Bitping, the online services monitor that pays Bitcoin SV (BSV) rewards to its nodes, has released a new real-time node tracker called Bitping Explorer. The Explorer is a very attractive, animated display of Bitping metrics detailing node locations, the number of tasks performed, and the amount of money flowing through the system.
You can check out Bitping Explorer, and download the software to run a node on your own machine, here. Most popular OSes are supported (even Raspberry Pi!). For instructions on how to set up and run a node, which can be controlled with a simple browser interface, click here. The web interface (a separate controller to Bitping Explorer) also lets node operators track how much money they’ve earned from their contribution.
— Bitping (@BitpingApp) April 20, 2021
Bitping has come a long way since winning the first Bitcoin Association Hackathon in 2019. According to its founders, it has also been making money—no mean feat in the difficult, “chicken-and-egg” world of Bitcoin and blockchain business models, which encourage mass public adoption in the future but also rely on that adoption happening to turn a profit.
Since the beginning of 2021, the company has launched “Selenium Tests” to production, enabling anyone to run full UX tests in a large selection of browsers via any Bitping node, anywhere in the world. This allows companies to answer not only if “can my users access my website?” but also “can my users in region A using browser B successfully perform actions C,D and E?”.
Speaking to CoinGeek, co-founder Dean Little called this “an incredibly powerful piece of business intelligence,” one that is generally still handled manually by most by picking up a phone, calling someone in that region, and hoping they’re available.
Back to the Explorer—who thought of it and how long did it take to put together? Little said:
“Bitping Explorer came about spontaneously over the course of a weekend as the brainchild of Jye and Nick as a means of showing the flow of money in the Bitping system, as well as the number and location of Bitping nodes in real time. They actually surprised me with it. I was at a wedding on Friday, got home on Saturday night to a mostly completed product, added the 3D map and tweaked some of the API calls and it was ready to go. My team is incredibly talented and have only gotten better at working together over time.”
Little added that the largest concentration of nodes is currently in the United States and Europe, saying he suspects this is because Bitping has only recently begun actively targeting other markets. He said, however, that the most profitable regions are currently China and Southeast Asia. This is due to the huge opportunities for economic development in those regions, along with the uncertainty of network conditions due to a variety of factors unique to that region.
Bitping actively tracks traffic and performance on Alexa’s Top 100 websites and several of the most popular blockchain sites. As to which one experiences the most downtime on average, Little said “it depends on how we quantify it,” but Bitping has managed to detect multiple regional outages for Github, Coingecko, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yandex and OK.RU—just to name a few. To see when Bitping detects an outage from these sites, those curious can follow Bitping’s outages bot on Twitter (@BitpingOutages) or Twetch (u/14620).
Little also said he’d been impressed with Bitping’s growth since winning the 2019 Hackathon:
“Over the course of the past year and a half, I can say we have quickly grown from a hackathon project into a serious company with some major customers and our users are finally making real money. People needing their online services to be more reliable than ever has certainly played a part in this. As a result of the profitability of running a node increasing, we have also seen quite an uptick in nodes, with our network now spanning to over 70 countries. It will only grow from here.”
See also: Bitping’s Dean Little & Nick Carton interview on The Bitcoin Bridge
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