Internet Trends Report 2018: “Exploding” Interest in Crypto

Avi Rosten
  • The annual report which "tells stories of business-related trends" - identified a massive increase in cryptocurrency interest
  • The report also showed that bitcoin was a popular topic at university

Venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s popular annual Internet Trends Report has this year identified an “exploding” interest in cryptocurrency.

Compiled in conjunction with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Partners and Hillhouse Capital, the 294-page report focuses on “trends around data” to “tell stories of business-related trends.”

Of particular interest, the report showed that academic interest in cryptocurrency hit a new high in 2017 - with a Princeton course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies ranking in the top 10 most popular university courses for the year.

 

Meeker’s report looked at some interesting stats to illustrate the increase in cryptocurrency interest: data from Coinbase shows their user numbers increasing nearly fourfold between January and December 2017.

coinbase users.png

The chart also shows a particular spike in the frenetic autumn period when bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies rose rapidly - although the chart fails to include the figures for coinbase membership during December when bitcoin reached its all-time high of $20,000.

Moving into the Mainstream

Coinbase have arguably been instrumental in the penetration of cryptocurrency into the mainstream - in particular for retail investors. One of the few exchanges to offer fiat pairings with top cryptocurrencies, the exchange and wallet provider has name recognition that extends beyond the confines of the crypto-world.

With reports released today confirming that Bittrex are set to offer Bitcoin US Dollar trading on their exchange - recent moves by other exchanges towards offering fiat pairings will no doubt increase this movement towards mainstream recognition.

Bitcoin Still the Currency of the Dark Web Despite Shift Towards Privacy Coins

Neil Dennis

Bitcoin remains the currency of the dark web, according to the latest report on cybercrime by European law enforcement agency Europol, although a "pronounced" shift towards more privacy-related cryptocurrencies has been detected.

Entitled 'Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2019', the report said bitcoin was still the most frequently used currency - "a consequence of familiarity within the customer base" - but the authors said that the shift towards so-called privacy coins such as Monero would continue as criminals become more security aware.

Europol estimated that around $1 billion had been spent on the dark web so far this year - often on malware for phishing attacks or ransomware, as these types of cybercrime continued to grow. 

Recommendations

The report recommended that law enforcement agencies and the judiciary must continue to "develop, share and propagate knowledge on how to recognise, track, trace, seize and recover cryptocurrency assets". It added:

Law enforcement must continue to build trust-based relationships with cryptocurrency-related businesses, academia, and other relevant private sector entities, to more effectively tackle issues posed by cryptocurrencies during investigations.

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com