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.

South African CEO Declared Bankrupt After $13M Cryptocurrency Scam

Michael LaVere
  • Alleged cryptocurrency scammer Willie Breedt has been declared bankrupt after spending several weeks in hiding.
  • The South African chief executive's now-defunct company Vaultage allegedly defrauded investors of $13 million. 

Alleged bitcoin and cryptocurrency scammer Willie Breedt has been declared bankrupt after going on the run for several months. 

According to a report by News24, Breedt was the chief executive of now-defunct company Vaultage, which allegedly scammed more than 2,000 investors out of their cryptocurrency investments. The report claims the victims stand to lose around R227 million ($13.3 million) as a result of Breedt's insolvency. 

Breedt went into hiding two weeks ago after a group of irate investors, reportedly led by a colonel in the South African National Defence Force, attempted to corral the former executive through “debt collectors.”

Following a court-ordered sequestration imposed by a former investor, local authorities and a team of specialist cryptocurrency forensic investigators raided a house in Silver Lakes where Breedt had been hiding since mid-June. The report claims numerous electronic devices, including a laptop and nano stick, were confiscated during the raid. 

Breedt’s former investors are hopeful that the nano stick may contain information on the whereabouts of their missing bitcoin and crypto-assets. 

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