Bitcoin Usage is 'Really High At the Moment', eToro's Senior Analyst Reveals

Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, a leading social trading platform, has revealed that Google searches for bitcoin (BTC), have increased due to the current rally which appears to have run out of steam.

Greenspan pointed out that cryptocurrency trading volumes have started to pick up, however both trading activity and online searches about cryptocurrencies are “nowhere near” what they were when digital asset prices recorded record-level highs in late 2017.

Greenspan, a licensed portfolio manager, noted that “volumes across” digital asset exchanges (during the last 3 months) are “at their highest levels” since April 2018. Bitcoin usage is “also really high at the moment”, the former financial investments advisor at Ava FX mentioned. In fact, bitcoin usage is “near the highest it’s ever been at 3.87 transactions per second (TPS)”, Greenspan wrote.

Moreover, the experienced market analyst said that BTC usage rates had been “rising steadily throughout the bear market” as bitcoin adoption continued to increase even when crypto prices were down considerably from their record level highs.

"Emerging Markets" Experienced Greatest Increase In Bitcoin Usage

As many other researchers have observed, Greenspan tweeted:

Bitcoin usage is especially high in emerging markets where the local economy is less stable.

Indeed, countries experiencing hyperinflation such as Venezuela have seen bitcoin trading volumes explode to all-time highs. Venezuelans seem to increasingly be turning to cryptoassets, in order to preserve their wealth as the Bolivar (the nation’s fiat currency) has become practically worthless due to extreme inflation.

Notably, volumes on the popular peer-to-peer (P2P) LocalBitcoins exchange were 157x greater (on February 11th, 2019) than Venezuela’s largest stock exchange. Today (February 21st, 2019), Greenspan pointed out that global trading volumes on LocalBitcoins “have been rising lately” when compared to the “noticeable dip” during the prolonged bear market (which is still not over).

Most Millennials More Confident In Crypto Than Traditional Stocks

On February 19th, eToro published the results of its survey which shows that most millennials appear to be more confident in cryptocurrencies, instead of buying traditional stocks. Interestingly, most or 71% of the young investors responding to the survey said they “would invest in crypto if it was offered by traditional financial institutions.”

Over 90% of millennial crypto traders that participated in eToro’s survey said “they would invest more money in [digital assets] if [they] were offered by traditional financial institutions such as TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab.”

Burn Satoshi's Bitcoin, Suggests Paxful CEO in Thought Experiment

John Moore
  • Paxful CEO Ray Youssef proposes 'burning' the stash of Bitcoin alleged to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto
  • Bitcoin creator said to hold up to 980,000BTC in dormant wallets, theoretically worth US$10 billion
  • Without complete consensus on the move,  burning the coins would cause another Bitcoin fork

One member of the global cryptocurrency community has come up with what can best be described as a scorched earth policy for settling the debate over who is Satoshi Nakamoto once and for all. 

With the spotlights of Bitcoin watchers firmly on the latest questionable claim to be the creator of cryptocurrency as we know it, Ray Youssef - CEO and co-founder of crypto marketplace and wallet service, Paxful - in a now-deleted Tweet - took to Twitter to propose a Bitcoin soft fork that would 'burn' the BTC its  pseudonymous developer is thought to hold in wallets that have never been active.

His suggestion was ignored by a group of crypto-luminaries who he tagged for support, and apparently rounded on by commenters. 

Blockchain analysis undertaken in 2013 by Security Researcher and Bitcoin Blogger, Sergio Demain Lerner , alleged that Nakamoto may have amassed something like 980,000 bitcoin as a lone miner in the early days of its existence. When the BitMEX exchange team revisited Lerner's work a year ago, they reduced this estimate to 700,000 - but didn't rule out the possibility that the figure could be much higher.

Thus, the cryptocurrency the creator fo bitcoin likely accumulated between Jan and August 2009 (or late-Jan 2010, depending on whose opinion you listen to) could, theoretically, be worth something in the region of $10 billion at the current market rate.

A more realistic assessment of their value, however, centers on the idea  that - as they are sitting in the most closely watched wallets on the crypto scene - any attempt to move or sell them would cause massive upheaval in the global cryptocurrency markets, crash the BTC price and gut their value before a significant amount could even make it to a hot wallet somewhere. 

This scenario has been a sword of Damocles threatening Bitcoin since the Satoshi's Stash theories first appeared amid early interest in the concept, explaining the appeal of simply removing control of the coins from their owner - especially to someone with a vested interest in Bitcoin's value. However, Youssef's suggestion that such a measure would 'smoke out' Nakamoto's real life persona, was obviously considered to be ethically outrageous by some and a logistical nightmare by almost everyone. 

It's not that it isn't technically possible. It is. However, unless it had the consensus of the entire Bitcoin network (saying it wouldn't is a pretty safe bet), the fork would create two blockchains and a 'Schroedinger's Nakamoto' - where Satoshi was very rich on one, but not on the other. 

Let it not be forgotten that a similar schism led to a fork in the Ethereum blockchain following The DAO hack a few years back, a split that we have to thank for the existence of Ethereum Classic, which stuck with the pre-DAO blockchain. Let it also not be forgotten that recent Bitcoin forks have not worked out so well for most of the parties involved. Let it also not be forgotten that Nakamoto is considered with almost deity like reverence by some crypto-evangelists. All in all, it seems Youssef is now regretting making the suggestion

So, while Youssef's suggestion could well have been a way to get the real Satoshi Nakamoto to please stand up, it would likely have done much more damage than good.