While many people, especially the bankers continue to dismiss crypto, it is hard to dismiss the stats. Very few industries can claim 100% YOY growth. If you want to look at an industry in trouble, a good place to start would be European Banks. These banks have unleashed chaos on the global economy. They are hampered by punishing interest rates, old technology, and numerous scandals involving money laundering.
What The Facts State
According to FT, the European Banks are plagued by low profitability, outdated models of business, and negative rats. This has all led to investors departing en masse. In 2018, European bank stocks have fallen by about 25%. This has effectively eliminated any gains made in the last six years. None of the sixteen biggest banks in the Eurozone is trading above its book value. One of the worst affected is the Deutsche Bank, which is trading at just a quarter of book value. In 2018 alone, it has lost about 53% of its stock value.
The ATM Figures
Besides the falling stocks, ATMs in the UK are shutting down. The figures have dropped quite significantly in 2018 alone. However, the figure is the opposite for BTC ATMs. They have actually doubled in 2018. In 2018, BTC ATMs hit 4,000. This is a continuation of a 3-year trend where growth has been 100% year-on-year. By December 31, the figure had actually hit 4,109 to be exact.
It does seem a stretch to compare 65,000 bank ATMs to just a few thousand BTC ATMs globally. In fact, a few thousand ATMs globally is hardly worth talking about. Despite this, a clear trend has been established. There is no denying that 100 percent YOY growth is a huge deal. It is especially so when compared to the steady decline in conventional ATMs.
Social Media Growth
Another observation worth discussing is the growth of BTC on social media. The BTC Subreddit r/Bitcoin has grown a lot. It is the top forum online for talking about everything on BTC. In the year 2018, it hit a million subscribers. To be specific, it experienced a 61 percent growth for 2018 despite the bear market.
However, unlike the growth in BTC ATMs, the Subreddit actually saw slower growth compared to 2017. In that year, it grew by about 20 percent. However, when you consider the almost 80 percent loss of value in 2018, the 61 percent is not that bad.
BTC Is Here To Stay
While the prices might have fallen, the infrastructure to support it, is growing daily. Such growth shows BTC will be here for the long haul. The ShapeShift Co-Founder summed it up perfectly. Jon, the COO said that 2018 was the year of technological innovation. While the bear market is important, he said it was part of a cycle. Just like any other financial asset, it goes through a cycle of highs and lows. In his opinion, this trend will not last forever; it had a beginning and will have an end.