Though headlines about bitcoin this year have focused on the challenges facing the cryptocurrency, it’s still booming with some of the highest mining and transaction rates in its history, according to recent statistics.
The digital currency has yet to find the “killer app” that would make it an essential part of the average consumer’s Internet toolkit. Several bitcoin-related services shut down in recent months, some amid allegations of fraud, which only highlighted the continued risks that deals tied to the currency can pose for casual investors. As a result, some companies are building alternative networks based on the technology behind bitcoin.
But the bitcoin network’s hash rate—a measurement of the amount of computing power being devoted to mining the currency—reached an all-time high this month, and the week ending Tuesday saw the most bitcoin transactions of any seven-day period since bitcoin’s inception, according to statistics from the bitcoin data service Kaiko.
Each of those transactions is automatically disseminated to the global bitcoin network and recorded by bitcoin miners to a shared transaction ledger known as the blockchain. Miners use specialized, high-powered servers to group new transactions into sets called blocks that meet certain mathematical specifications when looked at in