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Bitcoin had a very positive 2015. While there is growing support for blockchain technology, the underlying infrastructure which enables the bitcoin digital currency to operate, there are many skeptics about the currency itself. I remain optimistic and see bitcoin as evolving. Coinbase did a nice review of the bitcoin ecosystem and how it has matured in several ways over the past year. I have summarized the key trends below.

Bitcoin transactions per day more than doubled to an average of 202,869 per day.

Bitcoin became more global. Just over half of Coinbase users are outside of the United States. Coinbase is seeing exceptional growth in Brazil, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Bitcoin volatility decreased. Volatility has been a source of skepticism about bitcoin, but the data show volatility has been declining since bitcoin’s inception seven years ago.

The price of bitcoin went up. For 2015, bitcoin went up 40% while the price of gold declined 10%.

The Bitcoin developer ecosystem grew. This is critical for the long haul. In 2015, the bitcoin mentions in software developer repositories, a measure of development activity, rose 40%.

Bitcoin is still in its infancy, but activity, applications, and transactions are all growing. 2016 will see continued evolution and it will be quite interesting to follow the developments.