, they were position 16000 something. I think the stats are off just a little.

I don't think the average person is spending $2200 or $1200 on anything bitcoin related, look around.. most BTC users are poor as hell, let alone spending $2200 on anything. Maybe in the next few months that number might be reasonable, because when they had $300 worth of coin, they now have $4000.

Satoshidice doesn't count as spending... Because if so I've spent around $10,000 loss..
And real spending on goods, maybe $200.

Is your statistics on bitcoins spent to current USD?
Because a few months back I bought a PS3 for $150/10BTC and now they're worth like $1200, that doesn't really count as spending $1200.

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