Many analysts, including former Bitcoin (BTC) short seller Mark Dow, look at the price of cryptocurrencies to determine the health of their underlying fundamentals. However, a prominent cryptocurrency proponent has claimed that in spite of the market, 2018 was Bitcoin’s “most successful year” yet, specifically in terms of network performance.
Bitcoin Segwit Usage Holds 40%
Jameson Lopp, a prominent Bitcoiner, cypherpunk, and the CTO of crypto startup CasaHODL, recently took to his Twitter page to draw attention to the fact that 2018 has been a great year for the Segregated Witness (SegWit) protocol. SegWit, for those who missed the memo, is a protocol that allows more transactions to fit into each processed block by reformatting transactional data.
More specifically, since January, the peak of crypto’s most recent season of speculative mania, SegWit adoption in Bitcoin transactions has risen from 10% to 40%. Many have attributed the monumental adoption of the protocol to exchanges and platform, who have begun to utilize SegWit wallets to reduce operational expenses, while still providing cheaper withdrawal fees for consumers worldwide.
The percentage of bitcoin transactions spending Segregated Witness inputs rose from 10% to 40% in 2018. pic.twitter.com/wGiFZsFga5
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) December 21, 2018
As a result of this uptick in SegWit use, the virtual transaction size fell from 750 bytes in February to 450 bytes, decreasing fees incurred for each transfer of BTC. This news comes hot on the heels of BitcoinLinux’s previous report that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, another key scaling solution, has seen a Cambrian-like growth explosion in 2018. As established in that report, the Lightning Network, an off-chain system that facilitates instant, low-cost, scalable transactions, can now facilitate 500 BTC.
Per 1ML’s real-time statistics, node channels supporting the scaling protocol, headed by Bitcoin development consortium Blockstream, can now accept 496.49 BTC, a sum that amounts to $1.93 million at current prices. And by the looks of it, this figure is only slated to swell in the months to come. In the past month, network capacity has increased by 13%, even as the crypto market en bloc has remained in a troubled, chaotic state.
Not Bitcoin’s Only Accomplishment In 2018
SegWit adoption and the growth of Lightning aren’t Bitcoin’s only accomplishments in 2018, far from, in fact. As noted by Armin Van Bitcoin, a pseudonymous, yet prominent cryptocurrency zealot, there are a handful of developments that made 2018 a great year for the project.
2018 has been by far the most successful year in #Bitcoin.
— A v B (@ArminVanBitcoin) December 23, 2018
Bitcoin saw the 0.16.0 and 0.17.0 installments of its core software go live, the former of which aided SegWit’s arrival to the mainstream. Blockstream also made strides, allowing offline consumers nearly all across the globe to access the Bitcoin blockchain via a series of satellites. And even while the network’s hashrate has recently stumbled, it remains up by 400% year-on-year, accentuating the fact that miners still see value in BTC.
The aforementioned developments are far from an expansive list, but regardless, it is clear that Bitcoin continues to do fine, even in spite of the devastating market conditions.
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