Crypto usership is going up at an exponential rate, per researchers at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, with over 100 million people worldwide now making use of cryptoassets – a massive increase from the 35 million figure the same researches identified just two years.
According to a new study, the number of identity-verified cryptoasset users has shot up from 35 million globally to “101 million unique cryptoasset users across 191 million accounts.”
The paper’s authors, Blandin et al, believe that decreased anonymity has contributed to the ease with which researchers can identify crypto users – as well as the fact that many crypto users now make use of multiple crypto wallets.
“This 189% increase in users may be explained by both a rise in the number of accounts (which increased by 37%), as well as a greater share of accounts being systematically linked to an individual’s identity, allowing us to increase our estimate of minimum user numbers associated with accounts on each service provider.”
The researchers said that despite limitations to their methodology “there are reasons to believe that this estimate offers a reliable approximate figure of the total number of cryptoasset holders globally.”
Also, they stated that the survey’s findings were in line with those of other researchers, noting that “Other recent consumer research also highlights an increase in cryptoasset ownership. A study commissioned by the UK financial regulator estimated an increase of 78%.”
“This is significant because it’s a nice round number, and because their 2018 figure is widely cited as one of the most reliable estimates for the number of users worldwide,” Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder of crypto market analysis firm Coin Metrics, commented.
@devilninja777 @CambridgeAltFin Bitcoin scales with capital, not users. Still useful to note the penetration worldwide though.
— nic carter (@nic__carter)
However, it appears that a vast silent majority of crypto users are inactive – particularly those located outside Europe and North America.
The researchers wrote,
“Service providers operating from North America and Europe generally report higher user activity, with the median firm indicating that 40% of total users are considered active.”
Here are some other key takeaways:
- North American and European firms report that an average of 30% of their customers are business and institutional clients.
- By contrast, 41% of Asia Pacific region-based crypto companies serve miners – a fact that goes to show how many crypto miners are active in regions like China
- Cryptoasset service providers primarily serve cryptoasset hedge funds (37%), online merchants (30%) and crypto miners (27%)
- Mining actors, in particular mining pools are active users of Asian crypto exchanges
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