The year 2018 hasn’t been a great year for the cryptocurrency industry. Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market cap, saw rallies to all-time highs towards the end of 2017 but has seen a market correction that has wiped out close to 85% of its market cap through the end of 2018.
Several other altcoins have seen more loses over the better part of this year with Ethereum (now the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap) lose more than 90% of its price which at the beginning of this year stood at all-time highs of $1,400. Ethereum is now trading at circa $89.76 Bitcoin is also trading at $3,427.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as there are several other ways to more accurately measure the progress of technology – and that is user adoption. The cryptocurrency industry is filled with speculation which was the main cause of the previous bull rally and the consequent market correction this year. However, a new study from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance shows that despite the severe market conditions experienced this year, there has been a significant rise in user adoption and onboarding which could augur well for the future of the nascent industry.
According to the study, the number of cryptocurrency users almost doubled in numbers between those registered this year and last year. 2017 saw close to 18 million users participating in the ecosystem while this year has seen numbers as high as 35 million, a 94% rise in a year.
The study details that:
“Conforming with popular narratives, survey data indicates that most users – both established as well as new entrants – are individuals and not business clients. Individuals can be hobbyists, retail investors, consumers or users seeking a better investment or payment alternative… Growth rates were at their highest in 2017, and the number of new users’ accounts, as well as ID-verified users, continued to rapidly grow in 2018 as well.”
Consequently, the number of accounts in cryptocurrency exchanges has close to doubled in the previous year as compared to last year. Last year, there were around 80 million user accounts while this year’s number is about 150 million. Verified user accounts numbers have also doubled from 20 to 40 million in the same amount of time.