2018 was a tough year for cryptocurrencies as the prices took a nosedive of over 80% but, the fundamental industry indicators point out that the cryptosphere is evolving and expanding really well. According to a recent report released by Cambridge University, the crypto ecosystem has attracted new users and now sits on a total user base (accounts with service provides) of 139 million, almost doubled from where it was in 2017.
User accounts multiply, but most of them remain passive
According to a recently released second edition of the Global Crypto Asset Benchmarking Study by Cambridge University, total user accounts at service providers now exceed 139 million with at least 35 million identity-verified users. This growth has fueled at 4X the rate in 2017 and doubled again in the first three quarters of 2018. Although the growth in a number of accounts was superlative, only 38 percent of all users were considered active, the report stated.
The report gathers survey data from more than 180 crypto asset companies and individuals, covering 47 countries across five world regions, brings out some good analysis and gives deep insight on four major segments of the crypto industry namely, exchange, mining, storage, and payments. Some of the key highlights from each vertical put forward are
- Crypto businesses are slowly increasing their exposure across segments to become one-point solution providers: The report says 57 percent of crypto asset service providers are now operating across at least two market segments to provide integrated services for their customers, compared to 31 percent in early 2017.
- Most service providers are now providing support to Multiple coins: Multi-coin support has nearly doubled from 47 percent of all service providers in 2017 to 84 percent in 2018, a trend primarily driven by the emergence of common standards on some crypto asset platforms (e.g. ERC-20 on Ethereum). These platforms have resulted in a rapid increase in the token supply, airdrops, and forks.
- Renewable energy has slowly started making its way into crypto mining industry: The study puts forward that the top six proof-of-work crypto assets together use between 52 TWh to 111 TWh of electricity per year; the mid-point of the estimate (82 TWh) is equivalent of total energy consumed by the entire country of Belgium, but, also constitutes less than 0.01 percent of the world’s global energy production per year. It further states that the notable share of the energy consumed by these facilities is supplied by renewable energy sources in regions with excess capacity.
- Crypto mining is slowly spreading out geographically: The report identifies that hashing facilities and pool operators are distributed globally, with growing operations in the USA and Canada.
- Self-regulatory efforts reflect the maturity growth in industry: The research conducted shows that industry participants are now proactively adopting measures that appear to comply with existing regulation despite not necessarily being explicitly subject to regulations. The increasing number of self-regulatory initiatives, combined with the emergence of sophisticated and professional services, reflect the growing maturity of the industry.
The report clearly states how the cryptocurrency industry is slowly progressing and maturing despite prices of coins being sluggish. It further indicates that the industry is laying a strong foundation stone for a successful future.
Download the full report from here.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.