More than half a billion people became cryptocurrency users or owners by the end of 2023, according to a market sizing report from cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com.
The company estimates that the global amount of cryptocurrency users increased by 34% in 2023, growing from 432 million to 580 million people.
Delving deeper into the statistics, Crypto.com reveals that Ether (ETH) ownership rose from 89 million users to 124 million, while Bitcoin (BTC) ownership increased from 222 million to 296 million people by the year’s close.
Crypto.com’s on-chain market sizing estimates use its unique methodology to combine on-chain data with a blend of parameters to count the number of global cryptocurrency owners.
The report notes that the 34% increase in the global cryptocurrency user base came amid prolonged, bearish market conditions.
“Crypto adoption in 2023 achieved new milestones, in spite of macro headwinds, namely the further monetary tightening by Western central banks to try to tame inflation, protracted kinetic conflict in Europe and a new one in the Middle East, and longer-term consequences of the pandemic,” an excerpt from the report notes.
The document adds that Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade played a role in the increase in the network’s activity and a subsequent rally in the value of ETH. Meanwhile the influence of non-fungible token functionality coming to the Bitcoin blockchain in 2023 through the advent of BRC-20 tokens and Bitcoin ordinals also drove strong demand for Bitcoin block space.
Mounting talk of the eventual approval of several Bitcoin exchange-traded funds filings in the United States also led to the increase in Bitcoin acquisition and wallets in 2023. The report highlights BTC adoption surging in Q4 of 2023 as a result.
Crypto.com includes data from 23 cryptocurrency exchanges in its on-chain data extraction. The report also notes that 40% of Bitcoin owners also own ETH, while 42% of cryptocurrency users do not have any BTC or ETH in their portfolios.
A previous report from Bitfinex in December 2023 predicts the global cryptocurrency user base to increase to an estimated 950 million people by the end of 2024.