Most Cryptocurrency Transactions Have No Economic Value: Report

  • Nearly two-thirds of Bitcoin (BTC) transactions have no economic value, crypto analysis shows.
  • Researchers say publicly available cryptocurrency transaction logs do not show the “full picture.”

Coinmetrics, a crypto asset analytics and data service provider, recently reported that approximately two-thirds of daily Bitcoin (BTC) transactions do not involve trading the cryptocurrency or paying for products and services.

The open-source data company revealed the transaction volume on Bitcoin’s network mainly consists of crypto traders moving funds from one wallet or exchange to another. Per the firm, most other transactions involve spoofing, market manipulation, and mining pools transferring the cryptocurrency to their members.

The data service also said there have been times when up to 98% of transactions on Cardano’s (ADA) blockchain did not have economic value. Meanwhile Elementus Inc., another crypto data provider, claimed over 45 percent of daily transactions on Ethereum’s network are either spam or do not have economic value.

Charlie Morris, chief investment officer at Newscape Capital Group Ltd, was quoted as saying:

If this space is not a joke but serious, then people need to more. You’d want to know the facts. If institutional money is going to come into Bitcoin, they’ve got to understand what they are buying.

Charlie Morris

Morris, who manages $300 million in investment portfolios, aims to bring more transparency to crypto-related transactions by helping firms develop blockchain analytics software such as Elementus and Cryptocomposite.

Blockchain Data Lacks Clarity

Elementus CEO Max Galka, a former trader at Credit Suisse Group AG, revealed his company will be working with financial organizations to launch a crypto data service this year. He added:

You are sort of looking at a tiny piece of the blockchain through a keyhole, and you are not seeing the big picture. It’s really hard to understand the context around it. What we do is we allow you to get the full picture.

Max Galka

Notably, a number of market experts argue that the “full” picture may be very different from what’s available on blockchain explorers. Analysts also argue that being hard to identify who’s behind cryptocurrency transactions may pose serious issues if said transactions are associated with illicit activities.

Lucas Nuzzi, director of technology at Digital Asset Research, a company that focuses on providing “independent, rigorous, credible cryptocurrency” data, stated that “creating addresses in these networks is free, and transaction fees at this point are sufficiently low to enable a single user to send small balance through hundreds of transactions."

Making Transactions Untraceable

This, researchers say helps people to transfer digital currency between accounts in a manner that makes it hard to trace transactions. In fact, Coinmetrics’ research shows one user was behind nearly 90% of the transactions on the Ethereum network between February 2017 and February 2018.

Researchers think mixers, entities that move cryptocurrency between numerous accounts, may be custodians or exchanges who might be trying to make it hard for hackers to steal funds. These could also be malicious organizations or individuals attempting to make transactions untraceable, in order to orchestrate illegal activities, Coinmetrics states.

Nic Carter, co-founder of Coinmetrics, believes the value of real economic transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain is of around $2 billion per day and of approximately $700 million on the Ethereum network.

CoinBits Allows Users to Earn Passively By Converting, Saving Change in Bitcoin

Erik Finman, an early Bitcoin (BTC) adopter, has launched a crypto platform called CoinBits, which allows investors to passively invest in the flaghship cryptocurrency.

According to TechCrunch, Finman’s new app, CoinBits, intends to democratize access to cryptocurrency by allowing people from all walks of life to make small investments through commonly-used investment and savings strategies. These reportedly include roundups on transactions made via credit or debit card purchases.

The CoinBits app will also support conversion of fiat currency to bitcoin via regular transactions from users’ checking or savings accounts. While CoinBits has been designed to mainly benefit its users, Finman revealed that his own BTC holdings will also grow as more people use the small savings app.

No Commissions on Transactions, 98% of Bitcoins Stored Offline

As explained on CoinBits’ official website, users can invest small amounts such as $10, $25, $50, or $100 through the app’s web-based interface. The savings app also lets users adjust the risk level for their investments.

Notably, the CoinBits app does not charge transaction fees and 98% of users’ bitcoins are kept securely in cold storage (offline).

Explaining how investing in cryptocurrencies can be challenging for some people, due to their highly technical nature, Finman said:

Overall, investing in bitcoin is complicated and can feel almost impossible. CoinBits allows you to put that spare change in bitcoin. For example, if you spend $1.75 on French fries, that remaining 25 cents is invested automatically.

As noted on CoinBits’ website, the company handles withdrawals and users are charged a $0.50 fee for same-day processing. There’s also an option to download the transaction history associated with users’ accounts. This makes it easier for users to manage their finances and track how much they may have gained or lost on their bitcoin investments.

Crypto-Backed Lender Receives $25 Million in Deposits Two Weeks After Launch

As the crypto and blockchain ecosystem continues to evolve, many new startups have been offering different products and services which allow users to earn passively on their digital asset holdings. In March 2019, BlockFi Lending LLC, a New York-based “secure non-bank lender” announced it had received $25 million in cryptocurrency deposits just two weeks after launching its crypto-backed loans packages.

BlockFi’s investment packages allow users to earn interest on their Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) investments.