You can observe an explosion in Bitcoin activity today, with unusual characteristics (especially the use of outputs from transactions being used as inputs to new transactions without much confirmation depth on the chain)
To understand Bitcoin intuitively, watch a real-time animated visualization of the global Bitcoin transaction flow, as it is happening right now. This shows how Bitcoin is being used, in real-time:
Each square is a bitcoin address (similar to a cryptographic public key)
Each graph component is a transaction. The components appear as transactions are broadcast into the bitcoin P2P network (but before they are verified and committed to the blockchain)
Each transaction simply transfers bitcoin: from one or more input addresses, to one or more output addresses. In other words, money flows from one or more previous owners, to one or more new owners. That's how a currency works
Coin ownership flows from green to red (yellow is in/out: I pay you and take some change back at the same address). A Bitcoin owner typically controls many addresses. For example, a new address is normally created to receive change (meaning yellow squares should be rare)
When the output of one transaction becomes an input for a new transaction, the components are pulled together
I'd love to hear more thoughts on this. I'm new to crypto but what are your thoughts on the reasoning here, fraud?
Also, what would explain the creation of so many yellows?
Yellows mean you don't care about privacy (a big company doing legitimate business may not care), or have accepted that blockchain analysis will defeat your privacy efforts anyway (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Privacy), or you're a novice bitcoin user who doesn't understand what is safe and what is not
High frequency speculative trading could explain the pre-confirmation transactions. Maybe the probability of double-spending is so low, and the chain consensus is so strong, that a transaction in the mempool (before being locked into a block) is good with high probability. Or it could be novices who don't understand the danger
Definitely the Bitcoin network looks unusually "hot" today