A recent study by a team of researchers at Cambridge University has concluded that more people are using digital currencies in comparison to the numbers of 2018. In an earlier study in of 2018, it was found that 35 million users had access to cryptocurrency wallets.
The recent study shows an increase of 189%. This has been attributed to researchers’ ability to increasingly trace these wallets to individuals. It is a known fact in cryptosphere that there is a systematic increase in the number of services that require a sort of identification and linkage to wallets before users are accepted.
The study stated:
“This 189% increase in users may be explained by both a rise in the number of accounts (which increased by 37%), as well as a greater share of accounts being systematically linked to an individual’s identity, allowing us to increase our estimate of minimum user numbers associated with accounts on each service provider.”
The study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative finance tagged the Second Global Cryptoassets Benchmarking Study shows there are 191 million owners of crypto assets tied to exchanges. This Q3 2020 result excluded wallets that are hosted by their owners.
The study which also highlighted the geographical distribution of users showed that North America and Europe has the highest number of users, 40% of whom are active. South America has 16% of users from the region active.
“While firms continue to serve users from their region of operations, North American, Middle Eastern and African companies appear to have a more geographically diversified clientele. Service providers in both regions report that 42% of their customers are from other regions – primarily in Europe for MEA firms and Latin America for North American ones.
The study took advantage of publicly available data in determining the average number of users that have been verified as owners of digital assets.
Although there have been criticisms regarding the approach employed by the research, the study maintained that the figures are consistent with what should be the approximate number of global crypto assets holders.
It stated that:
“The report collates data from entities operating in four main segments of the industry: exchange, payments, custody, and mining. A total of 280 entities from over 50 countries across various regions responded to the surveys. This benchmarking report is compiled using data from one of the most comprehensive and robust databases currently available in the cryptoasset industry.
It added that an important factor that may have contributed to greater interest in digital currencies is the Covid19 pandemic which necessitated more remote payments globally.