Stacked area chart

Bitcoin is not the only digital currency. An article in The Economist discusses the most popular crypto-currencies. There are now approximately 1492!

The growth of these increasing number of currencies has reduced the market share of bitcoin.

As is usual with area charts, it is easy to follow the base area and the top area, but more challenging to understand the others. Bitcoin is dropping rapidly and now well under 40%. The other basket of currencies is increasing and now amounts to approximately 30%

The data source provides an alternate presentation, an overlapping area chart.

With this display, it is easier to follow the individual coins, but the chart includes too many of them. More important, almost all area charts are the stacked variety, so this one might be misinterpreted. It would probably be better to use lines.

It can be a bit easier to see which coin is most eating away at Bitcoin be reversing the stacking order.



Log scale

Bitcoin is a major phenomenon of out time. There is nothing like very rapid growth to generate excitement.

As is often the case, this linear scale plot obscures rate of change and the small early values. It is worth also looking at a log scale plot.

The early adopters had the best earning potential.

Some people talk about the promise of bitcoin as the new money. Of course this price history shows that it would have been amazingly deflationary. Hardly a good thing.

The price of bitcoin is financial, but its cost is environmental. “Mining” bitcoin takes a huge amount of electricity, and the major mining countries rely heavily on coal fired power plants.

The scale of this electricity consumption can be compared to countries.

The choice of a bar chart is appropriate, as is ordering the countries so that the longest bar is at the bottom, nearest to the scale. The small drop shadows, however, only add blur.