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.

As Tether Premium Disappears, Bitfinex and Ethfinex Launch New IEO Platform: Tokinex

Avi Rosten

Prominent exchanges Bitfinex and Ethfinex have announced a new IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) platform.

The new platform, Tokinex, allows users to participate in pre-vetted token sales from new projects listing on the site. In a departure from other similar offerings such as Binance Launchpad, token issuers on Tokinex don’t have to pay any upfront fees for listing, while successful launches on the platform will also benefit from listing on both Bitfinex and Ethfinex.

The new exchange also utilizes the KYC service from Blockpass, which allows customers to complete KYC verification but without storing data on the exchange. The first token sale will be announced on May 23rd, with the sale taking place on 13th June.

Will Harborne, founder of Ethfinex, told CryptoGlobe:

Tokinex has been several months in development, incorporating feedback, testing and learning to reach a quality level users have come to expect at Bitfinex and Ethfinex. It has been carefully crafted to put the user experience front and centre, from incorporating Block Pass for KYC that is easy to use and does not store personal data, to being able to contribute existing assets directly from the user’s own wallet, rather than having to purchase a native platform token to participate.

IEOs in 2019

This latest platform from Bitfinex adds to the growing list of IEO platforms that have followed Binance, including OKEx, Huobi and Bittrex.

For Bitfinex, the news comes in the aftermath of fraud allegations in April from the New York Attorney General against Bitfinex and Tether, over alleged losses of over $850 million. However, the Tether Risk Premium, - a measure of how much the market believes Tether to be riskier than its underlying USD - has since almost completely disappeared, suggesting that investors at the moment have little concern over Tether’s value.

This is likely due to restored investor confidence in Bitfinex and Tether, after Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino revealed on May 13th that the company had raised $1 billion in a private token sale. The chart below shows the impact of the announcement - with the premium on the BTC price on the Bitfinex Exchange narrowing to zero following several weeks where bitcoin was trading above its spot price.

Bitfinex Premium Narrows