As you’re about to find out from the insightful cryptocurrency statistics below, cryptomania is in full effect!
We still don’t know the real identity of the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, the first person to develop Bitcoin back in 2010. But what we do know is that their creation has taken the world by storm, impacting all generations.
Bringing about the subsequent creation of thousands of other virtual currencies we now call altcoins. And with it the biggest potential disruption to the traditional banking industry and fiat money we’ve ever seen.
As these cryptocurrency usage statistics reveal, banks, countries, and private citizens alike are all bracing themselves for this digital future imposing itself upon us. Keep reading to find out just how big of an impact these virtual currencies are having on our world.
Sneak-peek of the crypto stats ahead:
- BTC’s price surged by 442% between September 2020 and March 2021.
- Ethereum reached a high of 1.71 million daily transactions in May of 2021.
- Cryptocurrency ransomware attacks netted roughly $33 million in 2021.
- There are over 6,000 cryptocurrencies as of August 2021.
- First Bitcoin real-life purchase was for two pizzas, and it cost 10,000 BTC.
- About 46 million Americans own at least a share of Bitcoin.
- Almost 42 million ‘Gamers’ owned cryptocurrency in 2020.
- There were over 75 million blockchain wallet users by August 2021.
Our sneak peak figures offer but a glimpse into the fast-paced crypto world. This technology has been in the public realm for just over a decade now, but the impact it continues to have is revolutionary. Let’s start by figuring out just what exactly is a digital coin.
What are cryptocurrencies?
Crypto, crypto, crypto, that’s all people are talking about these days! But what exactly is it?
In short, a cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency. It is tracked and stored on something called a blockchain. Possession of the currency, or tokens, offers the blockchain members certain network rights. The four main categories these blockchain network rights fall into are:
Equity Tokens: Holders of this type of token are granted ownership rights to some underlying entity, asset, or process. Similar to owning a share of stock in a company. It gives the owners access to the profits made by the underlying asset, and to dividend distributions made to holders.
Utility Tokens: Similar to equity tokens, this type also allows its holders access to a closed network of certain services. These are mainly used as a medium of exchange between service providers and users.
Intrinsic Tokens: These tokens go above and beyond the closed network services. Now, though they too grant such access akin to the equity and utility tokens, intrinsic tokens are considered to possess value in an of themselves. Assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currencies fall under this category.
Asset-Backed Tokens: As the name suggests, these coins are backed by some tangible medium of value. They come backed by gold, silver, real property or other physical assets.
How does a crypto transaction work?
You’ll recall the word blockchain from above, perhaps you’ve heard of it before? Well, this is where the recording of crypto transactions takes place. Think of a blockchain as a distributed ledger, in fact it’s often referred to as a ledger, that keeps permanent track of all transactions for a given virtual currency. Starting with the very first transaction that took place and onward.
You can think of the word blockchain as two words, block and chain. The word block refers to the transaction, and the word chain refers to how each transaction is chained to one another for record keeping purposes. Note that there are ‘on-chain’ and ‘off-chain‘ transactions, and only the ‘on-chain’ ones are recorded on the chain.
This record is powerful because it is decentralized, permanent, and continuously updated. Furthermore, this ensures no one person retains control of the system and all its transactions, plus it allows for independent verification via decentralization (existing in multiple locations simultaneously). There’s a lot more to the underlying technology, but that’s it, in a forced nutshell!
General crypto statistics and trends worth knowing
There are many more stats out there, but this is a good starting point if you’re looking to understand what Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain have achieved thus far.
1. Bitcoin is popular, there is a post on social media about it every 3 seconds!
According to Reuters’ recent analysis, Bitcoin appears in 14,000 to 32,000 daily tweets. Furthermore, there is a pretty active subreddit with over 3.3 million members. Additionally, Facebook, Discord, Telegram, TikTok, and other platforms see significant amounts of virtual currency discussions.
Developing an algorithm to trade based on the collective scraping of the internet sentiment is something certain hedge funds and asset managers take very seriously in pursuit of an ‘edge.’
2. Bitcoin’s price surged by 442% between September 2020 and March 2021.
(Source: Statista I)
The price of Bitcoin went from $10,764 per coin to $58,734 per coin in a matter of seven months. It then experienced a sharp reversal to $35,749, before slowly embarking on another upward trend, as of September 2021 it sits at $46,340 USD per coin.
Ever wonder how so many people that held Bitcoin became filthy rich? Consider this crypto stat: Bitcoin has gained 367,477% between its 2012 $12.56 price and where it’s at in Q3 2021.
3. With $89.5 billion in 24-hour trading volume, Tether stands as the biggest virtual currency as of September 9th 2021.
Tether is deemed a ‘stablecoin’ due to it being pegged to the United States dollar. As you can extrapolate, stablecoins are deemed more ‘stable’ due to being pegged to a fiat currency such as the dollar (or even gold). But Tether was the first of its kind, and it has had to fight to where it’s at.
Other top coins by trading volume include Bitcoin ($39.5 billion), Ethereum ($26.8 billion), Solana ($12.6 billion), and Binance USD ($8.1 billion).
4. Ethereum reached a high of 1.71 million daily transactions in May of 2021.
Not even Bitcoin comes close to that! The highest Bitcoin got was 498,327 transactions per day back in December of 2017. As of September 2021 Bitcoin’s daily transactions were at 270,483.
Ethereum is Bitcoin’s top competitor, and sees the highest amount of transactions per day. At present Ethereum is clocking in around 1.17 million daily transactions, over four times that of it’s ‘bigger brother’ Bitcoin.
5. Cryptocurrency ransomware attacks netted roughly $33 million in 2021.
If you’ve heard of any of the following terms, you’ve heard of a crypto ransomware attack: REvil/Sodinokibi, Netwalker (Mailto), DarkSide, RagnarLocker, Egregor, Conti Bitpaymer / DoppelPaymer, Qlocker, Medusa Locker, and Black Kingdom.
Governments around the world are warning citizens of the dangerous rise in cybercrime involving virtual currencies. A dark side of virtual currencies is that cybercriminals are getting more adept at using them to exploit systems and in-turn monetizing their attacks.
Some solutions offered by experts on the matter include blocking any attempts from malware installation through behavioral intelligence, as well as AI-driven anti-virus tools to clean up threats already in the system.
6. Five of the top coins account for over 67% of the total crypto market.
As of September 9th the total cryptocurrency market cap hovered around $2.1 trillion. The highest it rose was to just over $2.4 trillion in May of 2021. In July the crypto market cap bottomed out for the year at $1.1 trillion and has been on an upward trend ever since.
The likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Hex, Binance Coin, Tether, Solana, XRP, and Dogecoin dominate the crypto world with a commanding collective share of the total market. Bitcoin alone accounts for over 40% of the dominance.
7. As of 2021 there are over 300 cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe.
These are the places people buy and sell virtual currencies. People trade fiat money for cryptocurrencies, as well as crypto-to-crypto. Looking at the daily volume figures from CoinMarketCap we find that the top spot exchanges include Binance, OKEx, Upbit, Huobi Global, Coinbase, and others.
Additionally, there are 37 crypto exchanges for derivatives, over 35 decentralized exchange options, and 4 crypto lending exchanges.
8. There is a near-unanimous (97%) confidence in crypto as of January 2021.
(Source: Binance Research)
Gathering data from over 60,000 crypto holders across the globe, Binance Research put what together what seems to be the first ever global-scope report focusing on crypto retail users.
Based on the reports findings, the top reasons people own crypto appear to be:
- part of a long-term investment strategy (55%),
- distrust of the current financial system (38%),
- and short-term trading opportunities (31%).
Interestingly, and perhaps even shockingly, 52% of the respondents reported viewing crypto investing not as a hobby, but as a means of income. Furthermore, a solid 15% stated crypto is their primary source of income.
9. There are over 6,000 cryptocurrencies as of August 2021.
(Source: Statista II)
How many cryptocurrencies are there? A lot, quite a lot! Back in 2013 there were just a handful of these digitally minted coins. So, how do people navigate such a large market? Due to a large portion of these coins not being significant in the grand scheme of things.
It’s actually relatively easy to create a digital coin these days, and we have new ones coming out seemingly every day. But just 20 cryptos are believed to account for more than 90% of the market.
10. As of September 9th, 2021, one Ether is worth $3,496 USD.
Back in 2017 Ethereum was hovering around $28 per coin. On September 7th it hit $3,943 per ETH, a 13,982% increase in price in under 4 years (for those HODL-ers who were lucky enough to buy and hold).
11. As of September 2021, there are 18.81 million Bitcoins in circulation.
It’s a digital coin, can’t they just make an infinite amount of them? Well, technically no. What you may not know is that Bitcoin has a pre-defined total supply of 21 million Bitcoins. So there are about 2.19 million Bitcoins left to be mined.
One gut-wrenching thing to keep in mind as you read this cryptocurrency statistic is that this number includes those Bitcoins that are deemed lost forever, due to mistakes such as lost passwords.
What would you do if, like some people, you had millions of inaccessible dollars out there in the abyss? There are people who have had to come to grips with the harsh reality of just that.
12. Facebook planned it’s own virtual currency (Libra) then renamed it to Diem
(Source: Coin Desk, Diem)
Facebook announced it’s virtual currency project in 2019 under the name Libra. It was said to be a stablecoin and pegged to a basket of fiat currencies. The company announced it had already built a blockchain for it and took care of the security and verifiability aspects.
After facing trust issues due to a handful of scandals, the company chose to reassess the initiative. Rebranded to Diem, moved project headquarters from Switzerland to the US, and overall seemingly pared down the vision for the project (perhaps not, FB?).
Opting instead to go with fiat-pegged payment system issued in partnership with a bank, and it’s coin Diem Coin is planned to be backed by a reserve of assets like cash and cash equivalents.
13. The first Bitcoin real-life purchase was for two pizzas, and it cost 10,000 BTC.
Talk about a crypto usage statistic for the centuries, you really can’t make stuff like this up. It is reported as having taken place on May 22, 2010, a Foridian by the name of Laszlo Hanyecz completed what would in hindsight become the most expensive pizza purchase in the world.
He spent 10,000 Bitcoin at Papa John’s for 2 pizzas, and that is equal to almost $465 million today! And that’s how Laszlo went down in history as being the first to officially use Bitcoin in a commercial transaction with an actual company.
14. Bitcoin spiked to $14.64 billion in estimated transaction value in May 2021.
The Bitcoin bull run of May 2021 saw the most popular virtual coin’s transactions on the blockchain temporarily spike to an all-time high of over $14 billion in estimated total value in US dollars.
15. There were 42,266 Bitcoin ATMs as of September 2021.
Bitcoin Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) saw a surge in 2021, going from 14,915 in January of 2021 to a whopping 42,266 as of September 10th, 2021. Some of the most popular Bitcoin ATM manufacturers are Hyosung, Coinstar, Genmega, Genesis Coin, General Bytes, BitAccess.
Coinstar used to be the largest manufacturer but that title currently belongs to Hyosung. As for the type of hardware in use, 58.3% are physical ATM’s, 38.1% are kiosks, and 3.7% are cahier/tellers.
16. About 46 million Americans own at least a share of Bitcoin.
According to a recent study conducted by New York Digital Investment Group, 17% of the USA population owns at least a share of the world’s most popular crypto. Additionally, of those 46 million, a high percentage reported being open to including crypto in their financial plans.
A whopping 75% of the respondents expressed interest in learning more about Bitcoin annuities as well as Bitcoin life insurance. This survey highlights just how favorable cryptocurrencies have become among the general US population.
17. Roughly 63% of crypto holders purchased coins with disposable funds.
(Source: Binance Research)
Token holders in China were the most likely to purchase virtual currency with borrowed capital at 23%, while crypto enthusiasts from the Netherlands were the least likely to buy on credit, at 3%.
More than half (60%) keep their digital assets stored on exchanges. The top reasons for choosing a certain platform included security (28% of respondents), User Interface and User Experience (25%), and available trading pairs (23%).
18. Almost 42 million ‘Gamers’ owned cryptocurrency in 2020.
Video games have become a behemoth of an industry. Naturally, virtual worlds attract virtual currencies. In fact, as of 2020 there was an estimated $321 million dollars of revenue from the crypto gaming industry. With the Asia Pacific region having the highest coin ownership rate with 22.6 million gamers!
Cryptocurrency Adoption Statistics
These cryptocurrency user statistics show just how rapidly this industry is growing. From major exchanges filing their initial public offerings, to adoption rates and daily transaction rates experiencing double digit growth. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
19. There were over 75 million blockchain wallet users by August 2021.
(Source: Statista III)
With over 300 global crypto exchanges, a lot of virtual currency trading is taking place these days. But how many cryptocurrency wallets are there? As of August 2021, there were roughly 75.6 million blockchain wallet users.
A blockchain wallet is the same concept as your physical wallet, except it’s digital and you store virtual currency inside. Blockchain wallet owners are growing in numbers, to say the least.
Breaking the 1 million adoption figure for the first time in 2014, it hasn’t had a down year since. Breaking 5 million in 2015, 10 million in 2016, 20 million in 2017, 30 million in 2018, 40 million in 2019, 60 million in 2020 and clearing a whopping 70 million wallet users in 2021.
20. PayPal began accepting cryptocurrencies for merchant payment in 2021.
(Source: PayPal Newsroom, CNBC)
In November of 2020 PayPal announced that eligible account holders from the U.S. could hold, buy, and sell crypto assets directly with PayPal. Then in March of 2021 it was announced that PayPal started allowing U.S. consumers to use crypto to pay for transactions at millions of their online global merchants.
21. DeFi is now a $120+ billion dollar sector.
Slowly but surely, decentralized finance is creeping up on the way we’re used to doing things. This umbrella term is used to describe Ethereum and blockchain applications designed to disrupt the financial intermediaries.
It’s the realm of the cryptocurrency industry where a variety of activities takes place almost entirely on the blockchain. Things like trading, lending, and betting, all done using virtual coins as collateral and proceeds.
22. Blockchain has the potential to add $1.76 trillion dollars to the economy by 2030.
In a recent report by PwC, exploring the value of blockchain to the economy, they concluded that the global economy could see an infusion of $1.76 trillion dollars via blockchain technology.
Furthermore, they predict that blockchain technology could enhance an estimated 40 million jobs globally by the year 2030. The blockchain impact on the economies of China and the United States is valued at $440.4 billion and $407.2 billion respectively.
23. By the end of 2030, banks could save $27 billion through blockchain adoption.
(Source: Accenture, Juniper Research)
In a study by Juniper Research, it was estimated that by reducing costs by over 11% per on-chain transaction, banks could save up to $27 billion on cross-border settlements by year-end 2030.
Furthermore, a joint report from McLagan and Accenture showed that blockchain based database systems could reduce investment banking costs and potentially save:
- 70% on central finance reporting
- 50% on centralized operations.
- 30% on compliance.
- 50% on business operations.
By significantly reducing the risks and costs that come with data and transaction processing, blockchain technology may bring about drastic changes to the banking industry.
24. Bitcoin was made ‘legal tender’ in El Salvador in 2021.
In a historic move, El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender in September of 2021. Nayib Bukele, the country’s president, is hoping the move will spur investment into the region as well as provide a means of financial transaction for the roughly 70% of the El Salvadorians without access to such services.
Another important factor in the decision seems to be the billions of dollars that Salvadorians in the diaspora send back to the country. With Bitcoin being viewed as a more effective means of transfer.
25. Nigeria was the leading country for cryptocurrency ownership/usage
(Source: Statista V)
With 32% in 2020, Nigeria led the world in per-capita cryptocurrency ownership and usage. Vietnam came in second with 21% and the Philippines were third with 20%.
Some of the driving factors for such a high per-capita rate in this West African nation are deemed to be remittances and the high-usage of peer-to-peer phone payments.
There are a lot of Nigerian’s working in the diaspora, and crypto makes it much easier for them to send money back home than the traditional money-wire methods. Additionally, Nigerian’s are very well versed in using their phones for making financial transactions.
26. Daily Bitcoin transactions were almost 400,000 in January of 2021.
(Source: Statista IV, CoinMarketCap)
Higher than the rest of the cryptocurrency world, with the exception of Ethereum, which continues to be the most transacted coin. It’s worth nothing also that this was a very turbulent period for the world economy, as a result of the global pandemic wrecking chaos across the globe.
Bitcoin’s transaction volume during such an uncertain time suggests that the adoption of crypto is not some passing trend, and that there is serious activity in the space even during dire times.
27. Crypto exchange Coinbase had 56 million users as of Q1 of 2021.
(Source: Motley Fool)
As it turns out, Coinbase is pretty popular! Bringing in double digit growth from 2019 to 2020, the crypto exchange Coinbase finally decided to go public in 2021. It was the first major crypto exchange to do so, and there’s a reason this exchange owns 11.3% of the entire crypto market.
Coinbase had a good 2019, where it made around $480 million. And it had an even better 2020, bringing in a whopping $1.4 billion.
It seems to be growing it’s user base too, because in Q4 of 2020 it had around 43 million users and as of Q1 2021 Coinbase has 56 million verified users. With 6.1 million monthly transacting users.
28. Tesla is the only member of the S&P 500 to announce acquisition of Bitcoins
Not one to shy away from risk taking missions, Elon Musk’s Tesla revealed in their SEC filing that Tesla held $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. The investment is more of a re-investment of a sort, as the company had received roughly the same amount in tax-subsidies during 2020.
Furthermore, the annual report filed with the SEC revealed that the electric car company accepts Bitcoin as a means of payment for their cars. Though just a short time thereafter, CEO Elon Musk announces they’d stop accepting Bitcoin due to energy impact concerns regarding the mining of the coin.
He has since seen a ‘positive trend in the energy usage of Bitcoin’ and Tesla once again started accepting Bitcoin; but, only if there continues to be evidence that 50% or more of the mining is powered by renewable energy.
29. Cryptocurrency adoption statistics by age and gender
|Do you own any virtual currency?||Males||Females|
|Yes, I currently own some||35%||27%|
|No, but I definitely plan to purchase some in the next 12 months||13%||11%|
|No, but I might consider it in the future||38%||45%|
|No, and I don’t ever plan to purchase any||14%||16%|
|Do you own any virtual currency?||18-29||30-44||45-60||60+|
|Yes, I currently own some||35%||40%||31%||13%|
|No, but I definitely plan to purchase some in the next 12 months||17%||12%||14%||3%|
|No, but I might consider it in the future||41%||37%||45%||44%|
|No, and I don’t ever plan to purchase any||7%||11%||11%||39%|
Ok, time to unplug from the Matrix and come back to the real world. Don’t worry the machines haven’t taken over (yet).
We’re still using fiat money for the most part, but how quickly will that change? Will we be using cryptocurrencies en masse in the near future? Is sending money to your family in a different country the old school way as good as gone?
These cryptocurrency statistics offer a glimpse into a future that changes the way we transact and look at intrinsic value.
Reuters | Statista I | CoinGecko | YCharts – ETH Transactions | ChainAnalysis | CoinMarketCap | Binance Research: 2021 Global Crypto User Index | Statista II | Blockchain: Total Circulating BTC | CoinDesk | Diem | Yahoo! | Blockchain: BTC Transaction Value | HMBA: How Many Bitcoin ATMs | Nasdaq | Statista III | PayPal Newsroom | CNBC | CoinGecko: DeFi | European Parliament | PwC: Time for Trust | Juniper Research | Accenture | NPR.org | Statista IV | Motley Fool | Barron’s | Statista V | Security.org |