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Is crypto dead? The state of crypto today

Laurence Stoican
Reading time:
5 minutes

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.

And these other use cases are picking up steam big time, like the multi-trillion-dollar real estate industry. Or the healthcare industry, which is working on recording health records into the blockchain. Not to mention that decentralized digital identities could soon be a thing.

It’s hard to claim that all these developments run separately from the crypto industry. And the further you dig into them, the weaker the claim that “crypto is dead” becomes.

Is Bitcoin dead?

So how about Bitcoin in particular? We’ve all heard before that Bitcoin is dead - right?

As the first cryptocurrency and the precursor to what is now an entire industry, Bitcoin was also the pioneer in having its obituary publicly declared.

Bitcoin’s death has been announced over 474 times (and counting) by media outlets, businesses, and other prophets across the globe.

Its death has been predicted and ridiculed so often that it’s turned into memes, merchandise, and even an eponymous video game.

Again, is Bitcoin dead? We’d say it’s a resounding “no” here.

But don’t just take our word for it. The CEO of the world’s largest investment fund’s newfound enthusiasm for crypto surely speaks volumes.

Challenges facing crypto

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the key hurdles facing the crypto industry as a whole.


As of the writing of this article, VC money entering the crypto space is still in decline, company valuations continue to drop, and the fundraising environment remains extremely challenging.

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).

Market volatility

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.

Regulatory Uncertainty

Governments worldwide are still grappling with how to regulate crypto effectively, and this is clearly a very hard problem to solve.

Since there isn’t one clear “right answer” as to how the industry should be regulated, governments have taken their individual stances, from strict regulations to more friendly frameworks.

For example, while the EU & UK are keen to introduce clarity with comprehensive frameworks such as MiCA & FSMA, the situation in the US is less clear, with no immediate solution in sight.

Achieving a clear path to navigating the current patchwork of global regulations is both extremely difficult and absolutely crucial to the future of the crypto industry.


Unfortunately, hacks, scams, and fraud haven’t done wonders to help with the crypto industry’s reputation.

In 2022 alone, some of the biggest names on the industry - like 3AC, Luna, Celsius, and FTX - have failed and/or are being accused of defrauding their customers.

In the same year, $3.8 billion were lost to hacks according to a report by crypto tracking firm Chainalysis.

With a track record like this, it’s no surprise that users would be wary about using crypto.

What’s next for cryptocurrencies?

Despite the challenges, cryptocurrency adoption is entering all-time highs. Major financial institutions, including banks and investment firms, such as BlackRock, are warming up to crypto.

Having institutional investors can bring stability and liquidity to markets while being the catalyst for the broader acceptance of digital assets.

Adding on to that, the crypto industry is witnessing rapid scalability, interoperability, and security advancements. Cryptocurrencies are gaining broader acceptance as a legitimate form of payment.

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?

Richard Nixon's Head - Futurama Guide - IGN
Pictured: not dead

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.

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Laurence Stoican

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.


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