Úno 01

Visualizing Bitcoin Adoption Across the Globe

Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency in the world today with a network that spans across the globe. But just what the distribution of Bitcoin nodes tell us about the rate of adoption of the top-ranked cryptocurrency on a global scale?

Global Distribution of Bitcoin Nodes

According to a 2019 study by Themetafriend, there are 36 countries in the world with at least one percent of their population as Bitcoin users. This study assumed a relationship between the ratio of Bitcoin nodes in any two countries to that of the number of users in those countries.

Using this ratio, it seems theoretically possible to examine the distribution of Bitcoin users worldwide. The following is an estimate of the number of Bitcoin users in different continents.

Europe and North America

Europe and North America are hardly ever absent from any conversation related to technological advancements. Of the 36 countries where Bitcoin users make up at least one percent of their population, 26 are in Europe or North America.

These nations include Canada, France, Belgium, Belarus, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. Others are Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Iceland, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Looking at the current global nodes distribution as provided by Bitnodes, there is a high density of nodes in both Europe and North America. Also, of the top ten countries based on the number of nodes, only three (China, Singapore, and Japan), come from outside Europe and North America.

South America, Asia, and Australia

Back in November 2018, Bitcoinist reported that the total number of public Bitcoin nodes had surpassed 10,000. According to the latest figures from Coin Dance, the Bitcoin network currently boasts 10,071 listening full nodes and with over 61,000 nodes in total, according to other data sources.

Apart from Japan and Singapore, South Korea, Australia and India also have at least one percent of their population as Bitcoin users. China, however, does not fall into this category making India’s presence particularly noteworthy given the similarities in their population figures.

In South America, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina have the most BTC users. Venezuela does not appear to rank on a significant scale, however.


In Africa, only South Africa registers any significant number of users. According to the study, the southernmost nation in Africa has between 0.1 and 0.99 percent of its population as Bitcoin users. Places like Angola and Tanzania have between 0.01 and 0.099 percent.

With access to electricity still a luxury in many places on the continent, the results from the study come as no surprise. According to Bitnodes, the highest ranked African nation based on the number of Bitcoin nodes, South Africa, is in the 33rd position (out of 100).

Not the Full Picture of BTC Adoption

The methodology by Themetafriend uses node distribution to determine Bitcoin users. It should be noted, however, that such a methodology might not show the entire spectrum of adopting technology as multifaceted as Bitcoin.

For example, countries in Africa aren’t running Bitcoin nodes (maybe due to inadequate electricity supply and/or lack of hardware), but the three of the top five countries on Google Trends for Bitcoin are from the continent including Nigeria – the country marked in orange (low adoption) on the map.

Bitcoin adoption also involves such aspects as remittance, mining, acceptance for payments, infrastructure support etc. apart from running nodes.

For example, it appears that Venezuelans aren’t running a significant number of Bitcoin nodes, but the country continues to post massive figures on Localbitcoins.

Unsurprisingly, places like China and Iceland where electricity is cheap but using BTC is restricted tend to be the leaders in mining.

Businesses in countries like Japan and the Netherlands meanwhile are taking initiative in accepting BTC for goods and services.

There are more BTMs in the United States and Switzerland, for example, as there is more emphasis on building Bitcoin-based businesses. Meanwhile, Vietnam and the South East Asian region as a whole are more engaged in remittance.

What is the best way to gauge adoption? Let us know your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Themetafriend, Bitnodes, Google Trends, Shutterstock

Čvn 01

Allwinner Leaves Root Exploit in Linux Kernel, Putting ARM Devices at Risk

Source: bitcoin


Running a Bitcoin node on your ARM single board computer? Fan of cheap Chinese tablets and smartphones? Maybe you contributed to the recent CHIP computer Kickstarter, or host a wallet on one of these devices. Well, if any of these applies to you, and your device is powered by an Allwinner SoC, you should probably wipe it and put an OS on it with the most recent kernel release. Why? Allwinner left a development “tool” on their ARM Linux kernel that allows anyone to root their devices with a single command. This oversight has serious security implications for any Allwinner powered device, especially so for those of us hosting sensitive data on them.

Read also: Cerber Ransomware Offered As-a-service By Internet Criminals


Security Oversight Puts Allwinner Users at Risk

Thankfully, this massive security flaw in their kernel has been fixed as of Allwinner’s most recent mainline release, although not all of the manufacturers using their processors are pushing the update, leaving those people without sufficient knowledge to do a manual update high and dry, for the most part. This development is of particular concern in the Bitcoin ecosystem, where hosting nodes on single board computers and installing wallets on mobile devices has become increasingly popular. While the cryptographic system used on the better mobile wallets is arguably more secure than comparable mobile payment processing apps, single command root access is one of the nastier exploits available to the less honest elements on the web. Having an Internet-connected Linux device that’s that easy to root is just asking for trouble, even if your private keys are not easily available to the intruder.

While no one should condone security flaws of this scale in their devices, there’s a lot of crying wolf going on at the moment, and before you throw out all of your Allwinner devices and convert all of your cryptos to paper cold storage, it’s important to understand that this type of “single command root” is not uncommon in ARM Linux kernels, as it makes developing for Android much more expedient. While Allwinner is certainly at fault for shipping a kernel with a single command root, it is unlikely that there was any malicious intent here. Someone just forgot to remove their development crutch before shipping the product. Security regressions like this are to be expected if you can’t easily build a kernel yourself for the device (or let the community do the same for you.)

Note that this single command root is limited to Allwinner ARM Devices without their most recent kernel, and SoC devices like the Raspberry Pi, or your Samsung smartphone are likely not affected, as they use other ARM SoCs. Although, if you can’t build a custom kernel for your device without pulling firmware or other trickery, this same exploit could just as easily happen to your system, as you’re putting your trust in the manufacturer to keep their development hacks out of their retail products. Something to consider when choosing the device and operating system for your next cryptocurrency node or wallet.

Thoughts on the state of Security on ARM devices? Be sure to leave them in the comments!

Images couurtesy of: Allwinner Technology, Wikimedia Commons

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Allwinner Leaves Root Exploit in Linux Kernel, Putting ARM Devices at Risk