Updated Feb 10, 2016.
As the Bitcoin network has expanded there’s been a formidable explosion in tools for monitoring and analyzing what’s going on in the network. There are stats for everything from bandwidth usage, number of peers, nodes or transactions – or for gauging consensus.
Statoshi.info displays a wide selection of statistics from the Bitcoin network, including bandwidth usage, number of send messages and number of connected peers.
Tradeblock publishes thorough reports on Bitcoin network statistics and features well thought-through info-dense graphics on everything from live rates to nodes and blocks found to bandwidth.
Kaiko serves well-designed graphics and introduces interesting definitions, like “block saturation” (block “fullness” percentage-wise) – at the time of writing at 60%, according to Kaiko.
The “Blockchain” is the distributed “ledger” of all Bitcoin transactions.
Released June 18, 2015.
Big Bang is a new monitoring service from Elliptic. The site says it can trace where a bitcoin “comes from” – where it originated and where it has traveled (among a list of “bigger” known addresses). This is supposedly useful for banks and others who need to follow KYC rules (“Know Your Customer”). But are bitcoins “money” in the old sense? You can’t carry them around (you only carry the keys with you).
Blockseer offers a graphical overview for tracing bitcoins in the network, using the tagline “Follow The Bitcoin”. As examples they feature for instance some of the bitcoins that was seized and auctioned of by the American government in relation to the Silk Road trial.
Blockr.io is a blockchain explorer where you can enter any address or hash and get more info on its history. Blockr provides info for several cryptocurrencies.
Bitnodes publishes a “snapshot” of the current number of connected full nodes running the Bitcoin network. There’s also a riveting animated “space map” displaying nodes with different uptimes, and more.
Luke Dashjr maintains another count on how many nodes there are up and running right now.
BitcoinWatch is one of the oldest on the block, and offers a quick overview of key statistics in the Bitcoin network (however, its news feed appeared to be out-of-date last time we checked).
BitcoinMonitor may not be the most useful monitor, but it is the original one (probably the oldest Bitcoin monitor surviving from the early days) and it displays the latest transactions in the network, putting higher-value transactions on top and also points out blocks found.
Best Mining Stats
WhoMined is one of the more accurate and up-to-date monitors on pool distribution and tries to dish out info on which pools (or miners) managed to mine the most blocks over a period of a week.
Neighbourhood Pool Watch publishes a recurring report on stats around blocks found, calculations on which miners/pools are winning/loosing, how the transaction fees are developing and much more.
Blockchain.info displays many different stats collected from the Bitcoin network, including this very interesting one (displaying the number of relevant transactions in the network). There’s been a lot of problems attached to this site over the years though, security breached and info kept out-of-date, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.
Blocktrail is another site doing its best to try to uncover which entities are the most successful when it comes to Bitcoin mining – finding that next block solution.
Best Consensus Stats
The debates on how to (and who should) “govern” Bitcoin rages on. A couple of sites trying to convey a view on how people are getting along and how close “we” are to consensus in different subjects has popped up. Here are a few of the most interesting:
Consider It (Bitcoin Classic) (picture above) invites miners, users, merchants and others to vote on proposals to gauge the feelings of the community.
Coin Dance lists the votes miners put into their blocks (another way of gauging which proposals for updating the Bitcoin network miners prefer).
Fiatleak tries to convey an image on how the conversion from fiat money (USD, Yen, Euro etc) is progressing. What’s obvious when viewing that flow on a world map is which countries’ citizens are most active.
As regular fiat currencies plunge in value and are converted into bitcoins and its exchange rate rises against fiat currencies the Big Mac index-solution (The Economist-style) should work just as fine for measuring a bitcoin’s purchasing power (its “value”). Here’s a site doing exactly that comparison: Bitcoin Purchasing Power Index.
There are a multitude of services catering to the blockchains of so called “altcoins” (copies of Bitcoin). As these blockchains often are copies of a copy (a fork of a fork) and their networks in most cases very weak altcoins are seldom “wise” investments. The Blockchain of Bitcoin is stronger than any altcoins’ blockchain by many orders of magnitude; still for daytraders and other industry watchers it can be useful to keep an eye on altcoin valuations and engagement.
CoinMarketcap displays a weighted list of altcoins sorted by “market cap” but as each coin’s pre-mine is included in its “market cap” the list is rather confusing for the non-initiated. For instance Ripple’s massive private pre-mine (which is not available on the market) rewards this coin with a much higher value (no. 2 on this list) – compared to if these coins were listed based only on the available supply. The future sudden infusions (inflations) of those currencies make them risky as investments (such inflation may occur when a “founder” decides to sell-off a large bounty of a pre-mine, whether he/she is “allowed” or not… as has happened).
CoinGecko displays another set of interesting stats pertaining to the range of cryptocurrencies out there. Here not only the exchange rate is taken into account, but the amount of developer “noise” going on in forums, the number of tweets around each cryptocurrency and a metric called “public interest”, or in short: engagement.
In this site’s humble opinion; Coingeckos numbers are a bit skewed towards egality, as the second most “popular” cryptocurrency (Litecoin) scores a full 77% compared to Bitcoin’s 100%. In reality Litecoin is a distant cousin, as are all altcoins – even put together.