BTC Map Weekly Recap
April 28, 2024  |  BTC Map  ·  Projects

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New Merchant Notifications

Adding your shop to BTC Map will now notify all the users within a 100 km radius, so they’ll be able to discover your shop in no time. As a user, don’t forget to send us your feedback when you visit new places, it’s very important to us, and we often boost the most trusted and popular places for free, so your feedback is a good way to support BTC Map merchants. We also have a few shady and unreliable places, but we can’t remove them unless we have a report from a local user, so both positive and negative user feedback regarding our locations is the best way to support BTC Map and help your fellow bitcoiners.

Legacy Data is No More

This week concludes the end of my ancient data verification push. My goal was to re-verify all the places which were added before the latest BTC Map restart (September 2022).

Some users might not know that, but BTC Map existed since 2015, and it even featured a bunch of shitcoins. I stumbled upon back in 2015, and I really liked the idea. I think coinmap was made during some hackathon in Eastern Europe, so it was probably done in a rush, and then it was quickly abandoned. I did some basic reverse engineering and I figured out that coinmap just fetched the data from OSM, and then it got out of sync and started to rot. Lesson learned, it’s better not to fork OSM datasets, unless you want to maintain the whole world by yourself.

Taking an “add whatever you want, I don’t care” stance on shitcoins was a mistake, and onchain Bitcoin transactions didn’t really fit the retail use cases, so the project was quickly abandoned, and it was also too boring to do that alone. I regained my interest in promoting Bitcoin as a medium of exchange in spring 2022, after some experimentation with the Lightning Network. This time it wasn’t just an Android app, there are many other components which are created and maintained by other bitcoiners from different parts of the world. Hopefully, I’ll be able to gradually disappear and focus on the other, more technical bottlenecks in Bitcoin infra, but I feel like our core team is still too small and fragile to do that safely, so I’m not going anywhere unless I’m confident that the project won’t fade away after losing a couple of active contributors.

Key Metrics

The number of verified merchants has increased by 81, which is about the same as last week. Most locations were verified by Rockedf and me, but we also had a significant number of verifications made by the locals.

Here are the top 5 countries by the number of new merchants:

  • Italy
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France

The total number of merchants has increased by 66, which is a healthy trend.

The average number of days since the last verification dropped from 271 to 268, which means that our data is slightly more reliable now. This is a global average, and regional data reliability can vary. You can always find your community or a country in order to check the local trends.

What’s Next: Decentralized Data Ownership

I believe we built enough tools to enable locals to take control of their regions. From now on, I will limit my global edits and focus on maintaining Thai merchants since I’ve been living here for 10 years, and it’s my current country of residence. Thai data is in a good shape already, but I want to learn more about all the merchants and there are many other useful tags except currency:XBT which need to be surveyed.

Since we still don’t have enough editors, I expect many regions to disappear from the map in the long run, and I don’t really see it as a problem. We gave them everything to kickstart their regions and get a feel of the future, now it’s up to them.

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed. ― William Gibson