The idea of anonymous cryptographic electronic money had long since been postulated, but it wasn’t until 2009 when decentralized cryptocurrency Bitcoin was first created. Namecoin, Litecoin, and Peercoin followed in the proceeding years and cryptocurrency began to gain momentum.
By the end of 2013, there were over 50 different cryptocurrencies. And by the end of 2014, this figure had increased by approximately 10x to over 500.
Today, there are over 20,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation. But how did the cryptocurrency reach this point? And where is it heading? This roundup will reveal key facts and figures on the state of crypto right now.
How Many Cryptocurrencies Are There By The End of 2022?
Before the year 2023 started, there were 21,844 cryptocurrencies in existence. However, not all cryptocurrencies are active or valuable. Discounting many “dead” cryptos leaves only around 9,314 active cryptocurrencies. There are upwards of 300 million cryptocurrency users across the globe. And approximately 18,000 businesses now accept a form of crypto as payment.
Here are the other crypto statistics you need to know — as of November 2022.
- The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is $830 billion with a trading volume per 24 hours of $55 billion.
- Bitcoin remains at the top with the highest market cap at over $300 billion — more than double its closest rival Etherum.
- Four of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are directly pegged to USD value — Tether, USD Coin, Binance USD
- Approximately 8% of the US population trades cryptocurrency
- As a continent, Asia has over 4x more cryptocurrency users than any other continent
- 95% of crypto holders/crypto-curious people are aware of Bitcoin
Why Has It Grown So Fast?
The biggest reason that there are so many different cryptocurrencies is that there’s practically no barrier to entry. Anyone who wants to create a cryptocurrency can do it. Even if you have zero technical know-how, you could hire someone to make a cryptocurrency for less than $100.
It wasn’t always this way. In the early days, there was only Bitcoin. Then developers started creating altcoins. An altcoin is any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin. Most early altcoins were intended to improve on Bitcoin’s performance or serve some other purpose.
Most successful cryptocurrencies still have a purpose or goal. Developers create cryptocurrencies in hopes of using blockchain technology to solve a real-world problem. Since it has become extremely easy to make a cryptocurrency, the amount of money in crypto has attracted people trying to make a quick buck. If you look at charts of recently launched cryptocurrencies, you’ll see plenty like this, with some form of “Elon-like,” “Shib-like,” or “Dogecoin-like” names.
Here’s a quick overview of the total number of legit cryptocurrencies listed from 2013 to November 2022.
- April 2013: 7 cryptocurrencies
- January 2014: 67 cryptocurrencies
- January 2015: 501 cryptocurrencies
- January 2016: 572 cryptocurrencies
- January 2017: 636 cryptocurrencies
- January 2018: 1,359 cryptocurrencies
- January 2019: 2,086 cryptocurrencies
- January 2020: 2,403 cryptocurrencies
- January 2021: 4,154 cryptocurrencies
- January 2022: 8,714 cryptocurrencies
- November 2022: 9,314 cryptocurrencies
The Present Cryptocurrencies
Currently, Bitcoin and Ethereum have proven to be the most robust of cryptocurrencies. This industry has drawn a lot of attention in recent months from investors as well as individuals.
Bitcoin maintains its status as the world’s largest crypto asset and blockchain technology. It is built on strong ideals, while still being a practical and technological work in progress.
For some people trading crypto is fun and exciting, while for others it’s a serious investment for the future. Moving forward, analysts predict that the global market in cryptocurrency will more than triple by 2030. There is a growing pool of investors and individuals that they feel comfortable with using crypto assets for online shopping — half of active cryptocurrency investors feel this way.
What does the future look like?
Figures from 99 Bitcoins suggest that there are more than 1,700 dead coins — a veritable graveyard of failed digital assets that suffer from inactive development, low trading volume, poor online presence, a lack of listings on major exchanges, or all four. Given we’re currently in a bear market, it’s almost certain this figure will rise in the months ahead.
It’s worth remembering that the crypto bull run of 2021 can draw parallels with the dotcom boom 20 years earlier. Back in the early 2000s, frenzied activity saw an explosion in the number of internet companies trading on the stock market, and many of them boasted sky-high valuations. Many of them ended up going bust, including Pets.com and Boo.com.
Another lesson that can be drawn from the bull run — no matter how brutal or prolonged a bear market is, some cryptocurrencies will survive and thrive. This also remains a hugely experimental technology, and there are bound to be failures along the way.
The crypto industry is innovative, and exciting use cases are continually emerging for digital assets. Because of this, the number of new cryptocurrencies in existence is unlikely to slow anytime soon. This means it’s down to investors to perform detailed due diligence on which coins to invest in — and exchanges must play an instrumental role in ensuring that they only list credible coins that add value to the ecosystem.