The market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) remains steadily over a hundred billion USD, even as the 2018 bear market has seen a more than 90% decline in almost all altcoins. And that Bitcoin moves about – for the first time in its ten year run, Bitcoin has moved more money so far in 2018 than Visa – $2.4 trillion vs $1.3 trillion.
Even so, Bitcoin and crypto lag far behind in actual adoption. Most of that money is people moving their coins between different exchanges, or between exchanges and their own private wallet. OTC trades and purchases with crypto instead of fiat remain only a tiny fraction of the transfers that take place.
Crypto is a young space yet, with nobody really knowing where we are truly headed. It seems likely that there will be a market recovery and another bull run – although exactly when is not clear. It isn’t even the case that nobody can tell you.
Indeed, it is far worse than that. New predictions come out daily, each one as sure of their time frame as the last, although few of our prophets are in agreement with each other.
But while the blind do rather seem to be leading the blind much of the time, Bitcoin does appear to be holding steady at a market cap just north of $100 billion. And that’s a lot money in circulation. Money that does, for the most part, move about.
But we also see how it moves, and the patterns are pretty clear.
People are moving their coins from their wallets to exchanges, then back out of those exchanges to sit in private wallets until they once more return to exchanges.
The Actual Picture
Some businesses do accept cryptocurrencies in payment, and as time goes by adoption is increasing. But it will take a while yet before mainstream companies are happy to accept cryptocurrencies directly. Until then, middlemen do exist who are happy to convert your coins into fiat at the store, but even there adoption is slow in coming.
And even with middlemen taking a cut, there is room to expand here. Visa with their $1.3 trillion in real volume charge a fee of around 1.5% on the purchases made with their cards – paid by the store. If crypto credit cards and other solutions can offer merchants and customers a cheaper alternative, the day may yet come where Visa has to reconsider their business plan.