This week Coindesk released their 2020 State of Bitcoin and Blockchain Report – which I still think is one of the most approachable reports on Bitcoin around. The report covers the major trends from Q4 2020 and summarises the year in Bitcoin and Blockchain tech.
Below are some of the data points I found interesting from the 124 slide report.
- Almost all of Bitcoin’s major metrics were up for Q4 of 2020 (see slide 8) and overall for 2020 as compared to 2019.
- VC investment only grew by 6% in Q4 2020. Having said this VC investment ended 2021 up 36% from 2019 with a total of $US490m deployed (see slides 10 -11 and 88). Some might also be surprised that only 34% of capital raised went to Blockchain and Bitcoin hybrid companies (the remaining 66% going to Bitcoin pure play companies).
- 3 major stock exchanges (NASDAQ, LSE, and ASX) have or are working on implementing blockchain or distributed ledger products (see slide 19). I think this will be a growing trend this year.
- Unknown bitcoin mining pools declined from 11% to 1% in 2020 (see slide 22), but mining continued to become more centralised – with F2Pool and AntPool controlling around 50% of hashing power.
- Bitcoin price finished up 35% for 2020 (see slides 26-28) and was the ‘best performing currency’ for 2020.
- Bitcoin trading on major exchanges hit a single year high – $US35b in bitcoin was traded (see slide 33).
- Academic interest in Bitcoin has been on the rise, up 8% in 2020. Unsurprisingly, the economics field leads the way with 25% of all publications coming from the discipline (see slide 46).
- There was 0% growth in new bitcoin-accepting merchants based on Coinbase and BitPay data for Q4 2020 (see slide 68).
- Network difficulty spiked 67% in Q4 2020 in response to bitcoin’s price rise (see slide 73).
- What I think is one of the most important metrics for Bitcoin, Github repos, grew by 40% in 2020. As I’ve noted previously, I think this is a strong leading indicator of bitcoin’s growing mindshare amongst product creators (see slide 72) – which in my view is pivotal for the creation of ’killer apps’.