Follow us for updates
© 2022
Read the Story →

How Cryptocurrencies Grew Into $2 Trillion Market

The future of money?
by Agence France Presse
Apr 13, 2021
Photo/s: Agence France-Presse

The cryptocurrency market has grown exponentially in 2021 and is now worth a staggering $2 trillion (P97 trillion) as it increasingly attracts interest from big names on Wall Street.

As digital currency exchange Coinbase prepares to list Tuesday in New York, AFP takes a look at a sector built from scratch just 12 years ago.


On Oct.  31, 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis, one or more anonymous people, hidden behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published the founding white paper of bitcoin.

The goal was to create a means of payment, the security of which would not be overseen by a central bank or financial organizations, but instead regulated by software with rules almost impossible to alter. 

While anybody can "mine" for new bitcoins, to do so requires giant data centers -- leading to platforms such as Coinbase providing a way of trading in cryptocurrencies.

Banks and payment services such as Paypal allow transactions in certain digital currencies.

Continue reading below ↓

Almost 18.7 million bitcoins have been created since the first block of 50 in early 2009. 

A limit of 21 million bitcoins has been set by Nakamoto. 


Why ATM Fees Were Allowed to Increase

How to Pay BIR Tax Dues Using GCash

An investment

Despite bitcoin's volatility and limitations as a means of payment, it is being seen as a store of value to rival and even one day potentially surpass gold as a haven investment in the face of high inflation for example.

In Nigeria, where the naira currency has shed 50% of its value against the dollar in recent years, it is claimed that a third of inhabitants have used cryptocurrencies.

After bitcoin's value crashed in 2018 it rebounded and has smashed records since late last year -- rocketing from around $12,000 in October to more than $60,000 a month ago.


How Much is One Bitcoin Worth? Close to P1 Million

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Slightly Better Than Holding Cash

Against this backdrop, central banks and market regulators warn about the volatility's impact -- especially on small investors who risk suffering big losses.

But it is clear that some individuals and companies have made huge gains from bitcoin, while major central banks are working on their own potential digital-currency projects.

Electric car giant Tesla has invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin and in March began accepting the currency as payment.

Tesla's multi-billionaire chief executive Elon Musk has used social media to espouse the merits of cryptocurrencies, helping to lift interest and prices.


Dogecoin: What You Need to Know About the Cutest Cryptocurrency

Other cryptocurrencies

Numerous cryptocurrencies seek to compete with, or complement, bitcoin. 

Number two in the market is ethereum, which this week hit an all-time high above $2,000.

The cryptocurrency market as a whole is worth more than $2 trillion, according to specialist site Coinmarketcap, which lists more than 9,000 different cryptocurrencies.

Continue reading below ↓

Some are known as "stablecoins" as their value is tied to a traditional asset such as the dollar, helping to avoid the volatility shown by bitcoin.

Meanwhile, with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mined by solving puzzles using powerful computers that consume enormous amounts of electricity, environmental concerns cast a further shadow.

Reportr is now on Quento. Download the app on iOS and Android or visit the Quento website for more articles and videos from Reportr and your favorite websites.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
Appointment announced a day before Marcos' inauguration.
More time for K-drama, books, and mornings without alarms.
With the reopening of several local destinations, this app has never been more timely.
You can participate in person and virtually.
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.