Annual Global Research: 2018 Report



1 Bitcoin = $3,829

Market Cap = $67 billion


Bitcoin Price

December 2010 = $0.3

December 2011 = $4

December 2012 = $13

December 2013 = $796

December 2014 = $315

December 2015 = $431

December 2016 = $964

December 2017 = $13,256

December 2018 = $3,829


Bitcoin Dominance Index Back Above 50%

Now at 52%, up from an all-time low of 32% in January.

August was the first month this year that Bitcoin accounted for over half the value of crypto assets.


Bitcoin Settlement Volumes Surpass the OTC Gold Market

Bitcoin settlement data from CM:

Conservatively, (adjusted estimates), Bitcoin has settled $848b this year, and is on track to settle $1.38T.

Bitcoin, it appears, has quietly surpassed the OTC gold market in settlement volumes.

– Nic Carter, September 2018


Bitcoin Transactions are Large

The average bitcoin transaction is $3k and your median bitcoin transaction is $200. It’s mostly going between large exchanges.

Compared to Visa, Bitcoin has moved up several orders of magnitude in its throughput [volume]. Visa has also been increasing in the last decade.

Bitcoin is a single order of magnitude from Visa transaction volumes. Even though they are two distinct systems with dissimilarities, bitcoin’s throughput or volume is only 1 order of magnitude off.

– Nic Carter, September 2018


Silicon Valley is Banning People Straight to Bitcoin

  • Jordan Peterson Starts Accepting Bitcoin Amidst Increasing Censorship
  • We accept Bitcoin now and I’m sure it’ll play an important role in the future. – Dave Rubin
  • It’s really unbelievable this past week patreon has made some very serious errors. – Sjmaliz‏

Patreon has lost Sam Harris, one of the top 15 accounts in number of subscribers. – Allum Bokhari

Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin also believe it’s bad enough such that they will be leaving and setting up an alternative. – Dean Jones


What did they expect? There’s no consistency to Patreon’s policies, and thus no way to predict who will get the guillotine next.

The problem isn’t just Patreon — it’s also payment processors (PayPal, Stripe), credit card companies (Visa, Mastercard), and probably banks too. – Allum Bokhari, December 2018


Bitcoin Could be ‘First Worldwide Currency’: NYSE Owner

NYSE Bitcoin ETF

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — is forming a new company, dubbed Bakkt, that seeks to bridge the divide between Wall Street, Main Street, and the flagship cryptocurrency.

”Bitcoin would greatly simplify the movement of global money,” said Sprecher. “It has the potential to become the first worldwide currency.”

The move will see ICE not only launch a physically-settled bitcoin futures product but also custody cryptoassets directly and help merchants accept digital assets such as bitcoin for everyday payments.

It represents a remarkable about-face for ICE, which said last December that it didn’t want to rush into launching bitcoin products.

– Josiah Wilmoth, August 2018


A List of What’s Getting Built on Bitcoin

  1. LN
  2. Drivechains
  3. Gotenna integration
  4. Satellite integration
  5. Radio integration
  6. Bakkt
  7. Cashapp
  8. All things building into LN
  9. All things being built into RSK
  10. Maybe Fidelity to compete with Bakkt
  11. New mining manufacturers for more efficient miners
  12. New bitcoin only wallets
  13. BTCpay
  14. CME and CBOE

– hanakookie, October 2018

BashCo: That’s not even counting goodies coming to protocol itself, like Schnorr, MAST and privacy improvements.




Bitcoin Hash Rate Closes the Year at 45 Exahash

  • Started the year at 15 Exahash

The Bitcoin hashrate jumped nearly 5 exahash in the last 2 weeks alone.

To put that gain in perspective, it took ~8.5 years for the entire network hashrate to reach 5 EH for the first time.

– MotherSuperiour, June 2018


The Largest Difficulty Drop of the ASIC Era

Second largest drop in mining difficulty in history.

Relatively, the difficulty only dropped to a 4-month low.

The difficulty is still twice as high after the adjustment than what it was in February 2018.

– Larry Cermak, December 2018


Miners Eviscerated: Japan’s GMO Shuts Down Mining Hardware Division

Ouch, GMO lost 24 billion yen ($218 million USD) trying to make ASICS to compete with Jihan Wu, then gave up.

Lost another 11.5 billion yen ($104 million USD) trying to mine with them.

– Edmund Edgar, December 2018


Monero Hardforking PoW to Brick ASICs

In order to create a more egalitarian mining network and foster decentralization, the original CryptoNote developers created the Cryptonight Proof of Work function to “close the gap between CPU (majority) and GPU/FPGA/ASIC (minority) miners.”

We concede that ASICs may be inevitable, but we feel that any transition to an ASIC-dominated network needs to be as egalitarian as possible in order to foster decentralization. At this point in time, we suspect that any newly developed Cryptonight ASIC will not be egalitarian and will not foster a decentralized network.

In sum, we strongly believe that it’s beneficial to preserve our ASIC resistance. Therefore, we will perform an emergency hard fork to curb any potential threat from ASICs if needed.

– dEBRYUNE, dnaleor and the Monero project, February 2018




Market Cap = $129 billion


Total Crypto Market Cap Set a New All-Time High

The combined market cap of all digital currencies and tokens rose above $800 billion for the first time ever, nearing that historic one trillion dollars.

All top 40 digital currencies now have a market cap above one billion dollars, unimaginable numbers just a few months ago.

– TrustNodes, January 2018


Least Down From All-Time High (Top 20 Marketcap, Excluding Tether)

1 – Binance Coin (BNB) -75%

2 – Maker (MKR) -75%

3 – Bitcoin (BTC) – 81%

4 – Stellar (XLM) -87%

5 – Ethereum Classic (ETC) -88%


A Lesson From the Dot-Com Era for all Crypto Believers…

It turned out, the dumb thing wasn’t to invest in the scam, the dumb thing was to give up on the internet because there were some stupid people in it.

– Ben Horowitz, September 2018


Monero October 2018 Hard Fork

This was a big one, as ring sizes were increased from 7 to 11, the mining algorithm was tweaked to improve ASIC resistance, and bulletproofs were introduced.

Sarang Noether of MRL commented “We’re excited about it. Part of the reason we do the upgrades is so we can be safely on the cutting edge, and I think this is a really, really good move forward.”

Analysis of BTC/XMR, November 2018


Bulletproofs Now Live on Monero

  • Bulletproofs represent a huge advancement in Monero transactions. We get massive space savings, better verification times, and lower fees. – Sarang Noether

0.00004646 Tx Fee – That‘s $0.005 for the best privacy in town you can get with Monero!

What you get for 0.005 Cent

– Stealth Address: make it impossible to discover the actual destination address of a transaction

– Ring CT: hides the transferred amount

– Ring Signatures: mix the spender’s input with a group of 11 other Outputs

– MoneroGermany, October 2018


Highlights From Andrew Poelstra’s Interview on Bitcoin and Monero

23:00 – A General Zero-Knowledge Proof Scheme to Get Larger Ring Signatures

“There is potential for using this kind of thing in Monero to get larger ring signatures, but that’s a bit of an open research problem to figure out how exactly to do that, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. I think we’ll be able to get something out of that.”

30:30 – Why We’re Not Seeing These Improvements Being Made to Bitcoin

Scalability, hidden inflation, quantum computers.

33:45 – On Monero Going Ahead and Implementing These Things

“I’d be very hesistant to hold any Monero long term, past whatever I think my quantum computer horizon is.”

34:35 – Bitcoin Privacy/Fungibility

“Bitcoin is not private and fungible, but there are a lot of cool things we can do to make this better that are ready to be implemented.”

43:10 – Scriptless Scripts / Partially Blind Atomic Swaps

“It could be a multi-sig, it could be an atomic swap, it could be part of a lightning thing, it could be part of a tumblebit mixed, it could be a zero-knowledge contingent payment where I’m literally selling the location of the hidden treasure or something like that, and all these things look identical to ordinary single signer transactions.”

51:50 – Where will These be Adopted First?

“It’s kind of a race. Monero has the advantage, Monero already has Schnorr signatures.”

53:38 – Deployment on Bitcoin

“I’m most excited about deployment on Bitcoin, and that’s blocked on Schnorr signatures existing in bitcoin.”

53:55 – Taproot

“The combination of taproot and scriptless scripts…. means that suddenly every single use of bitcoin today will look identical to 1 person paying 1 person.

So you get this tremendous boost in fungibility and privacy from that… right now that’s what I care about because this is achievable, it has no downsides, and we know how to do it. ”

59:40 – Bitcoin Long Term

“My hope is by the time this is all deployed, and by the time we run out of low hanging fruit and cool stuff like this [taproot and scriptless scripts], then maybe the story for confidential transactions or zero-knowledge proofs or something with better crypto assumptions will have improved in the academic space.”

1:00:10 – Interest in Other Projects

“Ultimately I only care about Bitcoin… I really appreciate that Monero exists. Monero is providing a couple of really important contributions to the ecosystem.

One is crypto research, implementing confidential transactions, and implementing a lot of stuff that in the bitcoin space we’re too conservative and cagey to implement. And that’s great, that’s really important.

And another thing is to get privacy technology in the hands of ordinary people, and to figure out the usability problems around this.”

1:01:10 – Bitcoin Today and Regulation

“The current state of bitcoin is abysmal from a privacy perspective.”

1:02:00 – Cultural Differences Between Bitcoin and Monero

“In Bitcoin we care a lot about stability and soundness and very long term kind of stuff at the expense of cryptographic experimentation, at the expense of privacy often (at least privacy now).”

1:07:50 – Privacy Culture in Bitcoin

“Bitcoin can’t succeed if it’s not private or fungible… most bitcoin people I know care very very much, but they view bitcoin right now as something in its infancy, that’s very much like a cool technology experiment, but one that cannot fail.”

December 2018




5G Makes Global Debut in Korea

Spectators at the Winter Olympics in South Korea are getting a preview of the next-generation, ultra-fast wireless networks coming to other nations in the next year or two.

Bloomberg this week detailed the global debut of 5G technology, developed by Intel, Ericsson, Samsung and Korean carrier KT Corp., in and around Pyeongchang.

The systems allow viewers to stream live video of figure skating from any angle or experience bobsled races from the hood of the sled. Driverless buses, meanwhile, course through the area using 5G networks to navigate roads — and display 5G video to passengers.

The network will be shut down after the games, the report added, as developers work to resolve any issues and prepare for wider deployment in South Korea in 2019.

– Andy Szal, February 2018




Investing in 2018

2018 was a good year for investing. As long as you didnt own any bitcoin, altcoins, gold, silver, amaya shares, tech stocks, domestic stocks, international stocks, or any commodities or securities.

Basically the keep all your money in cash under your mattress strategy did great.

– Doug Polk, December 2018




Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a new organizational form potentially as important as the creation of the corporate form in the 1600s.

– Alex Tabarrok, October 2018


SpaceX Reusable Rockets

Customers have accepted “flight-proven” first stages much faster than I expected. About half of our launches this year will be on reused first stages. – Gwynne Shotwell, March 2018


SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy, the World’s Most Powerful Rocket

  • Tell me that’s not one of the coolest things you have ever seen. Congrats everyone involved at SpaceX. – Fred Lambert

In the run up to launch, it wasn’t at all clear that the rocket would work.

Thousands of onlookers in Florida could be heard cheering on the company’s livestream, which was viewed by about 3 million people.

“People [came] from all around the world to see what will either be a great rocket launch or the best fireworks display they’ve ever seen,” Musk said.

The rocket’s smooth takeoff wasn’t the only stunning thing about this launch.

In a never-before-seen feat, SpaceX also managed to guide two of the Falcon Heavy’s first-stage rocket boosters to land upright back on Earth. They cut back through the Earth’s atmosphere and landed in unison at a Kennedy Space Center landing pad.

“That was probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen — literally ever,” Musk said.

The inaugural Falcon Heavy flight used two pre-flown Falcon 9 boosters (the center booster was new.)

Reusing hardware is part of SpaceX’s plan to drive down the cost of launches.

– Jackie Wattles, February 2018




Over 100 Successful Launches in 2018

2018 saw 111 successful orbital launches.

The peak was in the Apollo era in 1967 with 127 successful or partially successful orbital launches (containing satellites, lunar orbiters, and precursors to the first moon landing).

The last time we achieved over 100 launches was in 1990 (114 successful launches).

This was the last full year of the Soviet Union thus the end of the Cold War competition between the two space superpowers. The launch rate then declined drastically from the initial three decades of the Space Age.

Launches hit a nadir in 2004 when humans made just 55 attempts at orbital flight.


Largest Solar Flare Ever Seen From Proxima Centauri

Brian Cox: Our nearest neighbouring star increased in brightness by a factor of 68 in March 2016, likely bathing its nearby rocky planet in a lethal (at least to earth-based life) dose of UV radiation. Makes you think about how fortunate we are in our gentle little corner of the galaxy!

David Deutsch: We need to create vastly more knowledge and wealth [as in the set of physical transformations that one is capable of bringing about (or preventing)].. Continuing to rely on dumb luck to stay alive is not sustainable.

April 2018


Volumetric Displays: 3D Moving Images That Appear to Float in Thin Air

Alex Hein: 3D holograms aren’t happening till the 2030s

Mike Trites: We’re REAL close though

January 2018



As always in these scenarios, “Superintelligence” makes ultra fast advances in every possible domain of knowledge…except morality.

There, the rules of pessimism require it make no progress whatsoever; indeed it may not think of anything preferable to genocide.

– Brett Hall, January 2018


The Bitcoiners Who Want to Defeat Death

Billionaire and cryptocurrency investor Michael Novogratz donated to the organization that predated SENS in the early 2000s, and the number of cryptocurrency donors has increased exponentially since.

In the past year or so, SENS has received more than $6.5 million in cryptocurrency donations, including $2.4 million from Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin (who became a fan after reading Ending Aging as a teenager).

Pine, the anonymous individual behind the Pineapple Fund who donated $55 million worth of bitcoin to various charities last year, gave 2 million of those dollars to SENS.

A few other anonymous crypto donors gave around $1 million each, says Aubrey de Grey.

And other cryptocurrency heavy-hitters have long-term involvements with SENS, too. Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, is an investor in one of SENS’s for-profit spin-offs, Arigos, which focuses on cryopreservation of human organs.

For Merkle and de Grey and Buterin and Finney, death is not some distant inevitability. It’s a looming threat, an underpublicized global disaster. De Grey calls apathy in the face of such an enemy “the pro-aging trance”.

– Julia Herbst, December 2018


Senescent Cells

Senescent cells are one of the 7 major forms of Aging Damage. It’s unbelievable that medical science today is not in the middle of a Manhattan-project to fix this accumulating damage.

They are busy with statins, ssri’s, exercise in a pill etc.

– Paleo-Autist

Study published in Nature Medicine, by Dr. James Kirkland, director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at Mayo Clinic.


“All you have to do is disable the defenses of the senescent cells for an hour or two, and that’s sufficient for the cell to enter the process of apoptosis,” or cell death, says Kirkland.

In another phase of the study, the researchers showed that mice given senescent cells and the combination of cancer drugs lived 36% longer than animals with senescent cell transplants who were not given the drugs.

And the added life span did not come at the cost of health. The animals freed of their senescent cells tended to be healthier and less frail until just before they died; their longer life didn’t mean they spent more time ailing.

“We once felt that once people are elderly, it’s too late to avoid geriatric syndromes like frailty, loss of independence, decreased muscle strength, and forms of mild cognitive impairment,” says Kirkland.

“What we are beginning to find is that we have to rethink that. It’s looking like very old mice are able to substantially improve their health span, reduce or delay age-related diseases and increase their survival.”

About a dozen so-called senolytics—drugs that are designed to target senescent cells—have been described in various studies, and some are being studied in early human trials.

It’s likely that people with severe frailty will be the first to test these compounds. If the agents are safe and effective in that population, then researchers would move to testing them in healthier people.

– Alice Park, July 2018


Follow me on Twitter @leebanfield1

Bitcoin: 3CYwTgCpCNYuW6c6HRJ9SjSAucAbkFe2kg

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