Bitcoin has its challenges, such as concerns about its possibly overinflated price and questions about how it will scale to accommodate more users, but one thing’s for sure: its use is expanding at a rapid clip. Two of the largest bitcoin wallets, Coinbase and Blockchain, have posted major user growth in the last month.
Alistair Milne, an entrepreneur, investor and bitcoin evangelist, recently tweeted that Coinbase has added about 1 million new users in 30 days. He presented a chart showing the number of users jumped from 5 million on Nov. 28, 2016 to 8.4 million at the end of June. Coinbase’s website also noted it had 8.4 million users, 27.6 million wallets, 46,000 merchants and 10,000 developer apps.
When asked to provide his source for the growth in Coinbase users, Milne cited a link to a source called The Wayback Machine that gives historic snapshots of Coinbase user activity. That link shows that on May 30, Coinbase had 7.3 million users, which confirms Milne’s claim that about 1 million new users joined in the last 30 days.
In February, Coinbase announced it hit its 6 million user milestone. It was around this time the company received the New York’s BitLicense, making it one of the largest bitcoin companies to gain the approval of New York’s department of financial services.
Blockchain.info reported a total of more than 15 million users as of July 2, which also marks around a 1 million user increase in the last 30 days and nearly a 10 million increase from a year ago, according to the company website.
Last month, Blockchain.info raised $40 million in a fresh round of funding, securing the largest Series B by a bitcoin firm in 2017. The investment, the company claims, is also the single biggest investment in the fintech space in the post-Brexit economy. The second round of Blockchain’s institutional funding was led by European venture capital firm Lakestar and GV, formerly Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Industry investor DCG (Digital Currency Group) and Nokota Management participated. As did existing investors in billionaire Richard Branson, Lightspeed, Mosaic and Virgin, among others.
No doubt the meteoric rise in bitcoin’s price is drawing more attention, which is likely encouraging more users. Bitcoin has been on a historic tear in 2017. After ringing in the year at $1,000 on Jan. 1, the price reached an all-time high of $3,000 in mid-June.
The growth in user interest can also be explained by Donald Trump’s election, and Brexit. After these two events, many people decided to turn to bitcoin in order to hedge against economic instability.
The remarkable rise amid an overall boom period for cryptocurrencies has drawn skepticism from some observers who have pointed to inflated values amid accusations of a bubble. Others are looking at more bullish gains.
In a note sent to clients, Sheba Jafari – Goldman Sachs’ head of technical strategy predicted bitcoin to climb higher, ultimately getting near $4,000.
Jafari, who was persuaded into covering bitcoin by Goldman Sachs’ clients recently, sees the current corrective course to tread longer with upward gains to be the ultimate outcome.