Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies have been expanding in this cryptocurrency market. In 2018, digital assets, including Bitcoin, did not have a good year in terms of price performance. Nevertheless, Bitcoin’s volume was able to keep growing. Indeed, Bitcoin had six times more transactional volume than the popular company PayPal.
This is according to a recent investigation made by Satoshi Capital Research and released a few days ago. Individuals have sent more than $3.3 trillion using Bitcoin just last year. This represents six times the volume sent using PayPal. The trading volume related to Bitcoin was $2.2 trillion, this is six times more than the trading volume registered by the Bulgarian Lev.
Over $2.2 trillion worth of #bitcoin (BTC) was traded in 2018.
This solidifies its position as a serious global currency, ranking just under the Chilean Peso and more than 6x the Bulgarian Lev. pic.twitter.com/VfM2ZZhsEY
— Satoshi Capital Research (@chartingbitcoin) January 21, 2019
However, Visa remained the leader in the market with $10.2 trillion in payment volume. Visa was followed by Alipay with $8.3 trillion, Wechat Pay with $6.0 trillion and MasterCard with $5.2 trillion. Western Union handled $0.2 trillion in volume. Bitcoin came in the fifth place after MasterCard.
This shows that Bitcoin is growing as a means of payment and not only as a store of value. Individuals are using Bitcoin to process payments every single day in some cases.
The USD value sent using Bitcoin experienced a small drop in 2018 compared to 2017. It registered a decrease of around 8% passing from $3,664 in 2017 to $3,363. Nevertheless, it is possible to see that in 2016, 2015 and 2014, these numbers were much smaller, and not even close to the values seen in 2017 and 2018.
Over $3.3 trillion was sent using #bitcoin in 2018, more than 6x the volume sent using Paypal.
BTC is not just a serious global currency, but a serious global payment system as well. pic.twitter.com/o4Tb2EFUUw
— Satoshi Capital Research (@chartingbitcoin) January 22, 2019
It is surprising to see that Bitcoin had a larger trading volume than the Argentine Peso. As mentioned before, Bitcoin registered $2.22 trillion trading volume while the Argentine Peso registered a mere $0.73 trillion in trading volume. Meanwhile, the Chilean peso registered double trading volume than Bitcoin with $4.38 trillion transacted.
Bitcoin must increase the number of transactions per second that is able to perform. Indeed, Visa and other payment systems have a much larger number of TPS supported. This is why developers behind Bitcoin are working in order to launch the so-called Lightning Network (LN) that is going to revolutionize the way in which Bitcoin works.
The LN will allow Bitcoin to process hundreds of thousands of transactions per second without congesting the main Bitcoin network. This would allow the Bitcoin blockchain not to be congested.
It is important to mention that the amount handled by the Bitcoin network takes into account the funds that exchanges move between their own wallets. For example, Coinbase has moved 5% of all Bitcoin just this year.
Earlier this month, Coinbase moved 5% of all BTC, 8% of all ETH, and 25% of all LTC in circulation to our next-gen secure cold storage. Here’s how we did it. https://t.co/8TJ6S97BnW
— Coinbase (@coinbase) December 19, 2018
That means that the results could be inflated due to the fact that exchanges tend to perform transactions between wallets that contain several millions of dollars. That being said, the results of this research show which is the value that the whole Bitcoin network was able to handle.