Economic activity on the Bitcoin network has been rising so far this year, so much so that daily confirmed transactions have recently hit a 16-month high, with nearly 440,000 transactions being confirmed in a single day.
Similarly, data from Blockchain.com shows that the average blocksize is also moving in an upward direction, just like its hashrate. The 440,000 daily on-chain confirmed transactions figure was seen earlier this month, and surpassed the number of daily confirmed transactions seen in January of last year.
The Bitcoin blockchain was only seeing more transactions per day back in December of 2017, when the flagship cryptocurrency hit its near $20,000 all-time high. Throughout last year’s bear market, activity on the blockchain dwindled, but started recovering by July.
The increase in economic activity on the Bitcoin blockchain has notably ben accompanied by the growth of its second-layer scaling solution, the Lightning Network. According to 1ML data, the network already has a capacity of over 1,060 BTC ($6 million). Currently, it has 8,200 nodes, and 38,290 open channels. The Lightning Network has over time been gaining new use cases. These already include playing chess, buying from vending machines, buying art, paying for taxi rides, and more.
The 16-month high in confirmed transactions comes at a time in which many are showing interest in the cryptocurrency space, and in which the price of BTC itself has been rising as a result. According to CryptoCompare data, bitcoin is currently trading at $5,800 after rising 16.5% in the last 30 days.
Facebook, for example, has reportedly been looking for partners to launch its own cryptocurrency-based payments system, that could see websites and apps integrate a Facebook payment option, in a way similar to the way they currently have a Facebook log-in option.
A recently conducted survey has shown that 68% of high-net-worth individuals have already invested or plan to invest in the cryptocurrency space until 2022. Interestingly, a separate survey has shown 47% of institutional investors believe cryptocurrencies are worth investing in.
Others, however, aren’t convinced. Warren Buffett, a billionaire investor and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has recently reaffirmed his stance on cryptos, by claiming he sees bitcoin as a “gambling device” that doesn’t produce anything.