More Consumers are Using Bitcoin

In an important milestone for consumer facing Bitcoin companies, the online Bitcoin exchange Coinbase has recently hit the milestone of reaching 1.5million consumer wallets. This is significant for the world of Bitcoin as it once again illustrates that more and more of the world’s population are starting to see the value in the crypto-currency and therefore want to have a “wallet” in which they are able to carry out financial transactions using Bitcoin.

With this milestone Coinbase joins BlockChain as one of the largest online Bitcoin wallet providers. The other major Bitcoin exchange, BlockChain, has 1,851,253 individual wallets. When looking at the line graph showing the expansion of users on BlockChain, one can see that the growth has been significant.


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Source: BlockChain.Info  (Click to Enlarge Image)


Both of these metrics show that Bitcoin is continuing to expand its reach. As has been said in a number of recent Consumers’ Research articles, there have been multiple signs in the past few weeks and months that appear to signal the gaining legitimacy of Bitcoin. The growth in wallets is just another factor that is part of this overall growth.

Even though the growth in personal wallets has increased, what is perhaps the most important factor in Bitcoin’s growth is the increasing number of companies that are now accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate way for consumers to pay for their products. BitPay, the largest Bitcoin payment service, boasts having over 30,000 different companies that accept Bitcoin. Amongst these are the blogging platform WordPress, Virgin Galactic, Shopify, and a number of other large-scale companies. They also represent a number of smaller companies that have decided to accept Bitcoin as well. This allows the expanding number of new Bitcoin wallet owners a multitude of different options on where they can spend their Bitcoin.

This overall growth is in many ways not a surprise. Given the increasing popularity of Bitcoin and its acceptance by an increasing number of consumers and retailers alike, the fact that the milestones above have been reached are neither extraordinary, nor are they unexpected. Rather, for those that are adamant supporters of Bitcoin, the numbers above serve as verification of the fact that Bitcoin has the ability to become an even more significant financial force in the future.

This growth has the potential to change the consumer marketplace in the near future, especially as the proliferation of Bitcoin into the daily lives of a growing number of American consumers continues to expand. Will this allow consumers increased choice about how they wish to pay for the products and services that they require? Consumers Research will continue to monitor developments in Bitcoin to analyze how they interact with the lives and spending habits of modern consumers.

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A rising senior at Colgate University, John is currently working as a research fellow with Consumers' Research.


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