If bitcoin is in a bubble, it's one of the few in the history of finance – if not the first – that has developed with negligible credit use .
This is only one of the unique elements of CoinDesk's State of Blockchain 2018 report, the latest in the quarterly series exposing our extensive research on the rapid evolution of cryptocurrencies and technologies that They inspired.
Released on Wednesday, the report provides an analysis of more than 160 slides of some of the data points propelling this story forward.
The report covers public blockchains, DLT, consortium chains, initial parts offerings (ICOs), trading and investments, and presents the results of our survey of more than 70 questions, which provides information on 3,000 CoinDesk readers.
Here are five of the most significant trends that defined the two T4s and 2017s:
Bitcoin achieved a super run in 2017 with returns for the year of 1,278%. With all the attention of the general public came the discussion of whether the original crypto-currency and still the largest was in a bubble .
Our readers were divided on this subject, with about 49% "yes", 39% "no" and 11% "neutral". Deeper than this division of opinion, our survey provided a very useful data point around the whole bubble speculative conversation.
Only 19% of our respondents went into debt to buy crypto, and of those who did, more than half paid back their loans. The important and historical to remember is that if bitcoin is indeed a bubble, it is the rare kind that has inflated with little leverage or money borrowed. (The margin traded on the stock exchanges was introduced recently, but it is limited and generally offered on an equal basis.)
In short, bitcoin has reached here without the help of Wall Street or banks (unless you account for wholesale closure of accounts to certain industries and geographical areas risk-averse financial institutions may inadvertently lead these de-qualified users to use a system without permission).
This is the first time in recent memory that average people have outpaced the so-called "smart currency" – another chapter of the story that Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies are the most history interesting world in finance and economics.
In January 2017, the value of bitcoin accounted for more than 90% of the cryptocurrency market. Ethereum had a huge development, but its trading volumes were still pretty weak. But when its first "killer app", the intelligent contract ERC-20 to generate tokens and ICOs, began to gain ground in Q2 2017 , all the story changed.
The demand for Ether (usually required to participate in many ICOs) has increased, as has the ability to finance and create new block chains. This shook the bitcoin dominance in the market until the third quarter, when bitcoin reversed the downtrend.
The timing of this change seems to be in line with Bitcoin's adoption of the Separated Witness and the end of the confusion around bitcoin cash fork . While bitcoin gradually regained its dominance score, it declined again in December, with the ethereal experiencing its best month of the year, driven by the ICO boom.
The market has also diversified with the rise of a crypto-institutional side, as hundreds of new funds were trained to be exposed to this new market. asset class.
The ICOs contributed to the demand for ethereum in 2017, but this was not the only application that made the news.
CryptoKitties stormed the world in December, adding another interesting ride to the magical year of the Ethereum. While many criticized the foolishness of the Kitties, the new case of blockchain use nevertheless made its mark.
While ethereum had already broken its transaction records in the third quarter, the digital collection application, with the upgrades of the hard fork Byzantium [19459005 helped the etéum to almost double the volumes achieved a few months earlier.
As fanciful as it may be, CryptoKitties helped paint a complete picture of the current capabilities of the Ethereum.
From the beginning of 2017, China reported that the year was going to be different from what it was in the past.
Any examination of trade volumes and markets before 2017 would have led the reader to believe that bitcoins and cryptocurrencies would suffer from this loss. But even with all Chinese stock markets closing on the last day of the third quarter, bitcoin quickly continued its biggest uptrend.
In short, it seemed that no one cared that China was out. On the contrary, it was an opportunity for new players.
South Korea, for its part, became an important cryptocurrency trading hub in the third and fourth quarters – occupying much of the void left by China. The Korean won has become one of the largest matched currencies in the industry, with particularly high volumes of XRP and ETH.
While the entire industry of early stage financing heard the call of ICO in 2017 they have been an obstacle compared to others generate events.
Forks and paratroopers have an integrated user base (usually bitcoin HODLers) and are much more important to the overall market capitalization in cryptocurrencies.
The bitcoin fork was the first to surprise the industry with the interest it generated, catching up with several flat exchanges when users required their inherited property. Stellar also offered drops of his native currency, lumens, to bitcoin owners, suggesting that this strategy will be more widely used.
Our full report, with more than 160 insightful graphics, can be downloaded here .