Bitcoin payment volume picked up steam last year even during one of the asset’s worst bear market years. In 2018, bitcoin had six times more transactional volume than mainstream giant PayPal.
Bitcoin transactions surpass $3 trillion in 2018
— Satoshi Capital Research (@chartingbitcoin) January 22, 2019
Visa led the charge last year with roughly $10.2 trillion in payment volume. Bitcoin posted a notable fifth place, coming in behind Mastercard’s $5.2 trillion volume.
At fifth place in Satoshi Capital’s chart line up, bitcoin beat out the other competition by a landslide with $3.3 trillion. PayPal had just $0.5 trillion in volume last year. Discover had $0.3 trillion, and Western Union posted $0.2 trillion.
In Satoshi Capital’s “USD Value Sent Using Bitcoin” chart, 2018 saw a decrease in BTC volume, falling from 2017’s total of about $3.7 trillion. In comparison, however, the past two years have shown significant success. 2016 hosted only a paltry $552 billion, which is less than a quarter of 2017’s volume.
In 2018, bitcoin tallied $2.2 trillion in trading volume. According to Satoshi Capital’s “Developing Market Yearly Trading Volumes” graph, Thailand’s Baht currency came in first place with $6.57 trillion in cumulative trading volume.
Israel’s Shekel came in second place, and the Chilean Peso took third. Bitcoin took a firm stance in the fourth place position. At $2.2 trillion in volume, bitcoin sat handly ahead of Argentina’s Peso, which posted $0.73 trillion.
Bitcoin’s transaction volume is also significant in that its transactions per second (TPS) are much lower than Visa and other competitors. “Visa currently averages about 1,700 TPS, while bitcoin only averages between 3.3 and 7 TPS,” Crypto Insider noted in a recent article.
Some controversy over the information has arisen, however, with notions that the information is misleading. In Reddit’s r/Bitcoin forum about Satoshi Capital Research’ tweet, users commented on bitcoin’s transactional context.
Users basically argued the information was misleading, and that most of bitcoin’s stated transactional volume was used to transfer bitcoin to and from exchanges as part of trading or investing actions. This, as opposed to PayPal’s transactions, which Reddit users claimed to host more buying and selling transactions for actual products and services.
Still, the amount of bitcoin transactions shown in Satoshi Capital Research’ data reveals people are still interested in bitcoin, even after such a downturn in price. In addition, bitcoin movement and attention have grown considerably over the past two years.