Bitcoin (BTC) has been growing over the last 10 years around the world. During this time, individuals, institutions and other companies were able to embrace Bitcoin and use it as a means of payment or a store of value. Banks and hedge funds have been focusing on it as well, even when some of these traditional financial institutions could consider it as a threat.
In 2017, Bitcoin and other digital assets expanded and reached all-time highs. But in 2018, the situation was completely different. The market plummetted and cryptocurrencies have been affected by this bear trend. Indeed, most of them have lost more than 80% of their value, including Bitcoin.
However, since January 2017, around $2.9 trillion in Bitcoin has been traded against different trading pairs on cryptocurrency exchanges. In a recent article uploaded by The Block, Josiah Hernandez shows that Bitcoin trading volume has been growing during the last few years in a consistent way.
In 2018, Bitcoin’s trading volume grew 158% and reached $2,221 billion. In 2017, Bitcoin’s trading volume was close to $858 billion. However, an impressive growth was registered back in 2017 when it grew 2,636% compared to 2016. Nevertheless, an increase of 158% at the current levels is a sustained growth rate that could continue to grow in the coming years.
At the same time, Bitcoin registered a larger trading volume in 2018 than several emerging economies or developing countries. Indeed, the Argentine peso had a trading volume of $0.73 trillion, and the Bulgarian Lev registered a trading volume of $0.37 trillion in 2018. Bitcoin remains strong with $2.22 trillion.
Moreover, transaction activity on the Bitcoin blockchain registered a small decline, close to 8%. In 2018, $3.2 million was sent using the most popular digital currency in the market just in 2018. It is important to mention that there are other scaling solutions being developed that could have an impact on the number of on-chain transactions in the future, thus, reducing the number of dollars transacted in BTC.
Bitcoin is also one of the most important global payment systems in terms of volume. The cryptocurrency has registered a higher number of funds transacted than PayPal, Western Union or Discover. It is also getting closer to MasterCard, that handled $5.2 trillion. Visa remains the leader in the market with $10.2 trillion transacted in 2018, followed by Alipay with $8.3 trillion and Wechat Pay with $6.0 trillion.
Clearly, Bitcoin has a lot of space to keep growing and improving in the near future. These results show that the digital asset has been steadily growing in 2018 amid a bear market that affected the price of many different digital assets in the space. Nonetheless, fundamentals behind Bitcoin remain strong and could be even better in the future.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is being traded around $3,612 and it has a market capitalization of $63.2 billion.