• Chart: Crypto-economy: what developments?

From the birth of Bitcoin in 2009 until today, the rise of the cryptocurrency market has been turbulent, with significant advances and setbacks. Our infographic looks back at the evolution of the crypto economy over the past decade, with data from Statista’s Digital Economy Compass study.

While there were only a few hundred virtual currencies at the end of 2014, the specialized site CoinMarketCap now counts nearly 20,000. This spectacular explosion, which has been particularly marked over the past three years, is notably linked to the fact that creating a new cryptocurrency costs nothing and is done in a few clicks. The digital assets listed by our source must however meet certain criteria, such as being available on an exchange platform (which notably makes it possible to exclude most fraudulent or unserious assets).

While their number is increasing almost exponentially, their value is not. With an annualized volatility that often amounts to more than 100%, cryptocurrencies all experience huge fluctuations and remain high-risk investments. After last year’s boom and an all-time high of $3 trillion reached in November 2021, market capitalization has collapsed by more than 50% and is currently around $1.3 trillion. This figure is still twice as high as the value displayed at the end of 2020.

As our graph also indicates, the weight of Bitcoin, once ultra-dominant in this market, is tending to decline in the face of the rise of other digital assets such as Ethereum. Today, Bitcoin represents between 40% and 50% of the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies, compared to around 80% in 2014.

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