Understanding the digital currency market, how it is being used and how often, is an important part of assessing the position cryptocurrency is in and what the future is likely to be. When industry data appears it gives us a great insight into the current market, and allows us a chance to see any underlying trends and potential for improvement. With its recent announcement of payment data, European Bitcoin Exchange CEX.IO has provided exactly that information, showing sales volumes as well as purchase method across their exchange service.
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Knowing just how popular Bitcoin is can be difficult to judge, we often get a feeling that it is becoming more widely adopted, but many people still have never even heard of digital currency or blockchain, let alone use it. That is why having hard data from the cryptocurrency industry can be so interesting, providing an up to date insight into the state of digital currencies and those who use them.
European Bitcoin exchange CEX.IO has just released this kind of data, highlighting they have now taken over $40 million in payments for Bitcoin from credit and payment cards. Citing over 600,000 users, the exchange notes that such card payments make up the majority of their transactions, although virtual cards such as Payoneer, Neteller and Netspend are becoming more popular.
This gives us a small insight into the size of the Bitcoin market in Europe, showing significant and quite rapid growth that is extremely encouraging. It is also a considerable volume of fiat cash being converted into Bitcoin, and shows perhaps that there is indeed a rising level of trust in the concept of digital currencies. With continued growth in this way the future looks bright for cryptocurrencies, and it is also interesting to look at the background to these numbers.
Europe has been in slow recovery from the 2008 financial crash, with some countries doing well, such as Germany, but others struggling significantly, notably Greece. Additionally, political unrest in Ukraine has become an ugly and at times violent situation between factions, but is ultimately a proxy for disagreements between the European Union and Russia. It is interesting that in places where there is significant uncertainty, interest in Bitcoin has increased. Indeed, we know that during the banking restrictions placed on Greece, there was significant upturn in the use of Bitcoin throughout the population. This suggests that the next cycle of recession could see even wider take up of digital currencies in the areas most affected that we have experienced so far.