The global count of crypto owners experienced an upswing in 2023, surging by 34% to reach a massive 580 million by December, according to a recent Crypto.com report. Remarkably, the surge in crypto adoption occurred against the backdrop of various macrochallenges, including the pandemic’s aftereffects, changes in Western central banks’ monetary policies to control inflation, and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Europe.
According to the report, Bitcoin ownership experienced a 33% increase, rising from 222 million at the start of 2023 to a staggering 296 million by year-end, claiming 51% of the global crypto community. On the other hand, ethereum ownership grew from 89 million in January to 124 million in December, a 39% increase and 21% of all cryptocurrency holdings worldwide.
According to the research, the key factors driving the surge in Bitcoin adoption were the enthusiasm surrounding the debut of Bitcoin ETFs and the Ordinals protocol. The increased interest in Bitcoin by institutional investors such as BlackRock also propelled its adoption, ultimately leading to the U.S. Security Exchange Commission’s approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10, 2024.
Bitcoin ordinals emerged as a breakthrough crypto innovation last year, enabling NFT minting on the BTC network. The network currently boasts more than 54 million ordinal inscriptions, with total inscription fees exceeding $257 million (5,473 BTC). On the other hand, the primary driver of ethereum adoption growth was liquid staking, made possible by ETH’s Shanghai Upgrade. This permitted the withdrawal of staked ethereum following the switch to the proof-of-stake blockchain.
Additionally, Q4 2023 proved to be a profitable time for ethereum and Bitcoin, with their respective values rising to $2,400 and $44,000, respectively. A portion of this price increase was caused by the increasing number of investors entering the market in anticipation of ether and Bitcoin ETFs.
Drawing data from 23 crypto exchanges, Crypto.com also revealed that 40% of BTC owners also own ETH, while 42% of crypto users hold neither ethereum nor Bitcoin. Commenting on the report, Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek stated that despite challenges, the crypto industry demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity, positioning itself favorably for widespread adoption.
Separately, a Bitfinex report from last year predicted that crypto owners would globally reach 950 million by the end of this year.
The expanding impact and flexibility of the crypto ecosystem are becoming more and more apparent as digital assets gain broader recognition. The industry is expected to continue growing, innovating and having a significant impact in the future.
This surge in the number of people owning cryptos is undoubtedly fueling the demand for mining companies such as Bit Mining Ltd. (NYSE: BTCM) so that more coins can be brought into circulation.
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