The U.S. Federal Reserve has released today a study providing “the necessary technical background to understand basic Bitcoin operations” and documenting “a set of empirical regularities related to Bitcoin usage”.
Entitled “Bitcoin: Technical Background and Data Analysis“, the document, dated October 7, 2014, studied publicly available data in transactions for the past two years. Acknowledging the fact that the number of Bitcoin users follows an exponential growth, the study concludes that actual usage of Bitcoin is still very low:
“While the number of daily users may have doubled every eight months, the transaction volume is negligible compared to the domestic volume of U.S. payment systems. Our analysis of data from the Bitcoin system further suggests that Bitcoin is still barely used for payments for goods and services. In addition, the patterns of circulations of bitcoins and the dynamics of the bitcoin exchange rate are consistent with low usage of Bitcoin for retail payment transactions.”