Benchmarking Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

Academia is showing much interest in the new Digital Economy and of course, Bitcoin and alternate cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s value growth and the interest in blockchain technology has increased exponentially as more governments, central banks, commercial banks, corporations, investors and consumers embrace the Internet of Money and innovative technology.

Recently a 2017 report was released by the Cambridge University’s Centre of Alternative Finance – GLOBAL CRYPTOCURRENCY BENCHMARKING STUDY by Dr Garrick Hileman & Michel Rauchs.

“This is the frst study to systematcally investgate key cryptocurrency industry sectors by collectng empirical, non-public data. The study gathered survey data from nearly 150 cryptocurrency companies and individuals, and it covers 38 countries from fve world regions. The study details the key industry sectors that have emerged and the diferent enttes that inhabit them.


• The current number of unique actve users of crypocurrency wallets is estmated to be between 2.9 million and 5.8 million.

• The lines between the diferent cryptocurrency industry sectors are increasingly blurred: 31% of cryptocurrency companies surveyed are operatng across two cryptocurrency industry sectors or more, giving rise to an increasing number of universal cryptocurrency companies.

• At least 1,876 people are working full-tme in the cryptocurrency industry, and the actual total fgure is likely well above two thousend when large mining organisatons and other organizatons that did not provide headcount fgures are added.

• Average security headcount and costs for payment companies and exchanges as a percentage of total headcount/operatng expenses are similar, but signifcantly higher for wallets.


• The exchanges sector has the highest number of operatng enttes and employs more people than any other industry sector covered in this study; a signifcant geographical dispersion of exchanges is observed.

• 52% of small exchanges hold a formal government license compared to only 35% of large exchanges.

• On average, security headcount corresponds to 13% of total employees and 17% of budget is spent on security.


• Between 5.8 million and 11.5 million wallets are estmated to be currently ‘actve’.

• The lines between wallets and exchanges are increasingly blurred: 52% of wallets surveyed provide an integrated currency exchange feature, of which 80% ofer a natonal-to-cryptocurrency exchange service. In contrast with exchanges, the majority of wallets do not control access to user keys. PAYMENTS

• While 79% of payment companies have existng relatonships with banking insttutons and payment networks, the difculty of obtaining and maintaining these relatonships is cited as this sector’s biggest challenge.

• On average, natonal-to-cryptocurrency payments consttute two-thirds of total payment company transacton volume, whereas natonal-to-natonal currency transfers and cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency payments account for 27% and 6%, respectvely.


• 70% of large miners rate their infuence on protocol development as high or very high, compared to 51% of small miners.

• The cryptocurrency mining map shows that publicly known mining facilites are geographically dispersed, but a signifcant concentraton can be observed in certain Chinese provinces.”

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