Coinbase provides a graphic overview of 2015 Bitcoin trends, strikingly illustrating a structural disengagement of the cryptocurrency’s metrics as a medium of exchange and as a store of value:
While the price of bitcoin is down 9% year-to-date, if you look below the surface it is clear that Bitcoin had a strong first half and is making great strides as digital money for people around the world and a payment network for innovation. … […] The number of transactions per day on the Bitcoin network is rapidly accelerating. The network averaged 60,590 transactions per day in June 2014 and 117,474 transactions per day in June 2015. … That’s a 94% increase in monthly transactions over the past year.
[Emphasis in original.]
One obvious hypothesis — that Bitcoin hoarders are strategically restraining their holdings in order to facilitate the commercial spread of the currency — seems to assume an implausibly coherent solution to an intractable coordination (or collective action) problem. A more widely accepted Bitcoin has to be worth more, doesn’t it? It’s hard to see how everyone could be leaving that value on the pavement. (This blog is presently stumped.)