Active user participation in Bitcoin’s network has accelerated to levels last seen in December 2017, when the cryptocurrency printed record highs near $20,0000.
- The number of active entities, or clusters of addresses controlled by a single network participant, jumped to 388,697 on Thursday, the highest since Dec. 9, 2017, according to data source Glassnode.
- The metric has more than doubled in the past five days alongside bitcoin's rally from $11,350 to $13,300.
- "It shows active participation in bitcoin is growing," a spokesperson for FCA-regulated crypto index provider CF Benchmarks told CoinDesk.
- "Against the backdrop of PayPal’s announcement this week, it makes a lot of sense that interest in bitcoin is once again intensifying to heights not seen since late 2017," the spokesperson added.
- Online payments giant PayPal announced support for bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash earlier this week, propelling bitcoin and wider crypto market higher.
- The cryptocurrency's price lags on-chain metrics such as active entities and hash rate.
- While the count of active entities is closing on the record high of 411,127 reached on Dec. 9, 2017, the cryptocurrency's price is still down 53% from the lifetime high of $20,000.
- Meanwhile, the seven-day rolling average of bitcoin's hashrate, or the measure of the mining power dedicated to the blockchain, rose to a record high of 146 exahashes per second earlier this month.
- Continued rise in network's usage could accelerate the price rally.
- "When there’s greater usage, there’s more demand for the cryptocurrency, and that drives the price up,” Philip Gradwell, chief economist at the blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, told CoinDesk.