BitBeat: For Bitcoin’s Miners and Spenders, a Supply and Demand Imbalance – MoneyBeat – WSJ

By PAUL VIGNA and MICHAEL J. CASEY

Welcome to BitBeat, your daily dose of crypto-current events, written by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey.

Bitcoin Latest Price: $510.99, up 1.9% (via CoinDesk)

 

Crossing Our Desk:

  • The amount of hardware being thrown at bitcoin mining continues to rise, but if those mined bitcoins aren’t being used,  an imbalance between supply and demand will develop that may increase volatility in the price, CitiFX’s Steven Englander wrote in a note.

The number of transactions have been stable this year, in a range between 60,000 and 80,000 a day, according to data from Blockchain. That’s a huge jump from under 10,000 a day two summers ago. The problem is the number of transactions has plateaued at those levels, but  the amount of mining activity keeps increasing. The degree of difficulty in mining – the built-in adjusting mechanism that makes solving the bitcoin algorithm harder as more miners come onboard – has jumped twice recently, and the hashrate, a measure of total mining activity, has been rising as well.

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