Deciphering Bitcoin Blockchain Data by Cohort Analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic payment system that has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years. Usually, the complete history of Bitcoin blockchain data must be queried to acquire variables with economic meaning. This task has recently become increasingly difficult, as there are over 1.6 billion historical transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. It is thus important to query Bitcoin transaction data in a way that is more efficient and provides economic insights. We apply cohort analysis that interprets Bitcoin blockchain data using methods developed for population data in the social sciences. Specifically, we query and process the Bitcoin transaction input and output data within each daily cohort. This enables us to create datasets and visualizations for some key Bitcoin transaction indicators, including the daily lifespan distributions of spent transaction output (STXO) and the daily age distributions of the cumulative unspent transaction output (UTXO). We provide a computationally feasible approach for characterizing Bitcoin transactions that paves the way for future economic studies of Bitcoin.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liu, Y; Zhang, L; Zhao, Y

Published Date

  • April 7, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 136 -

PubMed ID

  • 35393442

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8989952

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2052-4463

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2052-4463

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41597-022-01254-0


  • eng