Crypto adoption surges as global cryptocurrency user base surpassed half a billion in 2023, a 34% increase from prior year
Despite the volatile market of the past year, the cryptocurrency world experienced an unprecedented surge in 2023, witnessing a 34% increase in the global user base. According to a market sizing report from Crypto.com, more than half a billion people had joined the ranks of cryptocurrency owners by the end of the year.
In an 18-page report from Crypto.com’s Research and Insights Team, the market sizing estimates reveal that the number of digital asset users and owners rose from 432 million in January 2023 to 580 million by the year’s end.
The report uses Crypto.com’s unique methodology, combining on-chain data with various parameters to determine the number of global cryptocurrency owners. Despite challenging market conditions, the report highlights a significant uptick in crypto adoption, attributing it to various factors such as Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade, the introduction of nonfungible token functionality on the Bitcoin blockchain, and the anticipation of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) approval in the United States.
According to the report, the 34% increase in the global cryptocurrency user base came amid macroeconomic challenges, global issues geo-political challenges, and the ongoing consequences of the pandemic. Notably, Ethereum’s network activity increased, and the value of ETH rallied due to the Shanghai upgrade.
“Crypto adoption in 2023 achieved new milestones, in spite of macro headwinds, namely the further monetary tightening by Western central banks to try to tame inflation, protracted kinetic conflict in Europe and a new one in the Middle East, and longer-term consequences of the pandemic,” an excerpt from the report notes.
The report also touches on Bitcoin’s surge in adoption in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by talks of potential ETF approvals and the introduction of BRC-20 tokens and Bitcoin Ordinals.
Data from 23 cryptocurrency exchanges contribute to Crypto.com’s on-chain data extraction. The report reveals that 40% of Bitcoin owners also own ETH, while 42% of cryptocurrency users do not hold BTC or ETH in their portfolios.
Looking ahead, a previous report from Bitfinex predicted that the global cryptocurrency user base would reach an estimated 950 million people by the end of 2024.
Below is a quick summary of the report:
- The number of global cryptocurrency owners saw a significant 34% increase in 2023, climbing from 432 million in January to 580 million by December.
- Bitcoin (BTC) ownership experienced a 33% growth, going from 222 million in January to 296 million in December. This group constitutes 51% of the overall global cryptocurrency owners.
- Ethereum (ETH) ownership also saw a substantial 39% increase, going from 89 million in January to 124 million in December. This represents 21% of the total global cryptocurrency owners.
Adding to the report, Kris Marszalek, the CEO of Crypto.com, engaged with users in a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on YouTube. In the session, Kris reflected on the positive turn of events in 2023, emphasizing the unexpected rally of BTC and the approval of the BTC ETF. He underscored the company’s dedication to scaling, intending to triple its user base to 250 million during the current cycle. Kris also delved into the convergence between crypto and traditional finance (TradFI), citing the approval of the BTC ETF as a significant milestone.
The outlined objectives revolved around rapid scaling and substantial growth in assets under management (AUM), with a lofty target of reaching 1 trillion AUM on the platform. Kris exuded confidence in the company’s track record and ambitious goals, highlighting the team’s determination for success and affirming that the business is already well-run and profitable.
Discussing the state of Crypto.com’s business, Kris pointed to strong performance in the last quarter of 2023, fostering optimism for 2024. He anticipated the company surpassing its 2021 revenue of 1.8 billion and achieving improved profitability.
On the topic of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), Kris took a long-term perspective, prioritizing customer service, innovation, and cryptocurrency adoption. He viewed an IPO as an option contingent on results and strategic positioning.
The conversation also touched on progress in key markets, regulatory perspectives, and plans for geographical expansion. Kris disclosed efforts to secure licenses in specific Asian markets and hinted at upcoming card launches and an alternative product for the US exchange.
Wrapping up the discussion, Kris teased the community’s excitement about Rewards Plus, mentioning plans for its rollout and alluding to future developments.
Below is a YouTube video of the AMA session.