Well, if we didn’t see this one coming. With all of the bitcoin hype comes residual winners in the cryptocurrency game. Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based bitcoin exchange now officially has more users than powerhouse brokerage firm Charles Schwab. Schwab reported in mid-November it had 10.6 million active brokerage accounts in October. This is a 5% rise from the same period last year.
However, Coinbase had 11.7 million users at the end of October, according to data compiled by Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. That’s up a whopping 148 percent from 4.7 million a year ago! This number has now grown to 13.3 million, according to Milne’s data. That was after an increase of 300,000 users in the last week alone.
Coinbase is the number one platform, and the only one with a smart phone app through which Americans buy digital aka crypto currencies. They currently offer the big three coins : Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. According to Investopedia, Schwab is the second largest broker-dealer by assets under management. Fidelity Investments ranks first.
When trying to compare traditional stock brokerages to Coinbase, it is not exactly comparing the same fruit. Coinbase’s website says they have exchanged more than $50 billion in digital currency. The market value of bitcoin was around $160 billion, slightly more than that of General Electric.
In contrast, Schwab’s total client assets were a record $3.26 trillion at the end of October. Fidelity had 24.9 million brokerage accounts at the end of June 2017, according to their website. Total customer assets were $6.2 trillion.
The key for bitcoin is the stunning pace of growth. Coinbase has more than doubled the number of its users in 12 months. If that pace keeps up, the company will have at least 26.6 million users next November, more than Fidelity had this summer.
This is absolutely incredible news. The wave cannot be stopped. Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general is the future. Whether one is getting in for investment purpose, or looking for the long haul, to turn the money they now have (US dollar) to spend in to having 10x, 20x even 50x that same money to spend in the future in crypto! Either way, there are no losers here.
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