As reported by Ethereum World News in early-December, the /r/Bitcoin subreddit, the de-facto hub of all online discussion regarding BTC, surpassed one million subscribers, joining an exclusive list of online forums that have surpassed such a user count.
Upon this occurrence, a number of commentators came out to congratulate the community. Tuur Demeester, an Ethereum critic and diehard Bitcoin proponent, claimed that he the milestone caught him off-guard, before congratulating the forum’s moderators and integral members.
More accurately, as recently noted by Jameson Lopp, the chief technology officer at Casa and a long-time BTC developer, Reddit’s in-house Bitcoin community grew by 380,000 throughout 2018 – which amounts to a 61% growth figure for all of 2018.
Booming Bitcoin Subreddit
And while this milestone was great to surmount, the one million figure didn’t paint the entire picture for the subreddit’s performance in 2018.
The rate of new subscribers to the /r/bitcoin subreddit slowed considerably after the exchange rate dropped, but it still grew in size by 380,000 users – 61% growth in 2018. pic.twitter.com/2UdYlw0Y9N
– Jameson Lopp (@lopp) December 28, 2018
And while this is down from 2017’s growth stat of ~200%, 61% is still impressive, especially considering the fact that BTC tumbled by 70% during that same time period. This figure gives credence to the fact that Bitcoin’s fundamentals have continued to boom, even as prices stutter, further indicating that the asset’s narrative is striking a chord with those worldwide.
However, some weren’t satisfied with this metric. Spencer Noon, a cryptocurrency researcher and investor, claimed that while he would like to believe the 61% figure, it’s a metric that is “extremely gameable.” Noon added that the strength of the crypto community is hard to determine. Still, even if the 61% growth figure isn’t accurate, there were a number of other fundamental factors that indicated that Bitcoin boomed in 2018.
Bitcoin ATMs Doubled In 2018
In a tweet issued just a day after the aforementioned, Lopp accentuated the fact that the number of Bitcoin-centric automated teller machines (BATMs) doubled in 2018 to 4,000, giving consumers another medium to cash-in and cash-out of the cryptosphere. 2018’s ~100% growth in BATMs “continues a three-year trend of 100% year-over-year growth”, as put by Lopp. And while a recent Twitter poll revealed that less than 20% of people have used this form of crypto infrastructure, many have lauded BATMs as a way to catalyze global adoption, making this statistic bullish beyond compare.
However, maybe BATMs’ prospects aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Per charts compiled by Coin ATM Radar, a popular website that provides information regarding BATMs, growth has begun to stagnate, with there only being 1.7 BATMs installed each day, compared to the 4+ figure seen in the Summer of 2018.
Yet, many have maintained that they still see potential in such machines, as there remains a gaping hole of fiat on-ramps in developing nations. And considering BATMs unique features, some have claimed that they can fill this gaping hole perfectly.