In the first of its kind a new report has found that at least 3 million people worldwide are now using digital currencies (aka cryptocurrencies) and that figure could be as high as 6 million according to a new report from Cambridge University.
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance study comes at a time when the value of digital currencies has seen exponential growth, adding momentum to a financial transaction platform that has penetrated over 100 markets.
According to data from CoinMarketCap - a world leader in news and information on digital currencies - cryptographic assets are now worth $49.5bn. Just a few weeks ago blockchain-based assets totalled $27.8bn, a remarkable growth trajectory that has led to some analysts speculating that the market has entered a bubble.
Much of this growth has come away from Bitcoin with more and more trades being conducted with lesser known currencies, and with ever more global exposure for the benefits of digital currencies there is no reason why the value of the sector cannot maintain its impressive growth.
What's more, this remarkable development is further evidence that digital currencies are hitting the big time, with a market value reaching $50 billion the sector is already bigger than AirBnB - an online marketplace for business and leisure travellers looking for somewhere to stay. In fact we're looking at our own travel service where you can pay in LEOcoin and other digital currencies.
The report goes on to estimate that between 5.8 million and 11.5 million wallets are active today, not surprisingly researchers found that 81% of these wallets are based in North America and Europe, where the majority of digital currency employees are located.
Asia-Pacifc (20%) and Latin America (13%) are just two high growth regions where digital currencies have high growth potential, and less native competition from traditional financial intermediaries than typically encountered in more developed markets - suggesting that the recent growth trend still has some way to run.
Indeed, Maksim Balashevich, CEO and founder of Santiment based in Germany, predicted the current boom earlier this year, positing that the sector is entering a period of 'dramatic boom' based on principles of the Elliott Wave theory - a technique used by analysts to study investor behaviour - in a recent interview with Forbes magazine.
His forecast assumed that digital currency companies are not a passing fade, that they're here to stay. Digital currency is a truly global industry that can create opportunity for people in every country in the world, and employing over 2000 people worldwide.
As a financial medium what we're seeing now is digital currencies entering the mainstream consciousness. And with world leading academic institutions such as Cambridge University (being based in Oxford we won't comment) studying their rise, ever more interest from the press, and consumers, the data and sentiment that is coming through from these stakeholders is that the success of digital currencies is based on the platforms being private, secure, and user friendly. The momentum is building!