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New report turns spotlight on crypto asset market

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Crypto market activity slowed significantly during the third-quarter following the summer bull run in crypto asses, but it’s settled at levels notably higher than the previous 12 months, according to a new report The State of Crypto: Bitcoin, Altcoins & Blockchain by the Numbers.

The report, released by, reveals that approximately 10 per cent of American adults, or roughly 24.9 million individuals, already own Bitcoin. The number has almost doubled over the last 12 months, and it’s likely to double again over the next 24-36 months. Worldwide, more than 100 million individuals already own crypto assets.
In addition, almost one-half of 18-34 year olds in the US are considering investing in Bitcoin, along with more than one-third of both investors in general and institutional investors in particular. Approximately one-fifth of institutional investors already have exposure to Bitcoin.

The number of tradeable crypto assets meanwhile, has increased by 16 per cent since the beginning of the year and has almost doubled since January 2018, from 1,375 to 2,398. The number of coins has remained fairly stable, fluctuating from 902 in January 2018 to 909 at the end of September 2019. The number of tokens has grown steadily, increasing every month except for December 2018, from 379 to 1,489 over the same period.

Although the number of tradeable crypto assets is expanding, according to the report it also appears that the quality of assets may be declining from what was an already arguably low level. The number of assets with no reported volume has increased six-fold — from 67 to 410 — between December 2017 and September 2019, while their relative share has jumped from 5 per cent to 17 per cent, or almost one-fifth of all assets tracked. Assets with USD1 million or more in daily trading volume have also increased — from 224 to 283 — albeit at a much slower pace and they’ve also declined in share, accounting for 12 per cent of assets tracked compared to almost 17 per cent in December 2017.
The top-10 crypto assets (based on network value) were collectively worth more in Q2-2019 (USD274.2 billion) than during any other quarter ever, except for the height of the bubble in Q4-2017 (USD507.7 billion). And the quarterly return for Bitcoin in Q2-2019 was also just a few percentage points less than in Q4-2017.
If Bitcoin does ultimately catch up to gold in terms of aggregate value, the price of a single Bitcoin will be about USD500,000 (based on 21 million Bitcoin and a USD10.2 trillion comparable value for all above ground gold).

The daily average trading volume for all crypto assets in Q2- and Q3-2019 (USD66.7 billion and USD59.4 billion respectively) was more than twice what it was during the peak bubble period between December 2017 and February 2018 (USD27.2 billion).

Tether reached a new all-time high network value in Q3-2019 (USD4.1 billion) along with the next four largest stablecoins which, as a group, ended the quarter with a combined network value of USD952.4 million. Stablecoins as a group now account for more than one-third (34.3 per cent) of total spot trading volume. It’s worth noting that the second and third largest stablecoins after Tether – USD Coin and Paxos Standard Token – have both been trading for only a year.

Exchange tokens are among the best performing crypto assets so far in 2019, with the five largest advancing by an average 120.6 per cent year-to-date at the end of September. The same five assets account for 96 per cent of the aggregate value for all 19 exchange tokens tracked, or USD4.5 billion. Binance Coin alone accounts for more than one-half (52.5 per cent) of that value.

The number of individuals professionally involved in the blockchain/crypto asset ecosystem has more than doubled since January 2018 and published job openings have increased four-fold over the same period.

The amount of venture capital invested in the blockchain/crypto asset ecosystem during 2019 is on track to potentially match last year’s record level, USD2.9 billion year-to-date through September compared to USD3.6 billion for calendar year 2018. Regardless of whether 2019 sets a new record, the amount invested this year will be more than four-times greater than 2016 (USD767.9 million).

The number of blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related patents published per year have increased more than 30-fold since 2016. More patents were published in the first nine months of 2019 than all of 2018 (2,665 vs. 2,098). Chinese companies hold more patents than the next five countries combined (2,251 vs. 2,028) and almost twice as many as the next closest country (the US).

Crypto assets as a class peaked on 5 January , 2018, at an end-of-day aggregate value of approximately USD780 billion and they briefly touched an intraday high of more than USD830 billion. Their combined value at the end of September 2019 was approximately USD223 billion and the network value of Bitcoin alone was USD148 billion. To place those values in context, the recent aggregate value of all crypto assets is equivalent to less than 1 per cent of the S&P 500 total market cap and approximately 2 per cent of the total above-ground gold stock. The value of Bitcoin itself is equal to roughly 1.5 per cent of the above-ground gold stock and about 9 per cent of annual global gold production; at its December 2017 all- time high (USD336 billion), the value of Bitcoin was equivalent to 3 per cent of the current above-ground gold stock and roughly 20 per cent of recent annual global gold production.

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