During the last three years the number of nodes in the Bitcoin blockchain network rose by 5001 percent, according to data published by Jameson Lopp, a developer and well known figure in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Lopp’s publication compares the quantity of miners that validated a block during a period of five seconds in the period between January 8th, 2015 and January 2nd this year.
Even though is is not the only way to do it, it is possible to demonstrate the growth of Bitcoin by counting the quantity of nodes that participate in the network, i.e. the quantity of users that contribute with their computers to the processing of transactions and generating the blocks in the blockchain network. The more nodes there are in the network, the blockchain becomes more decentralized, since there are more eyes verifying the information transmitted in the blocks is true.
The first video published by Jameson Lopp shows 176 nodes mainly located in China and Japan, even though a few of them are located in the United States of America and Europe. In the second video, three years later, there are 8,978 nodes that validated a block in a time period of five seconds.
In the second video, the participation of the United States of America and Europe rises, as well as the number of nodes in China and Japan, that still present large concentrations of validators. Moreover, many new nodes appear in Latin America, especially in Argentina and Brazil, as well as in Africa and Australia, which are the regions that did not participate in the network back in 2015.
Lopp published a couple of tweets on his official Twitter account: “Tracking the propagation of a Bitcoin block on January 8, 2015. Compare this with the next tweet showing block propagation in 2018.
Tracking the propagation of a Bitcoin block on January 2, 2018. The hard work Bitcoin developers have put into improving network propagation is quite clear!”
According to Earn.com, the country with the highest number of nodes is the United States of America, with 24 percent of the total number of nodes. The second country on the list is Germany with 17% of the total number of nodes. The third place is occupied by China, despite being the country where the main producers of ASIC mining chips are located and where more than 50% of the mining pools are located. This way we can observe that Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency according to the price and market capitalization on the cryptocurrency market, is also the most decentralized cryptocurrency out there.
Coin Dance, a portal that presents different metrics about the performance of the Bitcoin blockchain network counts approximately 5,900 nodes on August 9th, 2015. This number was relatively stable during more than one year, but since the beginning of 2017, as the blockchain technology started gaining more public recognition, the number of nodes grew up to almost eleven thousand nodes in October last year. However, some days later the number of nodes was reduced and now there are around 9,300 users working on the processing of the transactions and maintaining the Bitcoin blockchain network in operation.
Since the creation of Bitcoin almost a decade ago, the distributed ledger technology (DLT) came a long way from being a small niche to which a few unknown and anonymous enthusiasts were dedicated. These people considered Bitcoin to be a way to recuperate the financial freedom, which represents a global revolution that every day gains new followers.
Despite the swings in the price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency and different detractors, the adoption and growth of Bitcoin have not stopped growing and expanding.