Michel Rauchs, Apolline Blandin, Kristina Klein, Dr. Gina Pieters, Martino Recanatini, Bryan Zhang
Since the publication of the first Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study in April 2017, the cryptoasset ecosystem has undergone significant changes: the aggregate market capitalisation of cryptoassets skyrocketed from $30 billion to more than $800 billion at its peak in early January 2018, until coming down again to hover at around $200 billion.
The surge in prices and subsequent fluctuations was accompanied by growing interest and attention from the general public and media, driving in new retail investors, speculators, and institutional investors. The industry was confronted with massive inflows of new users and funds, a situation not all actors had adequately prepared for. Growing interest from the institutional side contributed to the emergence of custom services tailored to meet the needs and requirements of this new type of demand, leading to a deeper interweaving of the industry and the incumbent financial system.
Between May and July 2018, the research team collected survey data from over 180 start-ups, established companies, and individuals from 47 different countries across all major regions. The objective of the study is to provide new insights into the current state of the ecosystem and, in combination with publicly available data sources, capture major trends of the rapid market development. The analysis focuses in particular on the following four key industry segments: mining, exchange, storage, and payments.
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) is an international and interdisciplinary research centre based at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. It is dedicated to the study of innovative instruments, channels, and systems emerging outside of traditional finance. This includes, among others, crowdfunding, marketplace lending, alternative credit and investment analytics, alternative payment systems, cryptoassets, distributed ledger technology (e.g. blockchain) as well as related regulations and regulatory innovations (e.g. sandboxes and RegTech).