Cryptocurrencies are more and more popular every day. Nothing compared to traditional financial systems yet, but something to really appreciate in such a few years – 12 years since Bitcoin creation. Crypto-adoption is exploding worldwide, and we have good reasons for it.
For starting, cryptocurrencies are generally faster and cheaper than fiat money. They have no borders, so, they’re perfect to make cheap remittances, no matter the place. Censorship and use-limits are out of the discussion as well, since most cryptos are decentralized (no controlled by any central entity).
To this, we can add now numerous financial instruments (Decentralized Finances – DeFi) not easily available to the public before. Credits, loans, digital wallets, payments, automatic transactions, tokenized assets, investments, stablecoins, and so on can be at hand for anyone at very low starting fees.
Considering the facts, there’s no wonder that cryptos are popular. Let’s check then how popular.
Users and transactions
In late 2020, the third “Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study” by the University of Cambridge and its Centre for Alternative Finance determined that there were over 101 million crypto-users worldwide. The higher activity came from North America and Europe, but the crypto-users are active worldwide.
Also by late 2020, the analytics firm Chainalysis released its Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index. This report studied the crypto-activity in most countries and assessed four important factors: on-chain value received, on-chain retail value received, number of on-chain deposits, and P2P exchange trade volume. For Chainalysis, the top countries in crypto-adoption are Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela, China, and Kenya.
However, they state there:
“Cryptocurrency is truly global. Of the 154 countries we analyzed, only 12 had so little cryptocurrency activity that we gave them an index score of zero. That’s a testament both to the excitement around cryptocurrency as an investment and, especially in the developing world, as a means of value storage and medium of exchange.”
As for the transactions, we can take Bitcoin (the most popular cryptocurrency) as a reference. There were over 244k transactions during the last day [YCharts], and there were more than 224k BTC (around $13b) traded worldwide in the same small period [CryptoCompare]. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization ascends to $1.8t so far [CoinMarketCap].
Merchants and gateways
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people and companies accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method. And more than that, offering the service of payment gateways for business. On CoinMap, we can find over 22,000 venues worldwide accepting cryptos as payment. Among them, we have shops, restaurants, attractions, grocery, lodging, nightlife, sports, transport, and professional services.
According to Cryptwerk, Bitcoin (BTC) is still the most popular coin among merchants. Following suit are Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, XRP, Dogecoin (DOGE), Monero (XMR), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Zcash (ZEC). As for the payment gateways available for business, we can find international brands like CoinPayments, BitPay, CoinGate, GoCrypto, Coinify, and Alfacoins.
Now, as described by Bitcoin Treasuries, at least 51 companies worldwide have invested in Bitcoin a total of over $57b to date.
Exchanges and ATMs
Cryptocurrency exchanges let users trading cryptos against other digital currencies or fiat money. Frequently, they also offer additional tools (lending, education, auto-trading, etc.) and special benefits. A lot of countries have their own crypto-exchanges, working with their local currencies. On the other hand, there are a lot of crypto-exchanges operating globally, with few or no borders.
If we check the list curated by BlockSpot, we’ll find more than 1,100 crypto-exchanges all over the world. They include P2P exchanges (where people connect between them to trade), custodial exchanges (funds controlled by the company), non-custodial exchanges (funds controlled by the user -like Alfacash), decentralized exchanges (operations via smart contracts), derivatives brokers, investment funds and more.
The ATMs working with cryptocurrencies are even more. We can find around 17,000 in CoinATMRadar. USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hong Kong, Romania, and the Czech Republic are leading in number.
A lot of crypto-jobs
Yes, this is by now a big industry that has provided a large number of jobs around the world. Just to have the slightest idea, only in the United States, there are at least 953 crypto-companies [Crunchbase]. And not all of them are exchanges. Many of them provide business and professional services with blockchains and digital assets.
These companies can find employees via traditional platforms, or with crypto-focused webpages as well. The remote jobs and global teams are very popular. For example, we can check some popular job-listing platforms.
On Cryptocurrency Jobs, we can find now 667 roles. On Crypto-Careers, the number is 942. On Crypto Jobs List, vacancies amount to over 2,100. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn, the results for the keyword “crypto” are over 9,900. All this, without counting the roles that are already being filled. Not for nothing, LinkedIn itself considers that blockchain was the most demanded skill by companies in 2020.
Short conclusion? Yeah, crypto is starting to rule the world. Wanna be left behind or jump in?
Isabel Pérez, Alfacash
Literature professional in the crypto-world since 2016. Writer, researcher, and bitcoiner. Working for a better world, with more decentralization and coffee.
Read more about cryptos and blockchain in the Alfacash blog!