Bitcoin is close to overtaking MasterCard by the amount of value transferred daily, with bitcoin moving $8 billion in the past 24 hours while MasterCard averages $11 billion a day.
In their recent quarterly report, MasterCard said they processed $4.4 trillion in the year to date, while bitcoin would be at about $3 trillion on a yearly basis if we extrapolate from the daily $8 billion – a level that is fairly common for BTC.
Ethereum comes a very distant second among cryptos, transferring “just” $600 million in the past 24 hours, bringing it to a yearly total of circa quarter of a trillion.
While Bitcoin Cash transferred “only” $120 million worth in the past 24 hours, less than Litecoin at $170 million.
We can’t see Ripple’s data as they’re not really a public blockchain – or a blockchain at all – but all cryptos in combination probably transfer about as much value as MasterCard despite having a far lower capacity in transactions per second.
That may be because one cryptocoin is usually worth far more than a dollar. A crypto transaction, moreover, can be in the billions, while MasterCard is usually used to make very small purchases of $20 dollars or so.
Visa handles far more at about $30 billion a day or $11 trillion a year according to their self-disclosed stats. That’s with a capacity of 65,000 transactions a second.
Bitcoin can handle only about 7 tx/s on chain, or about 0.01% of Visa’s. Yet bitcoin transfers about 25% of Visa’s amount of value processing.
It isn’t very clear why so many bitcoins are moved daily, usually at circa 5%-10% of its market cap. One could say these are transfer to and from exchanges, but all bitcoin exchanges handled about $7 billion in trading volumes during the past 24 hours.
Many of those trades would have been different people trading the same coin on the same exchange without touching the blockchain. So without having hard stats, it is probable that much of this $8 billion is economic activity but of a different kind to credit cards.
While credit cards handle small transactions, the media value of a bitcoin transfer is about $400, with the average being circa $27,000. Meaning bitcoin is being used as a sort of settlement layer by businesses.
Businesses specializing in international transfers, for example, could make just one high value transaction to transfer the funds. Likewise, for someone like BitPay, they could bundle transactions to pay merchants weekly or monthly.
Much of the activity, therefore, probably occurs off-chain, with the public blockchain used sparingly. Yet that off-chain activity must be very considerable if $8 billion is being transferred daily on-chain.
That’s a substantial portion of the entire economic activity in US and Europe. Partly perhaps because bitcoin is fully global, giving it a bigger market and thus presumably giving it more use cases.