Contrary to the public perception of the crypto market being small or shrinking, the industry has been experiencing a tremendous surge in popularity and growth over the last year or so. For starters, the number of crypto wallets — a key indicator of user engagement with the digital asset space — has increased substantially, with a recent report showing that during Nov 2022, there were over 85 million active wallet addresses on Blockchain.com alone, a significant rise from previous years.
Moreover, over the last twelve months, the total capitalization of the digital asset market has increased by approx. 100%, rising from $831 billion to nearly $1.7 trillion. Not only that, as of Q1 2023, there exist more than 425 million unique crypto owners, a 39% increase from a year prior. Lastly, the crypto remittance segment has also been on an upward trajectory, especially as more and more consumers worldwide are beginning to adopt digital assets as a medium for overseas money transfers, often to avoid high costs charged by traditional banks and money transfer services.
To elaborate, a recent survey showed that approx. 8 million adults actively utilize crypto for online payments to friends or family abroad, while an additional 13% use digital assets as their preferred medium for online cross-border remittances. This is because crypto transactions can cost as little as 0.01% to 0.10% of the total amount, making them substantially cheaper than traditional methods such as SWIFT, NEFT, etc.
The facts and figures don’t lie.
The above-mentioned crypto adoption trend is not just limited to individual users but is also gaining traction within the commercial sector. To this point, a whole host of businesses are leveraging crypto as a store of value and incorporating it into advanced payment options to cater to a technologically inclined customer base. The individual segment — encompassing trading, investing, peer-to-peer payments, and remittance — alone accounted for over 61% of the market in 2022.
Not only that, crypto transactions and volumes have also been on the rise. For example, as of December 2023, the number of Bitcoin transactions per day was recorded at around 543,162, showing a substantial increase from 262,646 transactions from just a year prior — representing a significant year-over-year growth of 106.8%. Similarly, during the first quarter of 2023, global spot trading volumes across the top 10 crypto exchanges totaled an impressive $2.8 trillion, marking an 18.1% increase from the fourth quarter of 2022.
Amid this monumental growth, a number of new cryptocurrency exchanges have been helping process these immense crypto volumes. One of the forerunners of this ongoing revolution has been VALR, the largest African digital asset trading platform. Since its inception, VALR has continued to bridge the gap between the traditional finance ecosystem and the ever-evolving world of crypto-assets. To this point, the platform most recently partnered with payments giant Visa to help clients process their cross-border remittances.
Additionally, many other significant milestones have also marked the project’s journey. For instance, the exchange has already processed over $10 billion in trading volume. It has successfully secured $55 million in equity funding from renowned investors like Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, and Avon Ventures (affiliated with Fidelity Investments). Moreover, the exchange has received approval to offer its services in Europe as well as acquired an initial approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to commence its operations in the region.
Lastly, as things stand, VALR’s growing user base, which includes over 900 corporate and professional traders and more than 500 million retail traders, can take advantage of a variety of services ranging from spot trading to perpetual futures trading.
Educating the World on Crypto’s Potential
Current statistics demonstrate an increasing public and corporate understanding of crypto’s potential. This educational push has been pivotal for the industry’s growth as it has helped prepare more individuals and institutions to engage with cryptocurrencies responsibly and knowledgeably. In this regard, Platforms like VALR are at the forefront of this expansion, offering a range of services that cater to both seasoned traders and newcomers.
Their approach to educating users, combined with the platform’s intuitive and seamless experience, has been instrumental in broadening the crypto market’s general scope of use and allowing more and more individuals from the Trad-Fi realm to dip their toes within the decentralization domain. Thus, as we head to a future driven by crypto tech, it will be interesting to see how things play out for the market.