It turns out that cryptocurrency enthusiasts were committed well beyond the HODL rallying call that urged them to hold on during this year’s digital-asset market collapse.
The number of verified users of cryptocurrencies almost doubled in the first three quarters of the year even as the market bellwether bitcoin tumbled almost 80%, according to a study from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. Users climbed from 18 million to 35 million this year.
The figures may provide a silver lining. If user numbers continue to increase even in a deep market downturn, that could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming — a crucial finding at a time when some critics predict that the value of cryptocurrencies will go to zero.
Most users are likely still speculators and long-term investors. Due to the market volatility, cryptocurrencies are barely used in commerce.
“Conforming with popular narratives, survey data indicates that the majority of users — both established as well as new entrants — are individuals and not business clients,” authors of the study said. “Individuals can be hobbyists, retail investors, consumers, or users seeking a better investment or payment alternative.”
The number of crypto accounts increased as well, the study found. A single user can hold multiple accounts.
“Growth rates were at their highest in 2017, and the number of new user accounts as well as ID-verified users continued to rapidly grow in 2018 as well,” the study said. — Reported by Olga Kharif, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP