In the spirit of creating original content for this sub, I thought I'd do a post about some overlooked aspects of the bitcoin ecosystem that supports the bitcoin price. Faucets
The original faucet was of course created by Gavin Andreson in 2010 to give people a little share of bitcoin and spread the idea around. His faucet was a simple dispensing page. However people took his idea and created a mini-industry funded by advertising.
The reason I've mentioned faucets as part of the bitcoin support system is that they convert fiat into bitcoin. That is, they earn fiat from advertising (usually Google Adsense) and spend a portion of this money on actually buying bitcoin and dispensing it from their faucet.
The following article follows someone who set up a faucet from scratch and how he made some profits out of it: https://99bitcoins.com/complete-beginners-guide-make-money-bitcoin-faucet/
His faucet was dispensing some $225 a month in bitcoins.
Faucetbox lists a stagerring 743 bitcoin fauctes: https://faucetbox.com/en/list
Even if each dispensed a conservative average of $100 worth of coins a month, that amounts to $74300 a month converted from fiat to bitcoin or $891000 per annum. Some faucets dispense much more of course - the big faucets like moonbitco.in dispense several thousand dollars worth of coins each month.
Note that if a competitor to bitcoin was to emerge, we'd see them first in the faucet space because a) popular coins tend to have users eagerly trying to collect the coins creating demand and b) faucets catering to those users are converting fiat into those particular alts, supporting their price. Faucetbox has 148 litecoin faucets, 248 dogecoin faucets, 41 peercoin faucets, 18 primecoin faucets, and 63 Dark faucets. The much ballyhooed ethereum is absent... Scrypt Pools
Scrypt pools mine scrypt based proof-of-work alts and then sell those alts to buy bitcoin to pay their miners. In the process they convert potential competitors to bitcoin into a giant support system for bitcoin.
However, if scyypt pools opt to pay out in other coins, then they become a support system for that alternative coin. Prohashing gave an interview to Forbes
where they report:
Changes in behaviors by Prohashing’s miners also indicate that they recognize problems with the Bitcoin network. Every time there’s a problem with congestion, he says more of its miners choose to be paid in a competing currency
Here's the Prohashing payout chart: https://prohashing.com/help.html?topic=charts-payoutsowed
About 70% of their miners are still opting to be paid in BTC. The others are opting for Litecoin, Ehereum, Dash, Digitalcoin and others.
A similar pattern can be seen from the scrypt pool "Xpool". Of their top 20 hashers, 14 are opting to be paid in alts (Dash, Bitcoindark, NXY and Litecoin). See http://www.bitcoindark.ca/leaderboard
The scrypt pools arn't as big a support system as the faucets - but between them and the faucets they produce a steady regular
monthly support for bitcoin and act as demand for the new coins being generated by the miners.
If this support disappeared or switched to another cryotocurrency, BTC would have to rely purely on speculators to supply demand for the coin.
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