Not only did 2022 see the highest-ever drop in bitcoin value since the launch of the cryptocurrency in 2009, but it was also the most difficult year crypto crime-wise. New records were set for crypto fraud, theft, and scams, with over $3.5 billion worth of losses in cryptos.
With the latest gloomy statistics, is there a chance for the volatile cryptocurrency market to recover any time soon? We hope our data, graphs, and other findings in this article will help you to make some realistic conclusions and predictions for yourself. So, let's dig into the numbers!
The most interesting crypto facts and data
Without further ado, here are the most up-to-date and interesting data and facts about cryptocurrencies.
1. As of February 2023, the global crypto market cap was over $1.05 trillion
February 2023 saw a significant increase in the global crypto market cap (to$1.05 trillion), especially compared to the end of December 2022, when the crypto market cap dropped to $798 billion – the lowest value in the last two years.
After almost half a year of a steady drop, the latest February increase in the global crypto market cap is quite reassuring. Although the latest value is nowhere near the all-time high value of $2.9 trillion seen in November 2021, it's good to see the potential market recovering.
2. Bitcoin still dominates the crypto world, with 41.14% of all coin value
On January 30, 2023, the global cryptocurrency market cap was $1.08 trillion. For comparison's sake, the bitcoin(BTC) market cap was at $444 billion, showing once again a continued bitcoin dominance of 41.14%. Ethereum was the second most dominant cryptocurrency on that same date, representing 17.73% of the global cryptocurrency market.
3. Ethereum value grew over 500% in 2021
The second biggest crypto coin and the biggest altcoin grew a whopping 500% in 2021, reaching a value of over $4,815 on November 9, 2021. Although the predictions for Ethereum were very bright at the time, Ethereum wasn't immune to the 2022 crypto market crisis, and in November 2022 it dropped to $1,083. As of February 1, 2023, Ethereum was quite stable at around $1,640, and its value had a growing tendency.
4. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) peaked end of 2021
Despite heavy cryptocurrency price fluctuations throughout 2022, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) remained quite stable. We could even say that DeFi entered the mainstream at the end of 2021, with its total value locked (TVL) reaching 305 billion in November 2021.
Experts believe that this trend of DeFi popularization will continue in the future despite the high volatility of the crypto market. They are putting their hopes into DeFi's growing opportunities, increasing affordability, and various financial tools innovations.
5. Nearly 20% of all bitcoin may be lost
A study by Chainalysis reveals that nearly 20% of all the bitcoin ever mined, or approximately 3.7 million bitcoin, have remained static in one address for the last five years or longer. That's over $85 billion worth of bitcoin (at the time of writing) considered lost.
Several newspaper stories confirm this theory as well. Among others, a German-born software developer with great dedication to cryptocurrency, Stefan Thomas, admitted not being able to access 7,002 bitcoin for years, due to a password to his IronKey account being lost.
Another unlucky fellow, James Howells, an IT worker from the UK, claims his hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins has been lost in a landfill site for almost 10 years now. He threw it away back in 2013, believing the cryptocurrency would never have any actual worth.
6. Institutional crypto investments dropped by 95% in 2022
It seems that large institutions have lost some trust in cryptocurrencies after all, or it could be that they are just waiting for a better time to invest. According to a CoinShares report, crypto investments in 2022 reached their lowest end since 2018, and they have dropped by 95% compared to just a year before. That’s also a 93% drop from 2020 when the investments totaled a whopping $6.6 billion.
Digital assets saw inflows (investors putting money into crypto products) totaling $433 million for the whole of 2022, the lowest since 2018 when there were inflows of only $233 million.
7. NFT sales reached their 12-month lowest value in June 2022
Non-fungible token (NFT) sales weren't unaffected by the cryptocurrency crises of summer 2022 either. They barely made it over $1 billion in June – the worst performance of NFTs since the same month a year earlier, when sales were less than $650 million, as reported by Chainalysis and The Guardian. After they peaked in January 2022, with sales worth $12.6 billion, nobody expected such a sharp drop in NFT trades just half a year later.
This decline is definitely linked to the broader slowdown in crypto markets. Times like this inevitably lead to consolidation within the affected markets, and for NFTs we will likely see a pullback in terms of the collections and types of NFTs that reach prominence.
8. NFT sales are slowly recuperating in 2023
The rest of 2022 was quite slow for the NFT market as well, with the number of sales continuously dropping. Luckily, the beginning of 2023 brought about significant sales improvements. Bitcoin.com reported that NFT sales soared from January 1, 2023, to February 1, reaching again nearly $1 billion ($997.53 million to be precise). This marked a promising 41% increase compared to December 2022, when the total value of NFT sales was lower than 600 million.
9. There are over 450 million cryptocurrency investors in the world
As one of the leading cryptocurrency payment companies, Triple A revealed in its latest statistics paper that the number of crypto users keeps rising, and it's currently over 450 million. In other words, nearly 5% of the world's population owns one cryptocurrency or another.
As expected, the largest number of crypto investors can be found in Asia and North America, over 260 million and over 54 million, respectively.
10. Most crypto owners are from India
Another not-so-surprising but still interesting fact about crypto investors is that most of them come from India, more than 157 million. In the meantime, the US currently has a little over 44 million crypto users.
Still, if we compare the size of the Indian population with the size of the US population, that is percentage-wise, more Americans invest in crypto – 13.22% of them, as compared to 11.5% of Indians. Seen from that perspective, the Vietnamese people are the most passionate crypto investors in the world – with over 26% of the population owning crypto assets, over 25 million of them.
11. 75% of people owning cryptocurrency are under 34 years old
Age and gender-wise, male millennials still dominate the cryptocurrency scene. The same study by Triple A shows that approximately 75% of all crypto users are under 34 years old – mostly millennials and generation Z folk. Whereas, gender-wise, nearly 63% of investors are male, and only 37% are female.
The most significant crypto fraud, theft, and scam statistics
Unfortunately, whenever there's great earning potential, there's also a great tendency for criminal activities. The bitcoin market is no exception to this. What's more, it seems that cybercriminals are growing more and more interested in crypto frauds, scams, and thefts. Let's see what crypto incidents have marked the last couple of years.
12. To this day, over $8.9 billion of cryptocurrency has been stolen in heists
According to Crypto Presales, hackers have stolen at least $ 8.9 billion in crypto heists. This is not so hard to believe considering that 132 cryptocurrency heists were reported in 2021 alone, and in August 2021, nearly $730 million were lost to crypto heists. The highest individual crypto heist happened in March 2022, when a whopping $620 million had been stolen from a gaming-based crypto network called Ronin Network.
13. Three out of five largest-ever crypto hacks happened in 2022
But, unfortunately, that wasn't it for the large-scale crypto heists in 2022. Another two colossal incidents happened in October and November 2022, ending up in $570 million and $477 million worth of cryptocurrency losses, respectively. The first one happened as a result of an intrusion into Binance’s BNB chain, and the second happened after a major cryptocurrency exchange called FTX collapsed, which hackers saw as an opportunity.
14. Q3 of 2022 saw a devastating 230% growth in cryptojacking
If you expected that the devaluation of cryptocurrencies in 2022 would bring about less interest in malicious mining programs, you couldn't have been more wrong. As it turns out, not only did crypto miner malware variants see a sharp increase in Q3 2022 – of approximately 230%– but it seems that the interest in cryptojacking continues to grow.
According to a Kaspersky study, 215,843 new malicious miners were identified in the first three quarters of 2022, which is more than twice compared to the year before. Currently, the favorite cryptocurrency of malicious mining actors is Monero (XMR).
15. The year 2021 was the year of rug pulls
Rug pulls, fraudulent schemes in which scammers lure people to invest money in their "amazing new crypto projects" and disappear as soon as they collect the money, became popular in 2021 and dominated throughout the year. What's more, thanks to rug pulls, cryptocurrency scam revenue came close to an all-time record in 2021.
Probably the most famous example of a crypto rug pull was the one with Squid Game-inspired cryptocurrency that reached $2,860 in value before its creators seized around $3.3 million in funds and disappeared, deeming the currency completely worthless. This movie-like scenario happened in October 2021, and it now serves as a great reminder that one has to be very careful when investing – and that the popularity of a cryptocurrency is not proof enough that the currency is legal… or real, for that matter.
16. Fear of scams is the main reason more people don't invest in crypto
A survey by Piplsay discovered that the main reason against more crypto investments lies in people fearing hacking and other crypto-related fraudulent activities. Approximately 31% of respondents said that this aspect of crypto investments worries them the most – more than a lack of knowledge about the system (27%), lack of crypto regulations and laws (22%), or even market volatility (20%).
Cryptocurrency market predictions
As the incredibly high volatility continues to be associated with bitcoin, experts' opinions continue to differ, and even the most enthusiastic investors keep going back and forth with their purchases. But what are some of the most confident crypto opinions and predictions for 2023? Let's find out!
17. The expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global crypto wallet market size is 24.8%
In August 2022, the total number of crypto wallets around the world was valued at $8.42 billion after reaching 84.02 million users, a significant increase from 76.32 million users in August 2021. In the next seven years, from 2023 to 2030, the global crypto wallet market size could continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.8% – as estimated by Grand View Research.
Major companies and food chains, such as Microsoft and Burger King, announcing that they will start accepting cryptocurrency payments certainly helped to get this trend going. According to Grand View Research, another major factor could be the "growing distrust in banks & financial systems."
18. Over half of Americans believe in the success of cryptocurrencies
A study by the World Economic Forum reveals that over half of Americans (53%) believe that "cryptocurrencies are the future of finance".
What's more, 56% of respondents agreed that innovations in finance that rely less on banks/financial intermediaries (e.g. cryptocurrencies) will create a more equitable economy.
The other interesting findings of the study were:
- Crypto seems to attract minorities and young people the most – with over a third of each of these groups owning crypto.
- The political division in the United States doesn't seem to affect the opinions about cryptocurrencies. An almost equal number of Republicans (51%) and Democrats (59%) support cryptocurrencies.
- Four in five Americans (79%) say clearer regulations and rules for cryptocurrency are needed.
19. The adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to expand
As large corporations continue to grow their interest in cryptocurrencies, experts predict more and more crypto-investments and adoptions across a variety of industries. The largest shifts in this direction happened when large names like AMC, PayPal, and Square announced the implementation of crypto payments on their platforms. Tesla currently accepts dogecoin and holds billions in crypto assets, although there haven't been any finite decisions regarding the acceptance of the rest of the cryptocurrencies.
We've seen a tremendous amount of inflow of attention, and that's going to continue to drive the growth of the industry for a while now.
Dave Abner, head of global development at Gemini, a prominent crypto exchange, believes that the next big crypto adoption wave could happen with huge retailers, like Amazon, accepting crypto payments. As he suggests, this would "create a chain reaction of others accepting it,” and would inspire more trust in the cryptocurrency system.
20. Cryptocurrency regulations will have to become stricter
Although lack of institutional regulations and third-party involvement (during payments and otherwise) were what made bitcoin appealing in the first place, lately, there has been an increasing need for the establishment of new cryptocurrency laws and regulations. The accelerating rate at which cybercrime is developing and entering the world of crypto exchange has made this a necessity rather than a privilege.
The US government has already made a couple of deciding steps towards stablecoin regulation, urged by the recent Terra Luna crash, and we can only expect other countries to follow. At this point, more and more regulatory bodies around the world are looking into ways of making crypto trades safer for investors and institutions and less accessible to cybercriminals.
21. Uncertainty will remain (for the foreseeable future at least)
Even the most involved crypto experts can't say whether the cryptocurrency market will ever become less volatile. Cryptocurrencies have been known for their high volatility ever since the first coin was mined, and it's very difficult to predict when this will change in the future. The volatility of cryptocurrency prices is affected by factors such as demand, investors' strategies, regulatory changes, technological advancements, and many others.
One thing is for certain – the uncertainty will continue to be associated with crypto trades, at least for the foreseeable future. With more institutional involvement, broader usage, and more regulations, bitcoin does have some potential of becoming more stable. However, many experts believe that its decentralization and lack of fitting regulations will continue to excite the inherent volatility of cryptocurrencies.
Despite the remarkably high volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, no one can deny that the crypto market is evolving and expanding at the speed of light. As the applicability of virtual currency is increasing and the trades are moving towards the mainstream, the involvements are getting more significant, and with them, some kind of certainty is growing.
The year 2022 wasn't very successful profit-wise, and it has left many investors disappointed, thanks to the largest-in-years bitcoin devaluation and largest-ever crime rates. However, most crypto investors, especially the big-shot ones, are very much aware of the pros and cons of "the game". Besides, most of them didn't join the crypto race for its steady pace and predictability in the first place.