The English University released its third annual report into the state of the global cryptocurrency space and delivers a number of insights into the biggest talking points in the industry.
One of the main takeaways from the 2020 report is the increasing number of cryptocurrency users across the world in relation to data from the first two Cambridge reports over the past three years.
Fourfold increase in four years
The 2018 Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study estimated the number of identity-verified cryptocurrency users around the world amounted to 35 million. Using the same methodology to reach that estimate, the 2020 report estimates that the amount of cryptocurrency users across the world has increased to 101 million.
There were 191 million accounts setup with wallet and trading platforms in Q3 of 2020.
The report shows that this accounts for a 189 percent increase in users, which could be driven by the increasing number of accounts as well as the ability of accounts to be successfully linked to real persons that are confirmed by KYC processes.
Source: Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study
The research paper points to similar studies that have tried to provide accurate estimates of the amount of cryptocurrency users worldwide. It mentions the United Kingdom’s financial regulator’s estimate of a 78% increase in users from 2019.
While the data suggests that there is an increase in crypto users worldwide, it does not necessarily mean that all these users are using cryptocurrencies in the same way.
User activity is recognized as a ‘useful metric’ to monitor crypto users’ interactions with the ecosystem. User activity is reportedly higher in North America and Europe with service providers indicating that around 40% of users in those regions are active.
Where are the users and who are they?
The research paper also notes that cryptocurrency users are located around the world but these users primarily use cryptocurrency wallet and payment service providers based in their country or region of residence.
Given that one of the major drawcards of cryptocurrencies is the ability for users to access tokens and services across borders, many firms serve users from other countries. Nevertheless the lionshare of their users are based in their region of operation.
As for identifying users by their type, the data from the Cambridge University survey shows a heavy weighting towards retail clients accounting for cryptocurrency usage across the different regions identified in the survey.
An interesting takeaway was the significant difference in the percentage of business and institutional cryptocurrency users divided along the lines of their regions. North America and Europe has the higher percentage (30%) of these users while the Asia-Pacific, region which includes China, only has 16% in this category.