There’s no shortage of vultures lurking in wait to pick the bones of the rotting casket of Bitcoin. This is the volt of bankers, regulators, incumbents, and mainly gray-haired men in power who dismiss cryptocurrency as frivolous, a fad, a scam, or a merely speculative asset that will surely tank to value of zero. But if that’s the case, how many industries can talk about stats like 100 percent YOY growth?
Certainly Not European Banks
If you want to dissect an industry that’s in trouble, look no further than European banks. You know, the global powerhouses that have caused financial chaos and malaise around the world. The ones with expensive and outdated technology, punishing interest rates, and their fair helpings of money laundering scandals.
According to FT:
Poor profitability, outdated business models and negative rates have driven investors away en masse.
European bank stocks have fallen by an average of 25 percent this year, eliminating all gains made over the last six years. None of the 16 largest banks across the Eurozone and Switzerland is trading above book value, with controversy-plagued Deutsche Bank trading at one-quarter of its book value and diving by some 53 percent in 2018.
If you want a nice little chart to see the drastic decline in ATMs, look no further than this one from Statista in the UK, where the number has fallen off a cliff this year.
Bitcoin ATMs Double in 2018
By comparison, here’s another nice little chart for you from CoinATMRadar. Software developer and CasaHodl CTO, Jameson Lopp, points out that:
The number of Bitcoin ATMs doubled to 4,000 in 2018, continuing a 3 year trend of 100% year over year growth.
That number is actually 4,109 on December 31, 2018.
Before you go ahead and state the obvious, yes, comparing 4,000 ATMs the world over to some 65,000 in one chilly isle alone is like comparing apples to oranges.
Clearly, the world is very much bank-dependent and a few Bitcoin ATMs per country doesn’t even begin to compete. But the trend is evident, nevertheless: 100 percent YOY growth compared to a constant, steady decline.
Bitcoin Subreddit Grew 61% in 2018
Another interesting area that shows signs that Bitcoin is alive and kicking in social media. Bitcoin Subreddit r/Bitcoin, the number one forum for discussing all things Bitcoin, reached over one million subscribers this year. More accurately, it saw a 61 percent growth for the whole of 2018 despite the relentless bear market.
Unlike the steadily rising number of Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin’s Subreddit grew by less than in 2017, where the figures were around 200 percent. But when you consider Bitcoin’s near-80 percent drop in value this year, a 61 percent increase in interest is not too shabby.
Bitcoin Is Alive and Kicking
Despite the slump in prices, infrastructure is improving and knowledge is spreading as these types of figures go to remind us. As ShapeShift Co-Founder and COO Jon summed up to Bitcoinist:
2018 has been a year of growth and fast-paced technological innovation for companies across the industry. Yes, the bear market matters, but it’s a period of time with a beginning and an end, part of a cycle that repeats itself over the years.
What growth do you expect Bitcoin to see in 2019? Share your prediction below!
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