In a significant milestone for the digital currency world, more than half a billion individuals had become cryptocurrency users or owners by the end of 2023, as detailed in a market sizing report from the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com. The report indicates a 34% surge in global cryptocurrency users, escalating from 432 million to an impressive 580 million in just one year.
The study, employing Crypto.com’s unique methodology of combining on-chain data with various parameters, presents a detailed analysis of cryptocurrency ownership patterns. Notably, Ether ownership witnessed a substantial increase from 89 million to 124 million users, while Bitcoin ownership saw a rise from 222 million to nearly 296 million individuals by the end of 2023.
Despite a bearish market environment, the cryptocurrency domain experienced substantial growth. The report attributes this resilience to multiple factors, including global economic challenges such as Western central banks’ monetary tightening policies, ongoing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, and the long-term impacts of the pandemic.
Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade is highlighted as a key factor in the network’s heightened activity and the subsequent increase in the value of ETH. Moreover, the introduction of nonfungible token (NFT) functionality to the Bitcoin blockchain, through BRC-20 tokens and Bitcoin Ordinals in 2023, significantly boosted the demand for Bitcoin block space.
The anticipation of the approval of various Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States also contributed to an uptick in Bitcoin acquisitions and wallet creations, particularly in the fourth quarter of 2023. The report emphasizes a notable surge in BTC adoption during this period.
Crypto.com’s report, incorporating data from 23 cryptocurrency exchanges, reveals an interesting overlap in ownership: 40% of Bitcoin owners also possess ETH, while a surprising 42% of cryptocurrency users do not hold either BTC or ETH in their portfolios.
This robust growth trajectory in cryptocurrency adoption is further underscored by a December 2023 report from Bitfinex, which forecasts the global cryptocurrency user base to reach an estimated 950 million by the end of 2024, signaling a continued upward trend in the digital currency landscape.