Bitcoin: transactions dip, losing ground on commerce side

August 20, 2018
Chris Wheal

A new report on digital assets industry see transactions for bitcoin dip below 2016 levels this in spite of an increased profile on the world stage according to Diar, publisher of weekly updates on digital currency arena.

While buying bitcoin has been made significantly easier and transactions fees have also fallen to two-year lows, the volume has still suffered.

Diar says Coinbase volumes have decreased sharply by 83% from their all-time high in January with transactions of $3.9m against a peak of $21bn. Other major exchanges Kraken and Bitstamp also experienced similar drops although not as marked as Coinbase.

On the commerce side

According to the report a great irony is “the lack of a clearly defined regulatory framework around Bitcoin, ironically, could continue to pose a disadvantage for the cryptocurrency. Businesses will likely remain unwilling to take on the risk of regulators digging through their affairs after a near-decade of media focus on illicit activities revolving around Bitcoin.”

Merchant processing plummeted to close to 85% in US Dollar terms from a September 2017 high according to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis with a steeper drop recorded in bitcoins at 93% from April 2017 BTC trading high (a 65% drop in US Dollar terms).

However, dramatic drops excluded there remains an upside as Bitpay, one of the largest Bitcoin merchant processors, claimed there is a five-fold increase in acceptance from various businesses this year and has also said to see a slight increase in cryptocurrency payments.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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