In this article, we’ll go over some fascinating blockchain statistics that illustrate the current state of blockchain technology. We explored different studies to determine if its mainstream adoption is likely in the foreseeable future. Our hand-picked statistics will highlight blockchain market size and growth predictions and allow us to analyze its potential for improving security and trust levels in information technology, financial sector and numerous other industries.
Before we dive into the statistics about blockchain, let’s take a look at the primary reasons blockchain technology stands a chance of changing not only the financial services sector but other industries as well.
Blockchain facts to keep in mind:
- Blockchain consists of blocks that store transaction records, or records about official agreements between two or more parties (so called “smart contracts”). Each block has a unique mathematical code called hash.
- Blockchain is designed to be immune to fraudulent activities and human error.
- Before a piece of information is added to a block, it has to be validated by nods, a peer-to-peer network of computers, servers, or other end-point machines. Only when the network of nods reaches a consensus, another block (new transaction data) is added to the blockchain.
- Blockchain is decentralized, which means there isn’t a single person or organization that controls the entire system.
- As blockchain transactions or blockchain-based contracts don’t require intermediaries like banks or lawyers, there are no transaction fees or the need for smart contracts to be verified by third parties.
- Everyone in the blockchain network has a copy of the blockchain data (e.g. complete history of transactions), which makes it a transparent system.
- Once verified by nods in the network, blockchain transactions and contracts become irreversible.
Now, let’s move on to some blockchain stats.
The Concept of Blockchain Technology Dates Back to 1991. (TechBullion)
Blockchain technology caught our attention in 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper on Bitcoin. However, the concept behind it is almost three-decades-old. In 1991, W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber worked on creating a chain of blocks secured with cryptography. Their goal was to protect files on personal computers from being modified. They explained this concept in a whitepaper, entitled “How to Time-stamp a Digital Document.”
Some sources suggest that certain blockchain elements had already found practical use at the time in P2P technologies, such as cloud computing and torrents. However, it wasn’t until Bitcoin and Satoshi Nakamoto that blockchain gained prominence.
AngelList Lists Almost 3,000 Blockchain Companies. (AngelList)
Now, let’s take a look at the number of blockchain companies before moving on to blockchain usage statistics for 2019. Today there are about 3,000 blockchain companies on AngelList, as well as thousands of blockchain investors and job openings in this field. Apart from this, blockchain and cryptocurrency fall into the top 6 most desirable industries for US job seekers. However, looking at the big picture, blockchain companies still make up a tiny percent of all companies on AngelList. These figures indicate that blockchain has a lot of room to grow. For now, blockchain technology remains within the limits of a buzzword that has the potential to bring revolutionary changes to plenty of industries.
Only 0.71% of the World’s Population Used Cryptocurrencies in 2018. (Crypto Globe)
Blockchain statistics clearly show this is a niche market. According to one blockchain researcher and cryptocurrency advocate, Nele Maria Palipea, only around 50 million people worldwide used cryptocurrencies over the last year.. Palipea aimed to determine whether mass adoption of blockchain might take place over the next five years. Comparing the slow process of blockchain adoption to the equally slow process of email adoption, she explained that, while blockchain is here to stay, it would certainly take longer than that for it to become part of the mainstream.
On the other hand, we have different blockchain adoption statistics from McKinsey, a management consulting company. According to McKinsey’s forecast from 2017, blockchain technology should reach its full potential within five years. As they pointed out, during the period between 2009 and 2016, (which McKinsey refers to as the Dark Age), Bitcoin was the main value generator. However, the management consulting firm believes that the new era of blockchain started in 2016, and that, by the end of 2020, we should have 10 to 20 deployed use cases of blockchain technology.
A 2018 Deloitte survey gave us different stats on the topic.
84% of Executives Believe Blockchain Will Reach the Mainstream Eventually. (Deloitte)
Deloitte’s 2018 survey collected answers from over 1,000 executives that work in various industries. The majority of survey participants believe that blockchain is a scalable technology which will become commonplace. This survey is in line with Palipea’s blockchain predictions we’ve previously discussed. However, it didn’t specify when this was likely to happen.
Moreover, two-thirds of participants agreed that failure to adopt blockchain technology would result in losing a competitive advantage. 69% of executives said they plan on replacing the systems of record they are currently using with blockchain technology. The question is:
What do the numbers say about the current state of blockchain technology?
There are Over 34 Million Blockchain Wallets Worldwide. (Blockchain)
The number of Blockchain wallets has been increasing steadily for some time now. Over the course of 2014, the number of blockchain wallets grew from 1 to 2 million. In 2016, Blockchain wallets became one of the Blockchain trends, as the number of users rapidly increased by 5 million. The following year, the popularity of blockchain wallets increased even further, with 10 million new users. 2018 started with 21.5 million Blockchain wallet users and ended with 10 million more. 2 million people have created a Blockchain wallet so far in 2019.
There are Almost 5,000 Crypto ATMs Worldwide. (Coin ATM Radar)
The number of ATMs that allow people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies climbed to a new high in March 2019 to reach a worldwide total of 4,448. The first crypto ATM appeared in late 2013, and there were 1,000 altogether in 2017. There were just over 2,000 ATMs in 2018, and this number has increased considerably since then.
Based on blockchain statistics from the same source, the US currently has the highest number of crypto ATMs – almost 3,000. Canada and Austria rank right behind the US. Together, these two countries currently have nearly 1,000 crypto ATMs. Apart from these countries, there are lots of places where there are only a handful of crypto ATMs, while in about 20 countries cryptocurrency enthusiasts rely on a single ATM.
Spending on Blockchain Solutions Jumped to $1.5 Billion in 2018. (IDC)
Since the Dark Age, as McKinsey calls the period up to 2016, we’ve seen an increase in spending on blockchain solutions. In 2017, global spending on blockchain amounted to $945 million. However, this figure nearly doubled the following figure. In 2018, worldwide spending on blockchain reached $1.5 billion.
This is crazy:
According to the latest blockchain technology statistics, spending will reach $2.9 billion in 2019 and a whopping $12.4 billion by 2022. IDC sees the US and China as the biggest spenders.
In 2016, IBM Invested $200 Million in Blockchain-Based IoT Technology. (IBM)
IBM is one of the tech giants that jumped on the blockchain bandwagon when others considered themselves to be early adopters of this technology. In 2015, the company backed the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project. In 2016, IBM invested $200 million in headquarters for their Watson IoT platform. Today, the company offers blockchain solutions via its IBM Blockchain platform.
Last year, IBM reported working on 400 blockchain projects. The tech giant has a tremendous impact on global blockchain technologies. According to a 2018 Juniper research, IBM is the top blockchain solutions provider, with 65% of research participants ranking the company as their first choice. Microsoft came second, with 7% of participants opting for Microsoft Azure.
26% of Companies Plan on Investing Between $1 Million and $5 Million in Blockchain Technology. (Deloitte)
Deloitte’s annual blockchain survey gave us valuable insights into blockchain budgets for 2019. These numbers will impact the growth of the blockchain market and help companies move from early blockchain project stages to deploying the new technology.
The highest percentage of companies, 26%, plan on investing between $1 million and $5 million in blockchain. A somewhat smaller percentage of companies will set aside between $5 and $10 million in 2019 (23%), whereas 20% of companies will invest between $500,000 and $1 million. The percentage of companies that don’t plan on investing in blockchain is relatively low (5%). Clearly, companies recognize the advantages blockchain technology can bring to the table.
32% of Deloitte Survey Participants See Greater Speed as the Top Advantage of Blockchain Over Existing Systems. (Deloitte)
Observing blockchain facts and figures from a 2018 Deloitte survey, we discovered that as much as 32% of survey respondents think that blockchain comes with greater speed compared to systems currently in use. Furthermore, 28% of respondents stated that blockchain could also help discover new business models as well as new sources of revenue. Decreasing cost is also related to blockchain technology. A mere 2% of participants don’t think blockchain has any advantages over existing systems.
32% of Companies are Currently in the Development Stage of Blockchain Projects. (PwC)
PwC’s Global Blockchain survey from 2018 provided us with valuable insights into how much companies are involved with blockchain technology. According to blockchain statistics, 14% of companies are not involved in blockchain at all. Around 20% of companies are at the research stage, while the highest percentage (32%) are currently at the development phase.
That being said, only 60 out of 600 companies have blockchain projects in progress. Nevertheless, this study confirms that the business world is aware of the enormous potential of blockchain. The vast majority of companies are doing something to implement this technology in their business.
Moreover, Okta’s Digital Enterprise Report shows that digital companies that are investing in new technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and augmented reality, among others, is on the rise this year. According to the source, 3 out of 5 digital companies invest in blockchain technologies. With that in mind, there should soon be a significantly higher number of companies that are developing blockchain projects, and eventually deploying this technology.
In 2018, 84% of Executives Stated Blockchain Technology is More Secure than Traditional IT Solutions. (Deloitte)
If we look at the blockchain security statistics from Deloitte’s 2018 survey, the percentage of those who believe blockchain is more secure than traditional IT solutions is sky-high at 84%. The percentage of those who have a contrary opinion stands at a mere 8%.
So, apart from categorizing blockchain-based solutions as faster than the existing systems, Deloitte study participants believe that blockchain technology is also more secure. But the really exciting bit is that people have started to accept these benefits on a large scale.
Developing Countries Believe Blockchain Will Give Them an Advantage Over Their competition. (TATA Communications)
A 2018 study by TATA Communications shows that developing countries are more likely to adopt new technologies like blockchain, AI, and IoT than developed countries. Business leaders in India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are convinced that blockchain, among other technologies, would give them a competitive advantage. In contrast, their North American counterparts are far less enthusiastic about the technology.
With these blockchain stats in mind, it’s no surprise Europe also has a competitive advantage over North America.
Malta established itself as the Blockchain Island. Switzerland, home to a large number of blockchain businesses, gave cryptocurrencies the foreign currency label. Estonia is already applying blockchain in its national digital identification system and health sector. Country’s administration is taking steps to create the best possible environment for crypto and blockchain-based projects.
Further afield, Japan is Asia’s leading blockchain hub, which also regulates cryptocurrency trading.
Regulatory Issues Are the Top Barrier to Increasing Blockchain Technology Investments. (Deloitte)
The Deloitte survey further explored why companies are not investing more in blockchain. The most common answer among study participants had to do with regulatory issues. Apart from this, a high percentage of participants were also concerned about blockchain ROI. Other reasons included security threats and lack of skills. For some companies, investing in blockchain wasn’t among the top priorities. Only 6% of participants saw no barriers to greater investment in blockchain.
63% of Institutional Investors Believe Senior Business Executives Have Low Blockchain IQ. (Bitcoin Diamond)
According to the Global Blockchain Business Council survey which came out in January 2019, senior business executives have very limited knowledge about blockchain. As much as 63% of respondents think that senior business executives have a low blockchain IQ that not only prevents them from keeping up with the latest trends in blockchain technology, but also from incorporating this technology into their existing systems. The lack of knowledge about blockchain slows down the adoption of this technology, so we hope that these numbers will change soon.
Still, we shouldn’t neglect the fact that 30% of those surveyed described senior business executives’ knowledge as average. Only 7% thought senior business executives have a good grasp of blockchain. Now, before we move on to blockchain growth statistics, let’s go through some interesting stats about Ethereum and Bitcoin.
There are Less Than 4 Million Bitcoins Left. (Blockchain)
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency that appeared on the market in 2009. The protocol of this digital cryptocurrency is built on blockchain. Bitcoin relies on miners to record and verify transactions. As a reward, miners get block rewards after they verify 1MB of transactions and solve a mathematical problem called the proof of work. In 2009, the block reward stood at 50 BTC, while the level of difficulty was between 1 and 1.18.
Now, one of the key things you need to know about Bitcoin is that is has a limited supply of 21 million. It is estimated that the last Bitcoin will be mined in the year 2140.
In the first bitcoin year, a total of 1.6 million Bitcoins were mined. The following year, that number increased to approximately 5 million BTC. According to Bitcoin mining stats, by 2013, nearly half of all Bitcoins, 10.5 million, were mined. BTC. Three years later, the number of Bitcoins hit the 15-million mark, and last year it jumped to 17 million BTC. In 2019, the total number of Bitcoins stands at around 17.4 million, which is 83.3% of all Bitcoins that will ever exist.
Bitcoin Price Grew From $0.00 to $4,000 in 10 Years. (Wikipedia)
A year after it first appeared, Bitcoin was priced at $0.003. It wasn’t until February of 2011 that it reached $1. Now, one of the main characteristics of Bitcoin is high-level volatility, which is why in 2011, when 1 BTC equaled $1, we saw a drastic change in price. So, in 2011, the price of 1 BTC was $1, only to jump to $31 in July that year, and then drop to $2 at the end of 2011. When looking for the most accurate bitcoin stats live, price charts are the best way to keep up with the ever-changing price of this cryptocurrency.
Now, let’s get back to Bitcoin price changes. At the end of 2012, the Bitcoin price stood at $13, while the following year it was in the $650–$800 range. At the beginning of 2014, the price of Bitcoin was $745, while at the end of the year it decreased to $317. In June of 2016, the value of 1BTC was $760, while in November of 2017, it rose to $19,498. Throughout 2018, the price decreased steadily. At the end of 2018, Bitcoin fell to $3,832, and by March of 2019, the value of Bitcoin increased slightly to $4,000.
As you can see from the numbers above, the price of Bitcoin is constantly changing, and it’s quite difficult to predict its highs and lows. Now, let’s go through Ether stats to see if the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization is as volatile as Bitcoin.
In 2017, Ethereum Reached an All-time High at $1,385. (Ether Scan)
Ether was initially released in 2015, with a starting price of $0.00. By the end of 2016, the digital currency reached $8 per coin. Following in the footsteps of Bitcoin, Ethereum also saw a significant price increase in 2017. That year, it reached $741. By January 2018, the value of Ethereum nearly doubled, reaching $1,385. That didn’t last long, though, and at the end of 2018, Ether value dropped to $133, one-tenth of its peak value. As you can see from these Ethereum statistics, Bitcoin is not uniquely volatile.
In 2018, Ether Coins Hit the 100-Million Mark. (Tech in Asia)
Bitcoin and Ethereum share a few similarities, but they also have several differences. Both digital currencies use blockchain technology and can be used for payments. However, unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum doesn’t have a finite supply. As of November of 2018, there are over 100 million Ethereum coins in circulation.
Another difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum is the timeframe in which miners create a block. According to Ethereum mining stats, it takes about 15 seconds to mine a block, whereas Bitcoin blocks are created every 10 minutes.
Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple is Not Based on Blockchain. (Bitcoin Magazine)
Before we move on to forecasts about blockchain market, there’s one more cryptocurrency we’d like to discuss briefly – Ripple. The reason we wanted to write a few lines about Ripple is that this cryptocurrency is often listed as one of the three most valuable ones based on market capitalization.
This cryptocurrency’s network works a bit differently than blockchain-based digital currencies. In contrast to Bitcoin, which is based on a consensus of validating servers (nodes), the Ripple network is managed by independent servers that constantly compare their transaction records. Another key differences between Bitcoin and Ripple is their purpose. Even though both cryptocurrencies can be used for payments, Ripple is also a real-time settlement system that offers international payments at low cost and high speed. Ripple can process approximately 1,500 transactions per second. When it comes to institutions that use Ripple, banks and payment providers take the first two spots.
Blockchain Market is Expected to Reach $16 Billion by 2024. (Fintech Global)
Investments in blockchain startups are one of the indicators of the fast-growing blockchain market. In 2014, investments in cryptocurrency and blockchain stood at $382.5 million. The following year it increased to $550.9 million. 2016 didn’t bring any drastic changes in blockchain and cryptocurrency investments, apart from a slight increase from $550.9 million to $565.1 million.
However, 2017 showed the potential for blockchain growth with a little over $1 billion in cryptocurrency and blockchain investments. Last year, we saw a further increase in blockchain and cryptocurrency investments. As a result, blockchain and crypto-firms raised $3.9 billion through venture capital investments in 2018.
Now, depending on the source, we have very different forecasts for blockchain market. Global Market Insights believes that the blockchain market will reach $16 billion five years from now. In contrast, Markets and Markets expect the global blockchain market size to grow to $23.3 billion by 2023. Regardless of these varying forecasts, one thing we know for sure is that blockchain markets will surely see incredible growth over the next few years.
Social Media and Blockchain
As the blockchain market evolves, we see an increased interest from social media giants in this technology. Facebook is interested in putting blockchain on Facebook login, and some sources even suggest that the company could launch its own cryptocurrency. Another company from the social media sphere that also showed interest in blockchain is Twitter. Blockchain 2018 statistics only confirm that this technology is now used more than ever before, with more countries regulating blockchain while uncovering its untapped potential. The co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, is aware of this potential too, which is why the company might soon turn to blockchain.
In contrast to traditional social media networks, there are also blockchain-based social media networks. One such network is Steemit which was founded in 2016. The site rewards its users with its own cryptocurrency for publishing content. The digital currency called STEEM is ranked around 50th place on Coinmarketcap, cryptocurrency capitalization tracking website. So, while Facebook and Twitter are looking for a way to implement blockchain into their networks, others have already integrated this technology into their roots.
Apart from traditional social media networks and the ones that are based on the blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and blockchain-based startups widely use services such as Telegram to interact with their communities (investors, supporters), since this messaging service provides additional privacy measures.
IDC described 2017 as the year of blockchain tourism, while 2018 was all about experimenting and testing blockchain technology. Now, the time has come for companies to deploy it. Taking into account all blockchain statistics we’ve covered in this article, we could soon see various industries utilizing blockchain technology.
Thanks to the Blockchain-as-a-Service providers such as IBM, Microsoft, and now Amazon, the mainstream adoption of this technology could happen sooner than we might expect. Because blockchain has numerous uses, we’ll see more and more companies jumping on the blockchain bandwagon and using this technology to solve real-world problems.