The crypto market may have taken a tumble this year, but that has not diminished interest in the nascent technology.
According to a report by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, a research center at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, the number of crypto users has nearly doubled with the total number of users registered with cryptocurrency service providers rising from 85 million in 2017 to more than 139 million in the first three quarters of this year.
“Combining public data and survey findings, we estimate that the total number of user accounts at service providers amounts to at least 139 million in late 2018,” says the report.
The number of verified users is now seven times higher than what it was two years ago and nearly twice the 2017 figure. In 2017, the number of verified cryptoasset users was 18 million while in 2016 it was five million. This year the report estimates the ID-verified userbase has hit the 35 million mark across the globe:
“Using a combination of verified user data and the average share of ID-verified accounts described above, we also estimate there are currently at least 35 million ID-verified users globally.”
Besides the rise in user numbers, there has also been a marginal increase in the number of active users. In 2016, the percentage of active users was 35%, and this rose by a percentage point in 2017 and another percentage point in 2018 to reach 38%.
Another positive development that has occurred in the cryptosphere in spite of the bear market has been the rise in the number of cryptocurrency service providers who have added support for multiple digital assets.
Among cryptocurrency exchanges, about 61% of them supported multiple coins in 2017, but this year the figure has surged to 89%. With regards to service providers in the cryptocurrency payment segment, multi-coin support rose from 35% in 2017 to 77%. The highest increase in multi-coin support was observed in wallets:
“[W]allets with multi-coin support surged from 46% in 2017 to 90% in 2018, with 60% of wallets currently supporting more than 3 cryptoassets as opposed to only 10% in 2017.”
The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance report also notes that the number of available trading pairs in the cryptocurrency market has increased to 9,000 in the fourth quarter of this year from about 6,500. Still, cryptoasset-only exchanges currently dominate the spot market, boasting 75% of crypto trading volume.
With regards to crypto-to-fiat trading, the United States dollar dominates with more than 50% of the volume followed by the Japanese yen with 21% . The South Korean won is in the third position with 16% of overall fiat trading volume.
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