June 28, 2018
By: Steven Anderson
Let’s stop for just a moment and spare a thought for all the folks who mortgaged their houses to buy bitcoin back in December 2017 or so. It’s a decision they are certainly regretting right now, as bitcoin lost about two-thirds of its value in the last six months. It would be easy to think that such a plunge is adversely impacting cryptocurrency purchases in general and cryptocurrency exchanges in particular, but new word from Circle says that’s not the case at all.
Circle actually reports that, despite a crashing bitcoin, buying is on the rise thanks to hedge funds and large-scale investment players joining the platform. Just comparing one month to another, Circle recently saw a 30 percent gain in customers, and was doing 15 times the transactions it was doing daily than it was the same time last year.
Circle even went so far as to set up an automated service called Circle Trade to help handle the sheer volume of new investment. Previously, Circle employees had to manually quote prices and subsequently authorize trades to those prices, but now, the platform can handle it automatically. Considering Circle now processes about $2 billion in trades every month, that’s no mean feat.
With Circle ultimately looking to land a banking license and step up its slate of offerings, the end result is a company looking for growth opportunities and, in many cases, finding them.
That’s good news for Circle, and it’s also good news for those who are looking for the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency to take place. It’s actually possible that we’re looking at a situation where crypto becomes a new kind of commodity, alongside pork bellies or orange juice, to become something like a representation of the world’s processing power or even online presence. After all, many of the cryptocurrencies that do well do so because they have an excellent community behind them or good social media buzz. That’s strictly speculative, of course, but then, so is the entire cryptocurrency market.
Can cryptocurrency hold its own as a recognized commodity, or even as a new kind of online shopping facilitator? Only time will tell, but if institutions are getting involved in the $2 billion a month range, we may not have long to wait.