In 2008 the cryptocurrency market was introduced as an alternative to the finance industry. The cryptocurrency market flourished over the last ten years and has a projected growth that takes its technology becoming ‘the’ next finance industry backbone. Since then cryptocurrency market is constantly being compared to the traditional finance industries and its standard metrics. Is it big enough, is it safe enough, is it worthy, will it last?
When traditional investors and people who are well versed with the ins and outs of the finance industry are asked about the cryptocurrency market and the blockchain technology taking over, the most common explanation for why it won’t is because of its unconventional and is very new at this point. And two of the most commonly compared metrics are the number of transactions that take place on both.
In the case of the financial industry, there are two big names that dominate the transaction part of it and they are Visa and MasterCard. These two companies are in constant competition with each other and Visa is the bigger and more successful network as of now. Whenever the number of transactions is compared of Visa, MasterCard and the cryptocurrency market, there is a large gap between the three. With Visa usually in the lead, followed by MasterCard and far behind both, the cryptocurrency market.
And this is as is expected because Visa and MasterCard are established financial services providers in the industry and every bank worth its salt uses and provides customers with their cards and networks for transactions. Citing the huge gap that the cryptocurrency had between the two networks, for a long time now officials and experts have said that the cryptocurrency market is in no shape to take over the financial market.
But this may no longer be the case. Over the last three years, the cryptocurrency market has undergone many changes. It is becoming legal in some countries and others are regulating it and allowing traditional investors a window into the market. The cryptocurrency market as a whole has matured into a seasoned market where investors and traders are satisfied with returns they will not get anywhere else. And since 2017’s bull when Bitcoin reached $19,000 USD over a weeks time, the market has become unignorable and has welcomed many traditional investors and financial bodies.
With that being the case, the volume of trades and the number of traders have been increasing exponentially and proportionally. With this in mind, the king of the cryptocurrency market; the Bitcoin and its network are very close to overtaking MasterCard’s numbers in daily transfers. In the daily transfer of value, MasterCard chalks up an average of $11 billion a day. And over the last couple of days, Bitcoin has been chalking up a daily transfer figure of $8 billion.
The yearly transfer of MasterCard is around $4.4 trillion USD or around the same figure, according to their own released statistics. Whereas, with Bitcoin, the network processes yearly transfers of almost $3 trillion USD. Visa as a network is far more superior and its yearly transfer number is more than both of the other two figures put together at a whopping $11 trillion USD a year.
Bitcoin, over the last ten years, has been actively covering the gap between itself and its equivalents in the financial industry. It has covered that gap by miles and miles just in the last two years which under any sight is a commendable feat for the market as a whole. And with the rate at which it is growing right now and is projected to grow over the next couple of years, Bitcoin is predicted to overtake MasterCard’s daily transfer number. Once it overtakes the daily transfer number it will also take over the yearly number.
The same, however, cannot be said for the other cryptocurrencies in the market. Even the top 5. Because they are in the distant second, third and fourth place in the market chalking up daily transfers in the range of $150 million to $600 million USD.
With the cryptocurrency market’s top horse catching up in numbers to the financial pillars like MasterCard, it shows just how far the market has come in the past ten years. And it also highlights where it needs the most work. The part that the cryptocurrency market and its community need to work on right now is the transaction speed, ie the number of transactions per second. The Visa network does almost 65,000 transactions per second while the Bitcoin network can handle 7 or 8 in the same amount of time.
But as and when the cryptocurrency market sorts out its scalability issues and its number of transactions on the network, it is well positioned to take over the financial market. And has the numbers to prove for it as well. It is commendable how far the cryptocurrency market has come in the last five years at least. The Bitcoin network, over a stipulated period of time and growth, is also ready and expected to overtake MasterCard in daily transfers and then inevitably yearly ones too.
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