Bitcoin Price Could Hit $15,000 This Year

Christopher Matta, Goldman Sachs

According to my estimates, the recent tx spam on the ETH network cost up to ~$15m USD

Vitalik Buterin

Study: Two leading countries in bitcoin-accepting merchants are Slovenia and Czech Republic

According to a study conducted by The Block analysts, the USA is still leading the list of countries accepting Bitcoin but Slovenia and the Czech Republic have the majority of these companies.
Based on the data published by Coinmap, there are currently more than 13,000 bitcoin accepting venues worldwide. Out of the ones that were tagged with categories (roughly half of the total), the largest share of all venues is general shopping (35.1%) followed by ATMs (13.5%), and lodging (9.7%).

2018 is not too bad
Approximately 52% of the bitcoin-accepting companies started taking the digital money in 2013-2015. The majority of the new venues were added in 2014 but then, after a slowdown, activity picked up again in 2017 and 2018. It remains obvious that even in 2018 there is still interest from both merchants and customers to accept bitcoin as payment method.
Despite the data from blockchain researcher Chainalysis that showed the use of bitcoin for commercial payments has dropped dramatically this year, even as the original digital coin starts to fulfill one of the basic features of any payment currency: stability. However, the number of companies conducting Bitcoin friendly policy is much higher than it was in 2015-2016.
High Bitcoin price supports e-commerce development
The Block study also indicates that as bitcoin’s price increases, more merchants will start accepting bitcoin as payment; perhaps because an increase in price indicates larger demand and therefore a higher likelihood that someone will actually pay with bitcoin.
USA is still number one
Quite obviously when it comes to geographical distribution, the United States is still leading by a wide margin with 27% of all bitcoin-accepting companies. Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Canada are trailing with more than 4% each. However, if we weigh the results by population then Slovenia (41.6 per million people) and the Czech Republic (32.6) are the leading countries.
The most Bitcoin-friendly city is Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. There are currently 137 bitcoin-accepting venues in the city.
If we look at the highest density then it is in the so-called “bitcoin city” Arnhem, a veritable hamlet in the Netherlands, with the population of just 152,000 people.
It is noteworthy that slowing down of Bitcoin integration into e-commerce helps Lightning Network (LN) development. LN is capable of millions to billions of transactions per second across the network. Capacity blows away legacy payment rails by many orders of magnitude and solves Bitcoin scaling problem.
It was reported by ForkLog earlier, that Bitcoin’s nascent mainnet implementation of the Lightning Network has reached a new milestone, passing 4,000 nodes.