(Kitco News) – Cryptocurrencies continue to dominate the financial marketplace. Not only have digital currencies taken some luster away from the gold market, but the crypto-economy has seen explosive growth in the first quarter of this year.
In an internal first-quarter report, the world’s largest crypto payment processor, CoinPayments, said that digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, among others, continue to establish themselves within the currency market as a global payment system.
The crypto-payment company said that the value of all transactions made in North America in the first quarter of 2021 was more than $358 million, up more than 143% compared to the value of transactions reported in the first three months of 2020.
The value of transactions is up 45% compared to the fourth-quarter of 2020, the report added.
Not only did the value of transactions increase but the total number of transactions rose to 348,088, up 56% from the first quarter of 2020.
Jason Butcher, CEO of CoinPayments, said, in a comment to Kitco, that it has been incredible to witness the growth of digital currencies as more capital flows into the marketplace.
«Cryptocurrencies have seen some major milestones so far in 2021,» said Butcher, in a statement to Kitco News, «We expect to see the same kind of adoption growth in the U.S. as regulation moves more in favor of digital currencies.»
But, it’s not just the North American market that has seen historic growth. Europe’s cryptocurrency market is more than 1.5 times bigger than the North American market.
In the report, CoinPayments said that the total value of transactions in Europe came in at $596 million, up nearly 243% from the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, European consumers made 789,200 transactions in the first three months of the year, up 61% from the same time last year.
«Global regulations enabling crypto payments have come a long way, particularly in Europe where it’s been so much farther ahead than in North American, just as we’ve seen with electronic money as a whole,» said Butcher. «That’s why our data shows that our users in Europe are using cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange to conduct business more than in North America.»
The latest transaction data comes a week after Coinbase launched its initial public offering to become the first publicly traded cryptocurrency company. The company’s market value jumped to nearly $100 million following its IPO.
However, bitcoin has not see much bullish momentum after Coinbase’s public offering. The leading digital currently is currently trading around $55,100 per token. Bitcoin has dropped more than 14% from its recent record highs above $64,000.
CoinPayments is the largest cryptocurrency payment processor with more than US $10 billion in total transactions to date, while supporting more than 2,000 coins.