The good thing about the new year has been the lack of any news about crypto prices further spiraling downwards. This lull has given the market the much-needed breathing space, and the digital assets a chance to recover. Thus many commentators were surprised when it was noticed that there has been a steady increase in Bitcoin [BTC] transactions, despite the bear market.
While bitcoin, like every other crypto, has fallen by 80 percent compared to this time last year, the trades are rivaling that of the same time period, in terms of volume. This is all the more startling as one realizes the price of BTC in early January was hovering around $15000, compared to its price of $3,700 today.
This is an encouraging sign clearly demonstrating the markets faith and the publics willingness to adopt the technology. Add to this, it has also been noted that Bitcoin payments have increasingly been made using the Segregated Witness (SegWit) protocol. In fact, today, nearly half of all Bitcoin network transactions are via this protocol. It also frees the network from the shackles of any size limit, ergo, the Bitcoin network now consistently produces blocks over the 1MB limit.
An Effective Scalability Solution.
After addressing data size concerns, the network has also looked to resolve the issue with scalability. To this end the previous year was littered with milestones for the Lightning Network [LN]. LN is a solution to bitcoins scaling problem and, in the last year alone, has increased its capacity by nearly four folds, reaching over 19,000 channels. Due to this the capacity of the network currently lies at 566.74 BTC. Also, when one factor in the fact that the LN is an off-chain scaling solution, it's only logical to conclude that actual daily transaction figures would be much higher.
The network is working on being able to support a million transaction per second; in contrast, the fastest conventional option is Visa, which can do about 40,000. Along with that, the LN also allows minuscule amounts to be transferred. To highlight this fact, last month, Cryptograffiti, an artist, auctioned a piece of work, to the lowest bidder. The winning bid was of 1 milli-satoshi, roughly translating to $0.000000037. This he hopes will one day let people tip others for small social niceties such as letting them in while merging traffic.
With continuous behind the scenes improvement, even as prices continue to hold steady, the market seems to be giving the technology enough breathing space to innovate and make a difference.