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Bitcoin as a Bus Station

Bitcoin as a Bus Station 101
Source: a screenshot of TxStreet.com

It’s been almost ten years since the inception of Bitcoin, and explaining it to a layman still falls hard. Many explanations have surfaced in these years, yet perhaps none as compelling and different than the one that visualizes Bitcoin transactions as bus passengers.

TxStreet.com is a website that translates real-time transaction data from the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks into cartoons of passengers looking something like South Park characters boarding a series of buses, complete with sound effects of running engines. It partly showcases the differences between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash - perhaps most obvious from the number of passengers, where Bitcoin vastly outnumbers Bitcoin Cash due to popularity.

Each of the characters waiting or boarding the buses is a payment moving from one account to another, and their size directly corresponds to the amount of money being sent. Walking speed reflects whether or not the sender has paid a system fee to speed the confirmation. Each bus is a block of transactions that departs whenever a block of transactions is confirmed by a network and added to the blockchain.

The Bitcoin Cash bus station has 32 buses waiting, representing the 32 megabytes of transaction data that each Bitcoin Cash block has available. Bitcoin, meanwhile, only has two, representing two megabytes - but one is SegWit, a solution implemented to “squeeze” more passengers onto the bus as a solution to Bitcoin’s scalability issues.

The building next to the Bitcoin bus station is Lightning House, representing the Lightning Network. The creator of the website, whose Twitter handle is @revofever, explained to Fortune:

The website was inspired in part by TxHighway.com, a similar visualizer explicitly aimed at promoting Bitcoin Cash. TxStreet’s creator, whose Twitter handle is @revofever, told Fortune that promotion was not the goal when creating the website, saying “I was motivated to show each blockchain as accurately and fairly as possible. If the truth promotes Bitcoin Cash, then it is what it is.”

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