Cryptocurrencies are still mainly used for speculation

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin has, by far, the highest amount of value settled  in 2019 — $690 billion; followed by Ethereum ($134 billion), XRP ($54 billion), Bitcoin Cash ($51 billion) and Litecoin ($19 billion)
  • In total (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC), there was $1.14 trillion settled on-chain in 2017, $1.36 trillion in 2018 and $0.95 trillion in 2019 (30% decline)
  • The close correlation between value settled and traded volume suggests that cryptocurrencies still appear to be mainly an instrument for speculation
The main innovation of Bitcoin, Ether and other permissionless cryptocurrencies is that for the first time, individuals can transact without an intermediary.  One way to quantify the amount of usage that permissionless cryptocurrencies are getting is to look at the total value settled on-chain. This metric is defined by Coinmetrics as the USD value of […]

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