Crypto Growth and Rate of Adoption — Past 3 Years
Cryptocurrency has emerged into the financial market with a bang and has proven that it is a force to be reckoned with. Since its official start in 2009, thousands of new cryptocurrencies have been developed and introduced into the ever-expanding cryptocurrency market. This is impressive for any industry, but it is especially impressive when you consider the fact that the first decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was first created in 2009, by the now famous pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. Thanks to his intellect and innovation, cryptocurrency has been propelled further than anyone could have anticipated. Since the release of Bitcoin, over 4,000 different altcoins to be introduced and are now within the cryptocurrency markets. One of the first supporters, adopters and contributor to Bitcoin was programmer Hal Finney. In fact, he was also the receiver of the first ever Bitcoin transaction. Finney downloaded the Bitcoin software the day it was released, and received 10 Bitcoins from Nakamoto on the 12th January 2009, opening the doors for the rest to follow.
Since its introduction in 2009, the world of cryptocurrency has gone from strength to strength. This progression can be traced and followed across many different industries and companies, as well as following the price evolution itself.
In fact, 2015 saw the prices rise by more than double the original amount, jumping from $200 to almost $500. These figures alone show that the industry as a whole had a larger number of supporters and followers, even during their earlier days. Not only did cryptocurrency gain a large following, it was also becoming more accepted as a method of payment by a number of companies. In February of 2015, the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin exceeded 100,000, allowing it’s users to purchase a vast variety of goods and services online. This level of progression was not going unnoticed. Other cryptocurrency companies, such as Coinbase, also found themselves having a legion of loyal supporters. They were able to raise seventy five million dollars as part of a series C funding round. This not only broke previous records held by a Bitcoin company, but obliterated them. Riding on the heels of this new found success, a proposal was actually submitted to the
Unicode Consortium to add a code point for the Bitcoin symbol.
2016 saw even further advances. There was a sharp increase in the value of cryptocurrencies this year and popularity continued to soar. The prices of tokens jumped and price evaluation as a whole saw a new high, with Bitcoin going from over $400 to almost $1000. Crypto was also taking a firm grip on the financial markets, as it was constantly expanding and becoming featured on more and more exchange websites. This level of progression was not going unnoticed. In the March of 2016, Cabinet of Japan recognized virtual currencies like Bitcoin as having a function similar to real money. Bidorbuy, the largest South African online marketplace, launched Bitcoin payments for both buyers and sellers. This again gave investors more freedom to choose and explore the ever-growing variety of goods and services that they could purchase using their online currencies. Gaming platform Steam followed suit. In April of the same year, Steam announced that they would begin to accept bitcoin as payment for video games and other online media. Bitcoin users only had to wait six months for another round of good news. It had been accounted that the number of Bitcoin ATMs had actually doubled over the last 18 months and was at a record high, with over 70 ATMs available for use worldwide.
While significant progress had been made in the seven years between 2009 and 2016, the biggest year for the entire cryptocurrency market was, without a doubt, 2017. This year not only saw the largest jump in prices in crypto history, increasing in value by over twenty times its price from last year ($1,000 to $20,000), but it also saw some of the best and most creative crypto technologies being introduced to the public to date. Browser mining is the perfect example. Coinhive was introduced in the middle of the year, advertising itself as a legitimate, Java-Script based miner supporting the Monero (XMR) mining. Coinhive saw almost instant success and thanks to the simplicity of its installation, and the backing of The Pirate Bay, over a thousand websites had embedded their code by the end of the year. Coinhive also introduced a second option, where the program would only become embedded if the users gave explicit permission. This new technology paved the way for many other companies, including Gath3r, to perfect their own web-mining processes. 2017 also saw Bitcoin and other crypto companies gain more legitimacy among lawmakers and legacy financial companies. For example, Japan passed a law to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method and Russia has announced that it will legalize the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Norway’s largest online bank, Skandiabanken, integrates crypto accounts.
However, it has not all been easy for the online currency. Shortly after many companies hit their peak in 2017, the entire cryptocurrency market faced the worst crash in their history. Bitcoin itself fell 65% during a single month, from January 2018 to February 2018. These times saw many people lose money that they had invested into different companies and made a lot of people question the reliability of an online currency. Once again, crypto started to rise. While the prices may have remained low, the level had started to recover as early as the in the first quarter of 2018. Looking forward, people have already speculated that we will soon see another period of time when prices rise for the different cryptocurrencies, and these periods are affectionately known as a bull run. If there is another ETF, exchange-traded fund, we could see a bull run in full effect. An ETF would make the market not only more secure, but would also give investors a marketable security that tracks an index or an index fund.
While cryptocurrencies have faced their fair share of hardships, the evidence is clear that the online currency market is here to stay. With number of loyal supporters and investors constantly on the rise, the whole world of crypto is expected to grow substantially in the future, with no sign of slowing down. The invention of web-mining has opened up cryptocurrencies to everybody, even those who are nervous about making long term investments. Gath3r aims to follow suit and become an inclusive company welcoming everybody to join our excrement for cryptocurrencies and the years to come.