Gridcoin was in a sideways lull for most of the summer, oscillating between 300-400 Satoshis on Bittrex and Poloniex, but the past two months have been very exciting - to say the least. September ushered in a massive bull market that has propelled this innovative cryptocurrency to a new all-time high of 2088 Satoshis (0.00002088) - a six-fold increase in the space of two months! According to figures provided by Coinmarketcap, Gridcoin is currently ranked 20th with a market capitalization of $1,809,350.
This rapid appreciation of the GRC/BTC exchange rate has also had very tangible knock-on effects on the growth of Gridcoin's user base. I compiled some figures from Boincstats.com, which very clearly illustrate this trend. Team Gridcoin had a steady influx of new members throughout the month of August, averaging about 2.9 new members per day, with a few sporadic jumps here and there.
However, the data for September clearly shows a surge in new Boinc members joining Gridcoin. The average jumps to 7.5 new members per day, with a total of 225 new members for the month of September.
Although there is still two weeks left of October, the membership statistics for this month are even more telling. Team Gridcoin has received 260 new members in the last 17 days, and is currently averaging about 15.3 new members per day. That is almost double the average of September and we're only half way through October!
Gridcoin's official faucet provides a small amount of GRC to newcomers who can show that they have already joined team Gridcoin, and have done some work on the Boinc project of their choosing.
Log data provided by the official Gridcoin faucet shows a very sizable increase in the amount of faucet request, and also in the amount of disbursed GRC in the past two months. Data for September revealed 103 unique faucet requests, which totaled about 30,074 GRC. The first 17 days of October posted much higher figures, coming in at 248 requests and approximately 82908.3 GRC being dispensed.
The recent streak of good fortune the Gridcoin community has experienced over the past two months seems to have caught the attention of one prominent Australian economist, John Quiggin. In one of his recent articles on digital currencies (Bitcoins are a waste of energy - literally), Quiggin points out the 'useless' nature of the calculations performed in the Bitcoin mining process and the environmental damage that will result if this type of mining continues unabated.
"In essence, the creation of a new Bitcoin requires the performance of a complex calculation that has no value except to show that it has been done."
"Fortunately, it's unlikely that Bitcoin will survive long enough to generate the environmental disaster that would arise if it became a major part of the financial system."In contrast to Bitcoin's POW (Proof-of-Work) mining, Gridcoin was specifically designed to divert electricity to Boinc scientific distributed computing projects via its POR (Proof-of-Research) mining algorithm. This is probably why John Quiggin took a liking to Gridcoin on Twitter:
#Gridcoin appears to solve my objection to Bitcoin regarding waste of energy. http://t.co/WOWtFInWr5— JohnQuiggin (@JohnQuiggin) October 17, 2015
Based on the membership figures and faucet data, it would appear that the recent price increase has provided sufficient incentive for many miners and first-time digital currency users to join the altruistic vision behind Gridcoin. If GRC/BTC continues to drift higher, or even if it trades in the current range, it would not surprise me to see an even bigger influx of new Boinc members in November and December.