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A cryptocurrency is a form of digital money used as a medium of exchange without the need of any third party. Designed to be secure and anonymous, a cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit as it uses cryptography for security and has a high-security feature. The first cryptocurrency released was Bitcoin in 2009 which remains most famous and valuable. The total investments in the blockchain and the cryptocurrency market exceeded US$ 2.8 Bn in 2018 through striking more than 50 deals between different platforms and firms.
Cryptocurrency also provides attractive investment features which include privacy and completely digital payments to eradicate transport cost and transaction costs. It promises growth in value owing to increase in technology and users, and it also has a decentralized system which means that they are controlled by market dynamics and cannot be influenced by any new monetary policy of government or bank globally.
In the regions where people have more smartphones than bank accounts, cryptocurrencies represent an opportunity to improve the regional financial environment owing to safety from frauds and offering time and cost-saving features for the users.
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The key players in the global cryptocurrency market include Microsoft Corporation, BitFury Group Limited, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Ripple Labs Inc., Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Coinbase Ltd., AlphaPoint Corporation, Xilinx Inc., BitGo, and BTL Group Ltd.
Segmentation of the Global Cryptocurrency Market, 2018 – 2026
By End User
· Media and entertainment
· Peer-to-peer payment
· E-commerce and retail
· North America (USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of Middle East & Africa)
North America is the major contributor for cryptocurrency markets due to early adoption of these currencies. North American region comprises of 27% participants of the total industry, 18% of transactions, 39% of the wallets, and 19% of the cryptocurrencies payment companies.
In Asia Pacific, growing number of cryptocurrency transactions and adoption of digital wallets would lead to very high growth of cryptocurrency market. Japan, being the global leader in cryptocurrency investments issued laws for cryptocurrencies to register with the financial services agency for the legalization of cryptocurrencies.
APAC is home to 36% of participants in the industry, 27% of the exchanges, 19% of the wallets, and 33% of the cryptocurrency payment companies. Europe holds the second spot in cryptocurrency market. The German issued statements to treat Bitcoin as private money without any taxes unless held for a year or more, leading to an increaseinthe number of currency owners.
Key Industry Developments
· Bitstamp, a Luxembourg-based crypto exchange was acquired by b a Belgium based investment firm NXMH in a deal of around US$ 350 Mn in October 2018.
· In September 2018, A San Francisco based firm BitTorrent was acquired by Tron in a US$ 150 Mn deal.
· October 2018, multinational investment bank and financial services company, Morgan Stanley, released their latest report on Bitcoin. stating that Bitcoins and altcoins have constituted a “new institutional investment class” since 2017.