Why are Bitcoin transaction volumes dropping?

Widely used as a heuristic for assessing usage, Bitcoin's transaction volume--which had been growing since the beginning of 2019--has fallen off a cliff in the last week.

Bitcoin transaction count drops by 42% as Veriblock’s testnet ends
"Some publications have suggested that the drop in transactions could be due to Venezuela’s massive power outage. While it could be a small reason why the transaction count has declined, it is very unlikely that it played a significant role given how closely the decrease corresponds with Veriblock’s statistics prior to the end of its testnet. Veriblock’s mainnet launches on March 15 so the effect should be apparent then."

Other News

Ethereum’s ProgPoW Proposal: An Expensive Game of Whack-a-Mole
"At first glance, ProgPoW appears to minimize the advantage ASICs have over commodity hardware, making mining more accessible and thus decentralized. But upon further inspection, it becomes evident that ProgPoW doesn’t truly democratize mining as it claims. The current implementation of ProgPoW, in fact, worsens the performance gap between the different GPU models, with preference given to the newer and more expensive GPU models from NVIDIA and AMD (the RTX 2080, TitanX and Vega 64). The team behind the proposition has been transparent about the fact that the algorithm is optimized for certain GPUs, and they are actively working on a newer version of the algorithm to make it more fair to all models."

51% Attacks for Rent — The Consequence of a Liquid Mining Market
"In order to remain decentralized, cryptocurrencies using a proof of work system must not allow a single party to control the majority of total hashing power. But as the global pool of hashing power grows more liquid, cryptocurrencies need to pass another important test. They must be able to resist an attack from the total rentable global hashing power for their specific algorithm. Otherwise, arbitrageurs may find it financially attractive to rent hashing power in order to perform 51% attacks."

The $64 Trillion Question: With Foreigners Stepping Aside, Who Will Buy U.S Treasuries?
"Of particular note, the TBAC said, tongue in cheek, that while the 'USD is still the dominant reserve currency', reserve managers have been very gradually increasing allocation to other currencies, and that the USD share of FX reserves has steadily come down from 72% in 2000 to 62% now. It also pointed out that other countries with significant debt issuance needs (as a share of GDP) depend far more on domestic savings. As a result, 'the Treasury should plan to meet financing needs more domestically than in the recent past.'"

What is the Lightning Network?
"The idea behind the Lightning Network is that smaller, everyday transactions need not be stored on the main Bitcoin blockchain. The Lightning Network is a second layer built on top of the main blockchain. It enables faster micro-transactions using ‘off-chain payment channels’. Using this off-chain approach, transactions deemed less important or peripheral are conducted off of the main chain."

Open Source Tension — Who Should Profit?
"Twitter has been all a flutter with tweets on open source, specifically about what you do when open source meets the Cloud. Jon Christensen and Chris Hickman of Kelsus and Rich Staats of Secret Stache discuss the tension between creators and commercial users of open source software and projects."

Bitcoin As Scarce As Gold

Samsung Unveils Cryptocurrency Wallet, Dapps for Galaxy S10 Phone
"The news comes just weeks after Samsung gave the first confirmation that it would offer private cryptocurrency key storage on the S10 range. Soon after, the firm revealed the first details of the storage solution, the “Blockchain Keystore,” which appears to have three broad features: payments to merchants, digital signatures and cryptocurrency storage and transfers. Samsung Blockchain Wallet will be used in conjunction with Blockchain Keystore and is designed to simplify the transactions process for newcomers to the technology, according to CoinDesk Korea."

Decred Journal - February 2019
"Happy Birthday, Decred! Three years passed since the first block was mined on Feb 8, 2016. February has seen a lot of Politeia activity with 7 proposals submitted, 5 started voting and 4 passed on the first days of March. A total of $490,000 of marketing and events budget for the remainder of 2019 was formally approved by the voters. The network has sufficiently upgraded for the consensus vote necessary to fully support Lightning Network, projected to start on Mar 14. For everyone not upgraded yet, v1.4.0 release contains a lot of improvements and will be required for nodes to proceed on the upgraded chain in case the vote passes. As always, verify the binaries and tell friends to do the same."

Threats to the Network

Hardware Wallet Competition


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