There are perhaps a million reasons why you should, above everything else, be excited as a crypto and more specifically, as a Bitcoin holder. Yes, there are challengers on adoption, regulation and storage—millions of dollars worth of coins stolen through hacks or lost private keys, but in the long term, these coins are jewels.
Just to quantify, statistics from The Global Findex database, a non-profit organization comprehensively studying how adults spend and save with funding from the Melinda and Gates Foundation, revealed that the number of unbanked—that is, adults and qualified individuals who ought to have a bank account and access to other financial services, decreased 20 percent from 2.5 billion to 1.7 billion after 800 million individuals registered for bank accounts between 2014 to 2017.
It may be because of increasing democratization of banks and high smart phone penetration especially in developing economies but when we look past this number, then there is a lot to be desired. Bitcoin has a reliable, secure and a regulator endorsed settlement layer that makes it a market leader.
At just 10 years old, tantalizing statistics indicate that by Dec 2018, more than 32 million Bitcoin wallets existed. Out of these, 7.2 million addresses were active and roughly five percent of Americans held Bitcoins. As a leading fiat-crypto ramp, CoinBase, the trusted American exchange had more than 20 million active users—a figure expected to grow as they ramp up listing of tokens in sync with their listing framework and compliant with the law.
But, here’s a reminder, while there are 32 million Bitcoin addresses—more than the 21 million BTCs to ever circulate, we must also not that most are not active and coupled with the fact that often times users hold more than one address—hot and cold for example—all for expediency. So, the number of actual BTC owners must be lower and that is reflected by the low number of active addresses. As noted 7.2 million were active with 2.3 million used for making payments while 4.3 million point to exchanges where traders speculate on asset prices.
This is good news because it reflects how Bitcoin is acting both as a settlement layer and secondly as a medium of exchange—from active addresses. However, for the look of things, it is the holders who take the lion share of Bitcoin addresses. 30 percent of all Bitcoin addresses are made up of hodlers, coin believers who won’t sell in the long haul.
Alex Ziupsnys, a Bitcoin Enthusiast, says the above statistics point to low adoption and in his approximation, less than one percent of the world population know what Bitcoin is. We speculate that amongst other things, Bitcoin widespread relies heavily on education and puncture lies that people have been made to believe that Bitcoin is a scam and that as an unregulated market there are too many risks involved or that fees are high. There were instances when fees were high especially during the parabolic rise of late 2017 but steps have been taken to not only reduce fees through solutions are LN—which is going mainstream thanks to Dorsey contribution, but to urge the public that the network is actually cheaper to use when transferring funds across borders.
Then again, Bitcoin is not a scam. Operations are transparent and firms like Chainalysis can actually track transactions making it hard for elements to launder money unlike in banks where billions are lost every year. For this reason, the security, reliability—no down time because of decentralization and transparency of blockchain projects mean platforms as Bitcoin are ready for many individuals especially those in authoritarian regimes or those whose economy are weak or already ravaged by hyper inflation as Venezuela. Therefore, as more and more people join the Bitcoin and blockchain bandwagon, the advantages on offer will only drive the asset price higher rewarding believers.
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