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How is the payments metric calculated?

A Bitcoin transaction can have multiple outputs, and can thus transfer funds to multiple recipients, a practice also referred to as payment batching. Since an output can only spent in its entirety, one of these outputs is usually (but not always) a so-called change output, transferring the change back to the sender.

The payments metric counts the number of outputs of a transaction and subtracts one (to exclude the change output). If a transactions has only one output the number of payments is counted as one. The number of payments is grouped by calendar day (UTC). To smoothen out the graph a rolling average is applied.

The purpose of this metric is to provide a more accurate representation of real economic activity on the Bitcoin network.