Bitcoin use and adoption: infographic

Wednesday 01 July 2015

Want to know how bitcoin is being used? Take a look at this infographic.

Here’s a great infographic from Georgi Georgiev of, who has collated a bunch of information from Bitpay and Coinbase and presented it all in this handy summary.

Read also: What do people buy for bitcoin? 


The take home message from all the stories is that bitcoin is moving from investment commodity to everyday use currency - something I don’t agree with, as it happens. Whilst adoption is certainly increasing and the number of transactions growing, the shift towards spending and away from speculation is most likely a result of the overheated market of December 2013. Once the bubble burst, there was only one way to go: down. That meant it made far more sense to sell or spend bitcoins than hold them. Central banks engineer a similar effect when they lower interest rates or print money; inflation or the falling value of money means consumers spend rather than save, because they know their money will be worth less tomorrow. In other words, the increasing use of bitcoin as a currency isn’t simply a result of natural growth in adoption: it was forced by money flooding out of the speculative market and incentivising holders to let go of their coins. (In this respect, the crash has been excellent news for the bitcoin economy, stimulating activity that wouldn’t have occurred if it continued to soar in value.)

There are a couple of surprises. Bitcoin remains a western phenomenon, though its use in Latin America is rising. Mining, unfortunately, accounts for the greatest proportion of transactions, as miners cash out their earnings, but e-commerce is growing - with large volumes from the gift card sector, thanks to Gyft. Offline, food businesses account for the largest chunk of the bitcoin market, at almost 77%.

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