You may have heard that crypto is dying (or that Bitcoin is dead) before. In this post, we’ll look at the state of crypto to try and answer the question: is crypto dead now?
Last edited on
July 21, 2023
Before we jump in, we want to make it clear that this article refers to the “crypto industry” in the widest possible sense; in the Web3 sense. This definition includes the cryptoassets market; but it also includes other, non-financial, use cases.
With all the increased uncertainty and scrutiny over the crypto industry as of late, we see a familiar question popping up again and again: Is crypto dead?
The short answer is no, crypto is not dead. Far from it.
Phew, so it’s settled, then? Not so fast. That’s not to say it’s not facing quite a few pretty existential challenges right now. We’ll take a look at some of these threats further down.
But while some of these challenges seem quite hard to solve, if there’s one thing our industry has shown is that it’s one very resilient beast.
Read on to learn whether crypto is dead now, what the challenges and threats facing the industry are, and what lies ahead for crypto.
Is crypto dead now?
For starters, let’s focus on why crypto isn’t dead.
According to a16z crypto’s state of crypto index - an aggregate of some of the most relevant industry metrics - the industry’s standing is still up 850% when compared to just three years ago.
Here are some other highlights from the research by the crypto VC behemoth that offer pretty compelling reasons to believe that crypto is not dead:
The number of active wallets measured across various blockchains is hovering just shy of 20 million per month in the past two months, compared to just 5 million three years ago.
The number of transactions per month across the same blockchains is currently nearing 1 billion, where just three years ago the same indicator sat at around 30 million.
The number of active developers in the space is currently averaging 27 thousand per month for the past 3 months, compared to 20 thousand in 2020.
These are still very impressive figures. The full report shows that, despite the current numbers sitting below the 2021 peak, zooming out paints a very much non-dead picture.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that all crypto projects are thriving right now, or that every single one of them will recover.
Some are undead, clinging to life via small communities of believers that refuse to lose hope. And a great part of them have indeed failed - or soon will.
That’s just in the nature of cutting-edge innovation, and not specific to crypto alone.
Blockchain & cryptocurrency
Up until today, blockchain technology and crypto seem to share a symbiotic relationship of sorts.
It’s not unreasonable to say that blockchain technology’s current popularity is largely due to the rise of cryptocurrencies - which continue to be the largest use case and driving force for blockchains and other DLTs.
Moreover, the lines are quite blurry here. Even if you accept that they’re totally separate industries, the crypto industry has, and continues to, play a huge role in advancing the research and adoption of non-financial use cases of blockchain.
The current levels are comparable with pre-COVID times, and even though we’ve seen this cycle play out time and again before, there’s no ultimate guarantee of recovery or growth.
Also, we need to look at this in context. The whole global economy isn’t doing too well at the moment, and with a recession looming, there might still be some pain left for the crypto industry (and for everyone else, for that matter).
In any given market, prices go up, down, and sideways. Some reap benefits, while others don’t.
A key difference between any traditional asset class and crypto is that there are no weekends or borders to the latter. Crypto markets are up 24/7, globally.
Plus, the volumes on crypto markets are a fraction of established asset markets, such as equities or commodities - so any fluctuation can lead to substantial price swings.
All of that means that volatility is substantially higher on crypto than, say, at NASDAQ - and that surely doesn’t help with adoption by everyday users.
Governments worldwide are still grappling with how to regulate crypto effectively, and this is clearly a very hard problem to solve.
When it comes to regulation, both industry and governments are now working together and improving on this front, with the most recent news being the ‘XRP, not a security’ ruling - considered by some a huge win for the industry.
And the picture gets even brighter when looking at developing countries, where adoption is very much on the rise. In places where the national currency is shaky, and legacy financial systems clunky, cryptocurrencies thrive.
Is crypto dead, then?
As we’ve seen, there’s pretty good evidence to crypto being very much alive, despite growing pains and some not-so-small challenges ahead.
Not all crypto projects will be around for when the legendary “mainstream adoption” finally arrives. But even with all challenges and threats considered, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Adoption seems to be again on the rise, and regulations are finally coming into place to help reduce the uncertainty for the industry. And despite all the hurdles, development is moving full steam ahead.
So hold off the obituary, our patient is very much alive.
But of course, you might prefer to ignore all that and believe crypto is dead. Hell, some people still claim to have seen Elvis working in some Diner in Saint Louis, right?
So, is crypto dead? We’ll say no. And if you’re looking to join the revolution, just click the button below and buy some crypto now.
Digital Marketing Manager at Ramp. Having worked in crypto since 2018, Laurence has acquired a wealth of information from all corners of the industry, from Bitcoin ATMs to the minute details of Smart Contracts.