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The next era of crypto and 1B wallets by 2030

The Blockchain.com 2020 Experience

Peter Smith
May 20 · 12 min read

Earlier today we held an event with investors, media, and prime clients to discuss the state of Blockchain.com, how far we’ve come over the past 9 years, and how we plan on getting to 1B wallets by 2030. If you have time, I recommend watching the full event:

Video from our live event on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The State of Blockchain.com

We’re arguably the oldest crypto company still in operation, having started on a mac mini in a small flat in York, England back in 2011. Since then we’ve come a long way. Just take a look at the first iteration of our block explorer that looked like a word document.

A look at our homepage in 2011

Over the past 9 years we’ve become one of the most widely-used crypto companies in the world. In fact, we’re about to hit a huge milestone for the company with 50M wallets created. In the early days it would have been a stretch goal to imagine 1M people using crypto wallets, let alone 50M.

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Source: blockchain.com/charts

We’ve historically been quiet about our product, our growth, and our ambitions. So today I’d like to give you a sense of how we’ve grown into one of the most important crypto companies out there. Then I’d like to share why I believe this is precisely the moment for crypto to shine. And then discuss our goal to reach 1B wallets by the end of the decade.

Previously undisclosed metrics

Since 2011 we’ve been core to crypto infrastructure with our API. In fact many of the other pioneering crypto companies you know today used our API to build their projects — from Coinbase, to Bitpay, to Bitstamp, to Kraken, and more. And we’ve now grown to the point where we see over 1B API requests per day, often reaching 20,000 requests every second.

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API requests over a 24 hour period.

We now make up 1/3rd of all bitcoin transactions.

Since the beginning of May we’ve made up 32% of all BTC transactions just within the Blockchain.com Wallet. If you include Exchange and our Trading API, we’re well over 33%. Since 2012 (when we began collecting this data) we’ve made up 27% of all bitcoin transactions.

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The percentage of bitcoin network transactions from Blockchain.com Wallets

We’re one of only 4 crypto companies that have had over 100M+ visits in 2020, joining the ranks of Binance, Coinbase, and BitMEX. Specifically, we’ve seen over 105M+ page views since the start of the year with over 42M unique visitors to our website.

And a particularly interesting moment for us was when nearly 2M people tuned into our block Explorer to watch as AntPool committed the 630,000th block for what’s known as the Halving — a quadrennial reduction of the mining block reward for bitcoin. It almost felt like watching a Twitch live stream.

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The often-cited 630,000th block

And we like to talk about how we’re a truly global company, so it’s no surprise that last week we helped customers buy their first bitcoin in over 100 countries around the world. We’re always going to be passionate about helping more people in more countries around the world get started with crypto.


A unique moment

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There’s more than enough commentary about the COVID crisis’s effect on society, but we believe that it’s the financial impact is what’s most interesting for crypto.

Prior to this crisis, we were already seeing public debt hit record levels only surpassed during wartime. Now it’s through the roof. AN

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Public debt as a percentage of GDP

It’s hard to make sense of the economy. The stock market is up, but we’re seeing record unemployment — at Great Depression levels.

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The dichotomy between Wall Street and Main Street (CNBC)

And centralized institutions have shown weakness in their ability to respond. They failed to provide adequate warning. Failed to collaborate and coordinate responses and policies. And they’re backstopping wall street, but not main street.

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Meanwhile, the Fed is printing money at an unprecedented rate. And this is just the beginning of a global inflationary regime

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A meme that has gone viral

But it’s not all negative news.

The internet is today’s undisputed hero

It’s decentralized. It’s reliable. And the process of digitization that was underway has only accelerated during this crisis.

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Internet usage during the Global Lockdown is up nearly 1.5x usage levels at the start of the year.

Most importantly, the internet has been a key tool to enable many parts of life to endure even as we shelter in place. It’s where we’ve gone to get information that we couldn’t get from the government. It’s where we’ve gone to work. To buy things that our families need. To entertain ourselves. To find community. And even to have our favorite food delivered to our door.

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The internet is the fastest growing economic engine on the planet

This shows ecommerce as a percentage of retail in the US over time. Before the crisis it was at a solid 12%. What about now? Can you imagine the growth we’ll see once we get updated data?

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We believe the internet will have its own financial system. While today it’s very much a part of the existing financial systems, this process of digitization will eventually make it obvious that just as WhatsApp messages, emails, and collaboration on Figma are instantly (and effortlessly) global, our money should be too. It will enable us to spread economic opportunity more evenly, rather than being hostages to our geography at birth.

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How we think about the Financial System for the Internet

Put simply, crypto is the financial system for the internet.

We believe that macro forces will accelerate the crypto thesis and will drive more and more consumers to be crypto-curious. And we’re already seeing this. First of all, we see more new retail trade volume than ever. Second, we’re witnessing mainstream folks curiously dip their toe in the water to learn more about bitcoin and crypto. From JK Rowling to Paul Tudor Jones, we’re seeing more interest than ever.

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JK Rowling is about as mainstream as it gets

Why? Well, it’s clear that this new financial system will be enormous. We’re in early innings for the creation of the financial system of the internet. Not only will there be crypto assets traded, but there will be tokenized financial assets and instruments made possible by the underlying technology.

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Today there are crypto assets, but soon all assets will be tokenized.

What makes us different

We have a different philosophy from every other major consumer crypto company in the market. While other companies are custodial and don’t trust you to hold your own money, we believe in empowering people to be financially sovereign. We believe that anyone on the planet can be their own bank, can control their own money, and control their financial future.

For years, we’ve been told that it’s too hard to make a usable experience where users control their money and that to be successful we needed to make PayPal for crypto. But we’ve proven that it can work. Anyone can be their own bank. We’re the number 1 crypto wallet on-chain and have nearly 50M wallets that millions of people around the world trust on a daily basis.

Today, I’m announcing our goal of getting to 1B wallets by 2030.

It means making crypto easier. Making crypto more useful for transactions and reducing transaction costs. It means making crypto mainstream.

Since 2011, we’ve been on a mission to create a financial system for the internet that empowers anyone in the world to control their money. This is what makes us different. This is what makes our products different. And it’s our north star.

In the short term, it’s about making incredible product experiences with core features for customers. Let’s move away from the grand vision and talk about the practical steps we’re taking to improve the Blockchain.com experience.


The Blockchain.com 2020 Experience

Over the past two years, we have quietly redesigned and rebuilt the experience at Blockchain.com.To better reflect and anchor impactful changes made to our design system, we are giving our logo a refresh.

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In the coming weeks, our website will get a refresh. Here’s a sneak peek:

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Blockchain.com Explorer + Data

The Blockchain.com Explorer continues to be one of the most popular (and important) data sources in crypto.

We’re updating the Explorer with a simpler, cleaner UI. Users will notice more intuitive navigation with more opportunities for discovery and exploration.

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A refreshed Blockchain.com Explorer

In addition, we continue to build on our data products. Last month, we launched new charts and visualizations, including 5 new charts: Hashrate Distribution Over Time, Average Fees per Transactions, and 3 On-Chain Market Signals.

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blockchain.com/charts

Blockchain.com Wallet

The Wallet is the heart of the Blockchain.com experience. It’s the gateway into crypto, where you buy your first bitcoin and then continue to explore everything else crypto has to offer. Much like the internet is built around a browser, crypto is built around a wallet.

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We’re building the last wallet you’ll ever need. To achieve this goal, we’ve anchored around an experience that’s fast, easy and safe. We’re thrilled to announce new features built directly in the wallet.

The Fastest Way to Buy Crypto

Customers can now buy crypto with a credit or debit card faster and easier than ever. This means that a new customer can discover crypto, download a wallet, and fund it with bitcoin, all within a few minutes. This will be available globally on Visa and Mastercard networks, supporting most major currencies. We’re also rolling out the ability to connect directly to your bank, so you can deposit and withdraw straight from your checking account.

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Buying crypto in the Blockchain.com Wallet

Interest Accounts

For the millions of people holding BTC, you can now deposit it into an Interest Account and watch it earn 4.5% interest annually. If you deposit 1 bitcoin, you could earn over $400 in interest. When you compare that to the near-zero interest rates you’ll likely get with traditional bank accounts at the moment, it’s hard to beat. Access your crypto and withdraw when you need it. In the meantime, watch as your crypto holdings steadily grow.

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Deposit BTC in an Interest Account and watch it grow

Borrow

You can now borrow against your BTC and receive digital dollars at a 5% interest rate. These collateralized loans are perfect for those who have BTC they don’t want to sell, but could use the liquidity — this could be for anything from trading to making an important purchase and everything else in between. Availability for Borrow is expanding globally and will include state-by-state releases in the US.

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Borrow USD Digital by collateralizing your BTC

A Unified Crypto Experience

In addition to all of these new features, you can now manage your wallet and all of your other accounts in one, unified experience. Given that the wallet is non-custodial, whilst features like Interest Account and the Exchange are custodial, it’s useful to see a snapshot of your account balances all in one place — so you’re always in control of your crypto. We’ll be rolling out this unified experience in the coming weeks and we’re excited to see it in the hands of our customers.

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A unified view of custodial and non-custodial accounts

Adding Assets to the Wallet

We’re proud to announce that soon users will find USDT and Algorand in the Wallet. USDT is the most popular and demanded stablecoin in the world and has seen incredible growth over the last quarter. Algorand is a project that has great potential as a platform for enabling decentralised finance at scale.

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The latest additions to the Blockchain.com Wallet

This is an incredibly exciting time for the wallet. We’re hard at work to bring the best possible crypto experience to the next 1B users.

Blockchain.com Exchange

The Blockchain.com Exchange is the fastest growing product in our history. Funded accounts — our primary growth metric — are growing exponentially with a 400% + growth rate in the past year and 50% + in the last 30 days. Over 170 institutions have been onboarded and we’re maintaining a top 5 spot market liquidity profile — an important detail as we’ve seen huge volumes and volatility over the past few months.

Simplified and improved UX

To complement this rapidly growing product, we’ve upgraded the Blockchain.com Exchange, simplifying the UX and optimizing it for a powerful trading experience. On average, we’ll ship 3–4 changes a week to a trading UX meant to delight our users. Our goal is to offer a trading experience that’s simple and intuitive enough for a brand new trader while offering enough power for any trader around the world.

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A simple UX for new traders, powerful tools for advanced traders

Support for the Russian RUB

We’re also focused on providing fiat ramps with the Exchange product. We currently support some of the most widely-used fiat currencies, from the Dollar, to the Pound, and to Euro and we recently launched support for the Turkish Lira.

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Coming soon: Support for the Russian RUB

Today, we’re pleased to announce that in the coming weeks, we’ll be one of only a handful of exchanges that support the Russian Ruble. Russian users already make up a large portion of our traffic and exchange volume. We’re excited to make it easier for Russian users to trade crypto in their local currency.

Trading XRP

We’re also pleased to announce our upcoming support of XRP trading pairs, which will trade against the dollar, euro and bitcoin.

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Prime Client Services

For clients who trade with high frequency or in high volumes, we offer Prime Client Benefits, which include

  • 24/7 dedicated support via phone, email, Telegram, WhatsApp and more
  • Customized on-venue lending to provide leverage customised to your needs
  • OTC trading with our experienced desk
  • Great trading terms with tight spreads, low fees, and deep liquidity
  • Support for SEN & SIG (USD), Faster Payments (GBP) and SEPA Instant (EUR)

Coming soon: Margin Trading

Additionally, margin trading will be coming to the Blockchain.com Exchange. We will be offering a simple, margin trading experience that makes it easy and understandable for any user to add margin and leverage to their account. Margin trading has been a top request for many traders and we’re currently in the process of building this in the Exchange.

Developer API

The Blockchain.com Exchange API was launched at the beginning of the year. As a fresh, nimble trading API, delivering the most powerful exchange API set — Binary, Web Sockets, and REST — the Blockchain.com Exchange API is the latest addition to the suite of APIs we have engineered for developers.

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Blockchain.com Markets

That leads to our last set of announcements surrounding the Blockchain.com Markets. Blockchain.com features a host of OTC, Lending, and Structured products. Our OTC Lending desk has had over $200 million in origination in Q1 and the Trading desk has received large block trades against BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, and G20 currencies. We also have liquidity for the top 50 coins against dark liquidity and offer Options and Structured offtakes (FPOPs).

Most importantly, we offer Direct Market Access (DMA) for Market Makers and HFTs. This includes London based colocation, supported hardware for DMA clients, dedicated customer coverage, and 30-microsecond end-to-end latency.

Blockchain.com Ventures

Blockchain.com Ventures backs crypto projects at their earliest stages. We have an institutional investment track record with anchor capital and resources from Blockchain.com and Lightspeed Ventures. In this volatile environment, it’s important to relay that Blockchain.com Venture continues to invest in new deals in the COVID era. We’ve now closed 3 new deals post-COVID, alongside our portfolio of early-stage investments across decentralized finance, infrastructure, and trading spaces.

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In Closing

We’ve discussed a lot today and have much more to come. We couldn’t be more excited to take advantage of this unique moment in the world — a unique opportunity for crypto.

@blockchain

Blockchain.com

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