Second Passing Bitcoin Around the World

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PassingBitcoin
(Click on the Map to see in Google Maps)

Distance of Transactions: 61,330 miles
Number of Transactions: 11
Number of Participants: 10
Time for the relay: 4 hours 25 minutes 15 seconds
BTC Donated: 2.5649 ($469.38 @ $183/btc)

This is our second event. And we did raise quite a bit more money for for Good ($66 for the first event, $469.38 for this one).

The event demonstrated the high standards we have for Bitcoin. We were cooking for the first for transactions (6 minutes, 6 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes) — then the network began to drag! (25 minutes! 16 minutes, 11 minutes.) Bitcoin relies on miners to mine blocks, usually about one every 10 minutes. But confirmations (signing off on blocks by miners) is an odds game, and the odds can go against you. And since each transaction is submitted on the first confirmation, in many ways this is a worse case test of the Bitcoin network.

After those transactions, the delay wasn’t due to the network.  We were signing up a few late registering participants. 1 hour 54 minutes (nearly half of our time) was spent setting up new addresses and populating them with the needed transaction fees.

Then 7 minutes, not bad, then…. 42 minutes! (Ouch! 42 minutes for a confirmation!) Then 33 minutes.

In perspective, waiting less than an hour for a transfer of money from Hong Kong to Sweden hardly seems like something to complain about.  The transactions themselves registered pretty quickly, so a Point of Sale (POS) transaction doesn’t necessarily care that much. A larger purchase? Well a few minutes (even an hour) for a few confirmations is vastly faster clearing funds than the legacy financial systems can do.

It serves to repeat that this exercise is a near optimally worst case for any system for transacting funds. Each step is completely reliant on the previous step to move forward. For Bitcoin it is even worse, because each transaction comes EXACTLY on the heals of the certification of a block. Most transactions will average out in the middle of the period between a block (so our 42 minute wait was only 20 minutes or so for an average transaction for that block.

The following is the spreadsheet of the data from the event. You can also go to the Participant Page, and look through the BlockChain to do your own audit of the event. This is about Transparency, so in that light this event with its own live web page and publication of addresses was a success. We were more transparent, and more easily audited, and by more people.

Location BTC Sent Distance Elapsed
Austin TX 12:11:45 5169  
Buenos Aires, Argentina 12:18:02 6527.22 0:06:17
Windsor, CA 12:20:51 5054.16 0:02:49
Dublin, Ireland 12:24:44 4465.31 0:03:53
Dallas TX 12:50:29 182.49 0:25:45
Austin, TX 13:06:53 6556.79 0:16:24
Tokyo, Japan 13:18:31 6496.05 0:11:38
Buffalo, NY 15:13:13 5739.62 1:54:42
Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires, Argentina 15:21:08 11302.03 0:07:55
Hong Kong, China 16:03:37 5012.41 0:42:29
Oernskoeldsvik, Sweden 16:37:00 4825.49 0:33:23
      4:25:15
   Distance: 61330.57  

 

 

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