Is bitcoin here to stay? Why cryptocurrency isn’t just a fad
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin should no longer be considered a passing fad, according to Cambridge experts who have carried out the first in-depth study of the sector.
The first global benchmarking study of cryptocurrency, encrypted digital currency used to make online payments, has been carried by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the Judge Business School, and shows that millions of individuals are actively using cryptocurrency.
Indeed, the study found there are between 5.8 million and 11.5 million wallets – where bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are stored – ‘active’ in the world today. If the average person has two wallets, this means there are between 2.9 million and 5.8 million individual active users of cryptocurrency today.
It also notes that more than 1,800 people are now working full time in the cryptocurrency industry, as more companies are engaged across various cryptocurrency sectors.
“Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been seen by some as merely a passing fad or insignificant, but that view is increasingly at odds with the data we are observing,” said Dr Garrick Hileman, research fellow at the CCAF, who co-authored the study with Michel Rauchs, research assistant at the organisation.
“Currently, the combined market value of all cryptocurrencies is $27bn, which represents a level of value creation on the order of Silicon Valley success stories like Airbnb. The advent of cryptocurrency has also sparked many new business platforms with sizable valuations of their own, along with new forms of peer-to-peer economic activity.”
Though bitcoin was the first decentralised cryptocurrency to emerge, in 2009, there are now hundreds of cryptocurrencies that are being traded. While bitcoin remains the best known and dominant cryptocurrency both in terms of market capitalisation and usage, it has conceded market cap share to other cryptocurrencies – declining from 86% to 72% in the past two years. This is further evidenced by the fact that 39% of wallets already offer multi-cryptocurrency support, and nearly one third of those currently without multi-cryptocurrency support have this feature on their roadmap.
Robert Wardrop, co-founder and a director of the CCAF, said: “This benchmarking study sheds light on the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and comprehensively examines the global development of exchanges, wallets, payments and mining sectors. It demonstrates that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are undergoing some profound changes in how digital assets are transacted, stored, channelled and generated. The findings of this study will serve to advance useful academic and policy research in to cryptocurrencies and its many implications.”
Source: Cambridge News