Bitcoin is a pseudonymous system. This means that each user remains more or less anonymous as long as they do not reveal their own addresses on the network. Each user can have several addresses. As a result, it is difficult to estimate precisely the number of Bitcoin users at any given time.
Only the number of addresses created can be accurately known. Similarly, it is possible to list the active addresses on the network by setting a time threshold.
Addresses in the network that have not been used for ten years can be considered lost. Nothing is certain, but it is a choice that is made. Even so, several concurring estimates have pointed to Bitcoin reaching the 100 million user mark by September 2020.
The bullish rally in Bitcoin that began in October 2020 must have inflated this figure.
Bitcoin is growing faster than the Internet in its early days
The estimated number of users of the Bitcoin network at the time of writing allows a comparison with the number of users of the Internet in 1997. From the threshold of 100 million users, the Internet had to wait another 8 years to reach 1 billion users. That was in 2005.
The Bitcoin network is currently growing faster than the Internet did in its early days. If it continues to grow at this rate, Bitcoin could very well reach one billion users within four years:
Such a success would surprise the general public, but for all Bitcoiners, it is not surprising. In fact, it is inevitable. Many people wonder why Bitcoin is attracting more and more users.
There are many reasons, of course, and the financial appeal cannot be ignored. However, there is a more fundamental reason for the long-term success of Bitcoin in my opinion. To understand this, we have to go back to the roots of the current monetary and financial system.
Fiat money is the truth of government and central bankers
In the current system, the powerful in charge are constantly asking you to believe their truth.
The fiat money is in fact the truth of the government and the central bankers. To know how many U.S. dollars are in circulation, you have to believe what the Fed tells you. You have no way of checking for yourself.
If you want to know the amount of the Fed's Balance Sheet, you must again trust a minority of people who are not representative of the people. It is the same with the fruits of your labor placed in a bank account. You may not know it, but the banks are not in a position to give depositors all their money back if they were to demand it all at once.
Again, the Fed sets the reserve requirement rate, which is the amount of money that commercial banks must have in reserve for savers.
In the current system, you have to trust others to preserve the fruits of your labor. History has shown us time and again that it is impossible to place this trust blindly in central bankers and private bankers.
Bitcoin was created to address this problem of misled trust
This problem of misled trust is what led Satoshi Nakamoto to create bitcoin:
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.”
To address this issue of trust, Satoshi Nakamoto designed a completely decentralized system where everyone is free to verify at any time what the truth is.
This system is Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the truth that everyone can and should verify at any time
Bitcoin is encrypted P2P money that allows each user to have the same weight as another. Bitcoin represents the truth. This assertion may come as a surprise to some, but those who know the currency of Bitcoin will not be surprised:
“Don’t Trust, Verify.”
Bitcoin teaches you to check everything yourself. The reason Bitcoin makes you do this is that anyone can check the accounts on the Bitcoin network at any time.
Want to know the maximum number of BTC in circulation? Just check the Bitcoin source code yourself. Want to know how many BTC are in circulation at any given time? Just run your own node on the Bitcoin network. Then you'll be able to check everything yourself.
Bitcoin gives you this right, but it's also a duty.
You owe it to yourself to make sure that all the guarantees Bitcoin gives you are preserved at all times. There are no half-truths with Bitcoin. Bitcoin has a duty to respect the contract it makes with its users at all times.
This is the fundamental reason why more and more users are joining the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin is a network of trust. This is why the demand for Bitcoin will continue to grow in the years to come. The transparency that Bitcoin offers you is unparalleled. It is a game-changer.
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