By Brian Cohen
The number of user profiles that mention "Bitcoin" in the popular professional social networking site LinkedIn exceeded 2,000 on September 19th.
I have been maintaining a daily (in theory) count over at the Bitcoin Bitskill Index at Bitcoin Hired. Although I have only been compiling data since May 30th, when there was a user count of 1,108, it is reasonable to assume/project that the number of profiles that contained bitcoin first exceeded 1,000 sometime during May.
LinkedIn also has a networking groups for Bitcoin. The most popular group "Bitcoin P2P Digital Currency" has 2,186 members. It's interesting to note that this number is slightly larger than the number of users who actively mentioned Bitcoin in their main LinkedIn profile.
Meanwhile, the Bitcoin Foundation has 244 Lifetime Individual Members and 411 Annual Individual Members for a total of 655 members. Assuming nearly all Bitcoin Foundation Members have a LinkedIn profiles (I haven't verified this) and assuming LinkedIn represents a majority of Bitcoin professionals (as opposed to say enthusiasts and novices) then we can say that about 1/3rd (655/2,000) of all Bitcoin professionals are members of the Bitcoin Foundation.
However, I don't think Bitcoin Miners are reflected in the pool of "Bitcoin Professionals" since there are only around 100 profiles that mention bitcoin mining. Without doing an actual survey I would gather that those who actually make mining hardware and software (as opposed to end users who are "simply" mining for bitcoin) or those who are administrators of mining pools would be more inclined to include "bitcoin mining" in a LinkedIn Profile. This is not to diminish miners who have a valuable skill-set.
Another recent milestone was on September 10th when the number of Bitcoin subreddit readers exceeded 50,000. There are currently more than 50,400 readers/subscribers. A current search of popular subreddits shows (notice the number "175" in the URL) that bitcoin is the 178th most popular subreddit (not restricted to subscriber count). According to Stattit, as of May (I think) bitcoin was the 321st most popular subreddit based on subscriber count (46,070). Assuming (?) the last Stattit count is indeed from May then the bitcoin subreddit has increased by about 4,330 subscribers or about 9% in the same timeframe that the number of Bitcoin professional has doubled.
Assuming (...no trolls please...) all LinkedIn Bitcoin Professionals are also members of the bitcoin subreddit and a majority of Bitcoin users are members of the bitcoin subreddit then only about 4% of Bitcoin users consider themselves "professionals." Meanwhile the Bitcoin Forum (Bitcointalk.org) boasts nearly 148,000 members. This number likely includes non-active members and users that have more than one account.
Assuming (...again, no trolls please...) all LinkedIn Bitcoin Professionals are also members of the Bitcoin Forum and a majority of Bitcoin users are members of the Bitcoin Forum then only 1% of Bitcoin users consider themselves "professionals."
Meetup.com Bitcoin enthusiasts number around 6,950. The top ten Meetup groups are: (1) Israel 624, (2) New York City 541, (3) Argentina 524, (4) San Francisco 461, (5) London 433, (6) Vancouver 216, (7) Toronto 210, (8) Chicago 205, (9) Budapest 203, (10) India 200.
Then of course there is the Bitcoin Press Center run by Let's Talk Bitcoin's very own Andreas M. Antonopoulos. The Bitcoin Press Center is a "community site that provides bitcoin expert contacts for the global press and media" and currently has more than 70 experts who speak 21 different languages listed in the site.
Perhaps there are a number of Bitcoin professionals who are reluctant to use social networking sites like LinkedIn because it doesn't provide pseudonymity that the cryptocurrency provides. Is Eben Moglen a Bitcoin user? (I don't know- see Adrianne Jeffries' BetaBeat piece "In Which Eben Moglen Like, Legit Yells at Me for Having Facebook")?
However, I think that LinkedIn is fairly representative of the number of Bitcoin professionals. Perhaps what we're is missing is a definition of what a "Bitcoin professional" is. Should it include Miners? Folks who get paid in whole or in part by Bitcoin? Only persons involved full time Bitcoin projects?
Feel free to provide your response below. Note that this article has not made a serious attempt to calculate the Total Universe of Bitcoin Users.
Others have tried to quantify this number while the Bitcoin wiki has this number at 60,000 from September 2011 which was then based upon "how many Bitcoin clients connected to the network in the last 24 hours."
Meanwhile -elsewhere on LinkedIn- the Atlantic Wire Reports: "Attention Terrorists Using LinkedIn: The Government May Be Watching"
- All values are as of 9/18/2013 or 9/19/2013 unless otherwise stated.
- LinkedIn's search results can be a little wonky at times.
- There are assumptions being made in this article. Some numbers even contradict each other.
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