It’s no secret that Bitcoin is in a little bit of trouble. Its value is well below its 2014 high, and fewer people are predicting that the cryptocurrency will lead to the overthrow of conventional money. That being said, a new WebGL visualizer called BitBonkers demonstrates that people are still using the currency and sometimes in alarmingly large amounts. It’s pretty clear no one is spending $100,000 in Bitcoins on a new car, if you catch what we’re saying.
The visualizer represents each Bitcoin transaction as a metallic ball, scaled to the size of the transaction. The balls drop onto a table, allowing you to click on them to gauge their actual size. The table usually fills up with a mess of smaller 1-10 BTC balls before being sent into disarray by a big blue 100-1000 BTC orb. With a single Bitcoin at a current USD value of $421, those larger orbs represent pretty substantial transactions. And they aren’t rare, you’ll probably see at least ten a minute, and they aren’t even the smallest size in the visualizer.
The algorithm that runs the visualizer works by searching the end of the blockchain that keeps the confidential tally of transactions. “The cubes represent the last block from the blockchain, which are mined on average every ten minutes, the size of the block is determined by its size in kilobytes,” the site reads.
It’s striking to see all of the transactions flow across the screen, and the designer has done a great job of creating an attractive interface. It also shows that Bitcoin is not a normal currency, because sometimes it seems like almost a majority of transactions are for values of at least $5,000, and many are for much more. In fairness, the relative difficulty of Bitcoin transactions may preclude smaller transfers, but it’s hard to imagine any legal reason for the massive, anonymous spending.
It’s one thing to collect Bitcoin hoping its value will rise over the next few months or years. It’s another to make relatively routine trades with values of tens of thousands of dollars. After all, with all the risks and difficulties associated with Bitcoin trading, it’s no secret we’re talking about a less reputable base of users.
The currency, nevertheless, still holds promise, and this visualizer will be a great way to see how it continues to evolve. It’s quickly addicting to watch all that money pass before your eyes. Before long, you just want to reach out and grab some for yourself.