The number of global crypto users reached 106 million in January, with Bitcoin (BTC) adoption being the strongest driver of this growth.
According to a recent survey by crypto finance firm Crypto.com, this metric shows a sharp 60% increase from the 66 million registered by the same firm in May 2020.
This growth is largely driven by strong Bitcoin adoption which was a 15.7% increase, the company said. Other factors that seem to have driven the sharp upturn in adoption include the huge growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) since last summer, PayPal’s decision to enable customers to hold bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies in their account wallets—something far less daunting than creating a separate crypto wallet—and of course the massive institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies by mainstream companies and highly regarded investors like Stanley Druckenmiller.
The survey relied on information from two dozen cryptocurrency exchanges, including all major ones.
Crypto.com found strong evidence that the huge Bitcoin rally, which has seen the first cryptocurrency grow five-fold from around $10,000 in October to around $50,000 in the past few weeks, was started by existing buyers but fueled by new crypto users. The growth rate of unique Bitcoin users skyrocketed from 1.5% in November and 1.2% in December to 30.2% in January. Similarly, the growth of unique Ether users jumped from 2.8% on November and December to 13.1% in January.
As Crypto.com suggested, Bitcoin seemingly drove most of the growth that this industry saw over recent months. A big part of the reason is the narrative suggesting that Bitcoin is a digital alternative to gold, earning the coin the nickname “digital gold.”
Just as 2021 was about to start, the co-founder of U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, Cameron Winklevoss, said that Bitcoin is “gold 2.0” and that it will take over the shiny metal’s role as the top store-of-value asset within the next decade.
Similar ideas are also shared by other mainstream investors such as SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci, who claimed last month that “Bitcoin is better at being gold than gold.”