Study: Cryptocurrency Now a $27 Billion Biz

Announcements, Blockchain, FinTech, Investing, News, Regulation | April 7, 2017 By:

A new study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) indicates the combined market cap of cryptocurrencies is now estimated at $27 billion USD, comparable to the economic impact of such high-profile Internet startups as Airbnb.

The study also concluded that between 5.8 million to 11.5 million digital wallets are active. Although it’s impossible to tell how many are owned by the same person, the study estimates it means between 2.9 million and 5.8 million individual users are active in cryptocurrency.

This is the CCAF’s inaugural study of alternative payments and digital assets. It was led by Dr. Garrick Hileman and was designed to “holistically” examine the global market. The CCAF also plans to release a report on blockchain and distributed ledger technology soon.

“The data we collected indicate that the number of people actively using cryptocurrency is much greater than many people previously thought,” Hileman said in a published report. “Many observers felt that fewer than a million individuals actively use cryptocurrency. But our data suggest that today there are likely well over a million active individuals using cryptocurrency.”

The Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study collected its data from more than 100 cryptocurrency companies from 38 countries, which it estimated represents about 75 percent of the existing market. More than 30 individual miners were also surveyed. The study’s areas of interest included exchanges, wallets, mining and payments.

Some of the study’s conclusions:

*** Exchanges have the most employees and operating entities. About 52 percent of small exchanges have a government license, compared to 35% of large exchanges.

*** Some 79 percent of payment companies are affiliated with established banks or other payment networks. But the biggest challenge is getting and keeping those relationships. National-to-cryptocurrency payments constitute two-thirds of total payment company transaction volume, with national-to-national at 27% and cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency at 6 percent.

*** Mining companies are geographically separated, but there is a significant present in China, with 75 percent of all major mining pools based in China and the US.

*** About 1800 individuals work full-time in the cryptocurrency industry.

**  Bitcoin remains the dominant cryptocurrency, but its market share has gone down from 86 percent to 72 percent in the last two yeras. Almost 40 percent of digital wallets accept various forms of cryptocurrency.