Crypto development in 2018

Research firm Diar published its report on January 14 on a recent research which found that crypto exchanges closed the year 2018 with record transacting volumes.

It was not only the number of trades but also the trade volume that have increased in 2018 compared to 2017, based on data from major crypto-currency exchanges.

As it is summed up in Cointelegraph’s article:

“According to Diar’s data, the combined trade volume of the USD markets on major United States crypto exchange Coinbase increased by 21% in 2018 versus 2017. Over the same period, exchanges Kraken and Bitfinex saw increases of 192% and 50% respectively. In addition to growing trade volumes, Coinbase reportedly registered a 14.1% increase in the number of trades: from 82.7 million deals in 2017 to 94.4 million in 2018.”

In addition to trading volume and the number of transactions, Diar also looked at the BTC mining activity in 2018. They found that BTC miner revenues exceeded $5.8 billion in the last 12 months. It means that the monthly average was around half a billion dollars last year but January was, not surprisingly, the most outstanding month with $1.2 billion in mining revenues. Following the first month of the year, the monthly revenue figures declined drastically by about 83 percent during the rest of the year. By December it fell back to a humble $210 million.

Cointelegraph highlights the topic of mining pools:

“At the beginning of 2018, a number of mining pools led by application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturer Bitmain, together with the ViaBTC pool, which the company has invested in, held control over 53 of Bitcoin network’s hash power. These same pools started 2019 with only 39 percent of the network’s hash rate.”

According to the Diar report, a power shift took place from a few major mining pools dominating, to a quickly growing number of small mining pools in 2018. Diar’s experts underline how important that shift is from the point of view of guaranteeing the network’s security from potential attacks:

“Unknown miners closed December having solved a whopping 22 percent of the total blocks up from 6 percent at the start of last year. The Bitcoin network is currently less likely to experience an attack given the fact the controlled pools have lost dominance over the network.”

That’s how 2018 looked. It’s only the middle of the first month but this year’s first predictions have already been published, too. Some believe in a continuing bear market, some say anything can happen, some are convinced that as soon as we reach 60 weeks of downtrend, history will repeat itself, and just like after 420 days of pessimism that started in 2014, we will return to the crypto golden age.



Zsolt Balló