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Author Topic: Is there a way to estimate the number of bitcoin users?  (Read 1383 times)
knight22
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July 16, 2012, 02:57:25 AM
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¿ Huh ?

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FreeMoney
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July 16, 2012, 03:03:10 AM
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users ~= [days since block 0]^1.6


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deepceleron
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July 16, 2012, 06:15:03 AM
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You can see how many Bitcoin clients are being run:
http://bitcoinstatus.rowit.co.uk/



Of course one doesn't need to run client software in order to have or use Bitcoin. Your bitcoins can be in an exchange or online wallet, or your wallet can be safely stashed away for a rainy day.

Come-from-Beyond
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July 16, 2012, 06:43:21 AM
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users ~= [days since block 0]^1.6

More precisely it's [days since block 0]^1.6180339887

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Vladimir
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July 16, 2012, 07:32:57 AM
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users ~= [days since block 0]^1.6

More precisely it's [days since block 0]^1.6180339887

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To be even more precise X^1.6180339887, where X is unknown.

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July 16, 2012, 07:53:06 AM
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You can see how many Bitcoin clients are being run:
http://bitcoinstatus.rowit.co.uk/

Of course one doesn't need to run client software in order to have or use Bitcoin. Your bitcoins can be in an exchange or online wallet, or your wallet can be safely stashed away for a rainy day.

IMHO, the number of full clients correlates only negatively to the chain size and does not correlate at all to the number of users (because of hosted wallets like paytunia).
The number of users would include people using bitcoin in at least one of the three classical functions of money (store of value, unit of account, medium of exchange).
For instance a merchant accepting bitcoins would not even need to use it in any of the other two functions (accepting through a service provider like bitcoin-central then cashing out to fiat at the end of the day).
Yet the merchant would be using bitcoin as a unit of account (displaying prices in bitcoin) and helping promote the use of bitcoin as a means of payment.

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July 16, 2012, 07:58:08 AM
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users ~= [days since block 0]^1.6

More precisely it's [days since block 0]^1.6180339887

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Lol, I'm such a dummy, how'd I miss that. It's so obvious.

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Alphonso Bedoya
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July 16, 2012, 05:07:53 PM
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Don't use running clients as a guide. I am sure I'm not the only one who uses BTC without the client because it brings my netbook to it's knees when I try to run it. Instawallet works fine.

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unclemantis
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July 17, 2012, 12:40:10 PM
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Don't use running clients as a guide. I am sure I'm not the only one who uses BTC without the client because it brings my netbook to it's knees when I try to run it. Instawallet works fine.

I am currently using a thin wallet for day to day operations and a paper wallet for cold storage. I hardly ever have the thin client running unless i need to make a transaction.

Number of hosts connected is not a good way of estimating number of bitcoin users.

Better way is to look at the average number of transactions I would guess and then do some math to figure out certain patterns in the frequency of spending, etc...

Either way the number of bitcoin users doesn't make a difference. It is the stability of the existing users that are important!

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July 17, 2012, 01:01:51 PM
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Is it fair to say that although the number of connected nodes isn't a good count now, it used to be a year or so ago?

If so the thing to do would be to take that as the base, then look at the trend in transaction volume or number of addresses used to figure out what happened since then.
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July 17, 2012, 03:53:20 PM
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Is it fair to say that although the number of connected nodes isn't a good count now,

It doesn't count a single ewallet user.

Here's an example.  BlockChain.info's wallet are not on the node list:



Now it doesn't differentiate between wallet account and wallet accounts with a non-zero balance (or non-trivial, more than the bitcoin faucet's freebie worth of bitcoins), so these can't be considered as true users.

mystery2048
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July 17, 2012, 03:55:29 PM
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The question is not how many users, but how many users use it and to what extent... There is a big difference between a user who gambles with a bit-cent and someone who does everything with bitcoin... either way, I think anyone who treats this as more than a silly little game/research experiment is probably a fool...

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knight22
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July 17, 2012, 04:04:08 PM
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I'll make a poll to know how much wallets a user own. Then we could make some estimations with that.

Stephen Gornick
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July 17, 2012, 10:23:56 PM
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I think anyone who treats this as more than a silly little game/research experiment is probably a fool...

Are you referring to bitcoin?  Millions of dollars a month are converted at the exchanges.  There is additional commerce that stays in bitcoin rather than requiring exchange to/from fiat (though it is a significantly lesser amount, to-date) .  And bitcoin is barely known by anyone except for techies currently.

Are you just saying bitcoin is, today, inconsequential in size not worth measuring, or are you saying something else?

jim618
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July 17, 2012, 10:38:22 PM
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It looks like blockchain.info's wallet count is going up by about 3,000 a month.

Some other metrics:

Armory downloads:
https://github.com/etotheipi/BitcoinArmory/downloads
Currently around 1,000 downloads a month.

MultiBit downloads:
https://github.com/jim618/multibit/downloads
Currently around 2,000 downloads a month.

These are both software downloads so it is unknown how many active users that represents. (It could be a new user, someone upgrading old code or an install on a different machine).

As Electrum is 'lighter' still I would expect their download stats are higher than both Armory and MultiBit's but that is only a guess.

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