In a report dubbed “The Future of Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin & Altcoin Trends & Challenges 2018-2023” Juniper assessed the challenges of digital currencies, with a focus on technical, social and regulatory concerns. The survey also analyzed such issues like regulatory developments across the market, exchange failure, hacker attacks, and blockchain forking and their impact on crypto volatility.
Per Juniper, daily transaction volumes with Bitcoin (BTC) have dropped from an average of around 360,000 a day in the end of 2017 to 230,000 in September 2018. Regarding daily transaction values, they saw a downward trend from over $3.7 billion to less than $670 million in the same period.
In the first quarter of the current year, crypto transactions on the market as a whole reportedly amounted to slightly over $1.4 trillion, while in 2017 the figure was less than $1.7 trillion. By the second quarter, transaction values fell by 75 percent, with total market capitalization down under $355 billion. Juniper stated:
"Based on activity during the first half of Q3, Juniper estimates a further 47 percent quarter-on-quarter drop in transaction values in that quarter [...] In short, given our concerns around both the innate valuation of Bitcoin, and of the operating practices of many exchanges, we feel that the industry is on the brink of an implosion.”
Juniper’s research echoes a recent analysis conducted by Diar, where the firm stated that in the third quarter of 2018, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s U.S. dollar volumes hit a 1-year low.
In the same period, crypto mining revenues have already surpassed results in 2017, but miners themselves see little profit, according to Diar. Mining is gradually becoming profitable only for “big guns” as electricity fees are constantly increasing. Diar assessments show that miners paying retail electricity prices have shifted towards unprofitability for the first time this September.