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The cryptocurrency market has undoubtedly been on everyone’s radar for the past few years, regardless of the varied attitudes towards its growth and impact on the most popular sectors of mainstream culture. While the consensus on what kind of effect it really brings to our society is still a bit fractured, the numbers have provided a basis of understanding as to how it has evolved to its current status and has fuelled many diverse investors’ enthusiasm for getting involved.
A deeper analysis attached to the proper context reveals the true potential of this industry for providing new avenues towards better security, transparency, independence, profit, and equity.
One of the biggest driving forces for the growth of the cryptocurrency market has been the heightened interest from a variety of investors. Many believe their investments will pay off in the long term, as proven by some lucky early investors in Bitcoin who have hit the jackpot since the cryptocurrency’s timid inception back in 2009. The cryptocurrency market has found its way into virtually every mainstream avenue: from music to art to sports and even video games. Lauded by your favorite celebrities, influencers, and even the world’s richest people, investing seems to be the logical choice.
But it can also be the opportunity of a lifetime for certain groups of investors. According to exclusive Harris Poll data from a USA TODAY article, commonly marginalized communities in America have taken advantage of this increase in popularity and found their way to build wealth apart from the institutions that have kept them from earning profit. About 23% of African Americans and 17% of Hispanic Americans own cryptocurrencies, while only 11% of Caucasian Americans report ownership.
A new industry means that the roots are still fresh and ready to be tended by a truly diverse cast of investors. There isn’t a central stranglehold on the industry because cryptocurrency by nature is decentralized. This means anyone can own their custom brand of currency and develop their own ecosystem around their business, controlling operations and assets from end to end throughout its entire lifecycle.
These freely exchanged currencies have the potential to be the most equitable, for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and even the LGBTQ+ community. When it comes to exposure, about 50% of Asian and African Americans and 49% of Hispanic Americans claim to be familiar with the cryptocurrency market, as opposed to 37% of Caucasian Americans.
This just shows that these groups of investors have more to gain from the market, and have jumped on the opportunity early on. As exposure increases in the coming years, so will the amount of success within these emerging economies.
Other notable investors are large banks and companies which have been excited to adopt this transparent and independent transactional technology into their own business processes. Some prominent names in the banking industry like JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanely, UBS, and Citigroup each boast massive cryptocurrency portfolios already (investing around 200 million). When it comes to tech companies, Twitter has already introduced a feature on its platform where a user can display their portfolio of NFTs as well as make one their profile picture, with Instagram following suit.
"I personally think that Bitcoin is worthless but… Our clients are adults. They disagree."
— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) October 12, 2021
Large companies and institutions like Tesla, investing $1.5 billion in Bitcoin as per this SEC filing, and Galaxy Digital Holdings, boasting a $600 million plus investment, have propelled the industry forward in big ways. The division of Bitcoin treasuries only shows how serious both private and public companies are with entering the cryptocurrency market.
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021
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Creators of cryptocurrencies
Since the cryptocurrency market encourages the development of private ecosystems, there have been many kinds of cryptocurrencies springing up to aid all industries. The blockchain itself is predominantly run on Ethereum, which was launched in 2014 by Vitalik Buterin, one of the most influential figures and creators in the cryptocurrency market. The second-largest digital currency presently has a market cap of about $320 billion. Bitcoin, of course, retains the number one spot with a market cap of $709 billion, created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto who has yet to be publicly identified.
The most prominent cryptocurrencies have found their trading routes through a variety of well-established cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase, founded by Changpen Zhao and Brian Armstrong respectively.
Here is a list of some more emerging digital currencies that will each shape the market in the years to come:
- Creator: Charlie Lee
- Market Cap: $7.5 billion
2. Shiba Inu
- Creator: “Ryoshi”
- Market Cap: $11.1 billion
- Creator: Gavin Wood
- Market Cap: $18 billion
- Creator: Charles Hoskinson
- Market Cap: $35 billion
- Creator: Brian Joseph Chesky
- Market Cap: $59.9 billion
- Creators: Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer
- Market Cap: $18 billion
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Overall, the cryptocurrency market is projected to quadruple by the end of the decade, as its market size is currently valued at about $1.49 billion as per this report from the Allied Market Research firm. The main attraction of this emerging market is the fact that there is no central regulatory authority controlling its transactions, and as mentioned earlier, allows businesses to develop custom, decentralized, and secure environments for their consumers and internal processes. There has been a growing need for transparency and security within the financial sector, specifically in financial payment systems, and the cryptocurrency market is designed to uphold these kinds of needs.
The advent of deregulation has already enticed many private banks and companies to adopt and invest, but it also has been playing a significant role in cracking down on fraud and other financial crimes.
Additionally, the blockchain allows banks to store their customers’ information securely. Given the fact that each transaction generates a unique signature and cannot be reversed due to the nature of its cryptographic methodology, the process itself is essentially a streamlined display of all the kinds of financial practices taken by each user. Suspicious activity can be easily discovered by navigating through each user’s public transactional history, as well as viewing their public wallet amounts. This is great for massive companies to prove that they are using their finances in appropriate ways. Many financial services and insurance companies have taken this as a crucial benefit for their own operations.
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A prominent name in financial payment technology that has since made good use of investing in cryptocurrency is PayPal. Since October 21, 2020, the American-based financial technology company has launched features that allow their customers to use a variety of cryptocurrencies for their transactions. The transparency, security, and popularity of cryptocurrency transactions will sure attract more prominent names, further driving the growth of this market.
— PayPal News (@PayPalNews) February 1, 2022
The rise in crypto
Although there are several major benefits, there are some drawbacks as well, including the massive cost of implementing these technologies in developing nations. While the cryptocurrency market is expanding quickly in America, Europe, and most dominantly in the Asia-Pacific region, only further investment can guarantee that these developing economies will have easier access to capital and financial services. All in all, there are many benefits to be had from this market, and, as technology improves, so will the appropriate exposure and efficiency in all business operations.