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.

Grayscale Digital Asset Manager Sees 84% of Inflows From Institutions

Neil Dennis

Grayscale, the digital assets fund manager, revealed its strongest quarterly inflows in a year during the second three months of 2019, as 84% of investments in the period came from institutions.

The company, with manages its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, said across all its investment products it raised $84.4 million - a near 100% increase in quarter-on-quarter product inflows - with the majority - 84% - coming institutional investors, dominated by hedge funds.

The company said in its quarterly report:

This quarter, institutional investors comprised the highest percentage of total demand for Grayscale products since we began publishing this report in July 2018.

Bitcoin Trust Leads the Way

Primary among these, as the price of bitcoin rallied to 18-month highs during the quarter, was the flagship Bitcoin Trust fund, with average weekly investment into the vehicle hitting $4.1 million. Grayscale praised all of its investment products, which all made positive quarterly contributions for the first time. The report said: 

The digital asset market rebound gained momentum in the second quarter as all ten investment vehicles in the Grayscale family of products generated positive performance net of fees.

Total assets under management at Grayscale nearly tripled from $926 million to $2.7 billion thanks to the digital asset market resurgence. The company added:

This growth demonstrates that the recent rally in digital asset prices is supported by fresh investment.

Growth in Altcoin Products

Grayscale also noted "early signs" that an altcoin investment cycle could be starting as these products accounted for 24% of fresh capital, led by inflows into its Ethereum Trust - $14 million - and Ethereum Classic Trust - $5.5 million.

The company said:

While most of the capital invested into Grayscale Ethereum Trust came in June, Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust saw twelve consecutive weeks of new inflows through the end of the quarter.