Researchers at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance recently revealed that 100 million people around the world currently hold Bitcoin (BTC) and other blockchain-based assets.
In 2018, the 2nd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study estimated the number of identity-verified crypto users at about 35 million globally. As of Q3 2020, there are up to 191 million accounts opened at crypto exchanges — a figure which doesn’t include self-hosted wallets.
The researchers explained the significant increase:
“This 189% increase in users may be explained by both a rise in the number of accounts (which increased by 37%), as well as a greater share of accounts being systematically linked to an individual’s identity, allowing us to increase our estimate of minimum user numbers associated with accounts on each service provider.”
The study also highlights the geolocation of consumers, as crypto firms operating from North America and Europe “report higher user activity, with the median firm indicating that 40% of total users are considered active.” According to the researchers, this figure was much lower for APAC and Latin America-based firms, which reported a rate of 16% and 10% respectively.
The Centre's methodology combined public data and surveys, using a combination of verified user data and the average share of ID-verified accounts surveyed for the study.
Despite researchers' claim that there are limitations to the methodology used in the study, they believe that the published numbers offer “a reliable, approximate figure of the total number of crypto asset holders globally.”