Bitcoin’s One Billionth Transaction

As I write this, Bitcoin has just passed 985 million transactions. A quick, “back of the envelope” calculation says that it will process its one billionth transaction in six or seven weeks… somewhere around May 20th. I think this is a milestone we should note.

Now, before I explain why, please allow me to clarify something for the newcomers: I am not talking about the upcoming halving. That will arrive a month earlier, on April 20th or so. The halving will cut the supply of new bitcoins in half; what I’m discussing in this post is the one billionth transaction successfully processed by the Bitcoin network.

Those of us who’ve been around for a while will, I think, appreciate this accomplishment, and I’d like those who are newer to appreciate it as well.

Bitcoin has been surrounded by fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) since its beginning. Seemingly every high-and-mighty on the planet, along with every “trusted voice,” has trashed it publicly. The slogans thrown against it are far more than I could recount, and each was calculated to engender fear, not only to weaken the participants but to scare away any onlookers.

From esteemed stock-pickers calling it rat poison to central bankers issuing threats, the safety and reliability of Bitcoin have been endlessly ridiculed and attacked.

And so I think we have something to celebrate. Yes, one billion is simply a number, but we assign numbers to most everything, and whether we’re counting in base 2 or base 10, milestone numbers exist.

It’s also true that Schadenfreude (glee at the pain of your opponent) does not become us. Still, surviving and overcoming are worth a moment of celebration. We don’t have to laugh at people to enjoy the fact that we’ve endured and survived, despite endless attacks and toxic social pressures.

And so here we are: One billion successful Bitcoin transactions. Through all our errors and weaknesses, we held on and kept moving forward… and it worked. The FUD ultimately failed. 

Bitcoin is primarily a giant set of math problems… and math doesn’t care about FUD: Math simply is.

And Bitcoin simply is. 

May God bless all of Bitcoin’s participants and advocates: They’ve overcome non-stop opposition and innumerable attacks to make the world a better place.

Paul Rosenberg