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Visualizing the New Cryptocurrency Ecosystem



Visualizing the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

Visualizing the New Cryptocurrency Economy

Over a decade ago, the birth of Bitcoin sparked a revolution in the digital world — and just last year, the number of active cryptocurrencies jumped from roughly 1,600 to over 3,000 worldwide.

Cryptocurrencies have now evolved past simple digital currencies, offering solutions to meet the complex needs of modern financial markets.

Today’s graphic from Abra visualizes the complex, ever-evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem and its real-world applications.

Characteristics of Cryptocurrencies

Why are cryptocurrencies important for the future of digital finance?

  • Borderless
    Drastically reduces fees and processing times due to a lack of cross-border restrictions
  • Censorship-free
    Prevents governments or major institutions from blocking financial activities at whim
  • Greater financial control
    Individuals can have total control of their funds
  • Greater security
    Prevents fraudulent alterations from third parties
  • Lower costs
    Lower transaction fees thanks to fewer third parties
  • Greater Accessibility
    Reduces or eliminates traditional barriers to capital markets

Much like the internet has forever altered how we live and work, cryptocurrencies have the potential to change how people participate in global financial markets.

Categorizing the New Crypto Economy

Today’s cryptocurrencies go beyond replacing cash. This new token-based economy is evolving─with unique solutions emerging in finance, security, identification, social engagement, and ownership.

Cryptocurrencies are generally categorized by their primary application within the ecosystem:

  • Payments
    Digital cash can be used for both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers
  • Store of value
    New form of scarce native currency and a means of settlement
  • Programmable money
    Borderless money that enables easy conversion between currencies
  • Stablecoins
    Crypto version of fiat which is tied to the value of resources like gold or the U.S. dollar
  • Privacy
    Private digital transactions, with some offering anonymity
  • Digital ownership
    Digital handling, storage, and monetization of data
  • Decentralized utilities
    Crypto-enabled networks, products, and services that exchange between assets
  • Alternative finance
    Digital assets such as collectibles, commodities, and tokenized securities

Cryptocurrencies are adding both value and utility to the digital economy, and to the global financial market as a whole.

Applications of Cryptocurrencies

Because cryptocurrencies are programmable, customizable computer code, developers can design and adapt them for many use cases within the digital economy.

How are these various cryptocurrencies being used in everyday applications?

Current Projects

  • SPEDN auto-converts crypto to fiat for merchants, reducing exchange rate risk while offering convenient customer payment options.
  • Slice offers real estate investing to anyone for as low as $10,000 through fractional investment.

Near-future Projects

  • CyClean plans to launch a blockchain-enabled electric vehicle (EV) fleet that mines crypto as users travel—reducing emissions and rewarding users for doing so.
  • Digital construction platform Builderium connects contractors to clients around the world through blockchain, opening up a global marketplace of potential deals.

These are just a few of the ways cryptocurrencies are breaking down barriers for people and companies worldwide—allowing them to grow personal wealth and enter the global market.

The Growth of the Crypto Economy

Worldwide, the numbers show that blockchain-based technology and cryptocurrency use is growing. Blockchain wallet users rose from nearly 9 million in 2016 to over 42 million in 2019.

Developers produced a mere 100 decentralized apps (DApps) in 2015─with that number skyrocketing to over 3,100 by 2019.

Overall, cryptocurrencies are helping to create an innovative and accessible financial system around the world.

Cryptocurrency deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.

—Adena Friedman, President & CEO of NASDAQ

While the future of the new cryptocurrency economy is still taking shape, one thing is certain─cryptos are forever altering the way we view and measure the value of money.

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Ranked: The Largest Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S.

In this graphic, we rank the top eight Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. by their total assets under management (AUM).



Ranking the Largest Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S.

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In early January 2024, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC) gave its approval on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to track Bitcoin, giving investors an alternative pathway to accessing the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

In this graphic, we’ve shown the eight largest Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. by assets under management (AUM), as of Feb. 27, 2024. To elaborate, these are ETFs that buy and hold actual Bitcoin, meaning their performance will generally follow that of Bitcoin itself.

The data used to create this graphic was sourced from VettaFi.

ETF NameTickerAUM
Grayscale Bitcoin TrustGBTC$22.7B
iShares Bitcoin Trust RegisteredIBIT$6.6B
Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin FundFBTC$4.7B
ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETFARKB$1.6B
Bitwise Bitcoin ETF TrustBITB$1.2B
Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETFBTCO$314M
VanEck Bitcoin TrustHODL$205M
Valkyrie Bitcoin FundBRRR$159M

From these numbers we can see that Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is the largest by a wide margin. As its name implies, GBTC was originally structured as a trust, but was converted to an ETF on Jan. 11, 2024.

Why Buy a Bitcoin ETF?

Bitcoin ETFs simplify the process of buying and storing Bitcoin. This is because they can be purchased within a traditional brokerage account, just like any other ETF or stock.

Instead of having to think about creating a wallet, memorizing a 12-word seed phrase and holding their keys, this product scraps all of that and provides a well-known path: buy an ETF. This will open the digital asset space to a broader investor base.
Rita Martins, former Head of FinTech Partnerships, HSBC

Investors should be aware that these ETFs charge an expense ratio, which could eat into returns. Information on fees can be easily found on each asset manager’s relevant fund page.

For more visualizations related to Bitcoin, consider this graphic which shows how Bitcoin has performed relative to other major asset classes over the past 10 years.

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