The Crypto Ecosystem
Just how Big is Crypto right now?
When having any discussion or conversation about crypto, we should start from the very beginning: Bitcoin in the years 2008–2009. We can’t forget that everything crypto-related today, has started with Bitcoin, in those early days.
That was only the beginning and it was a slow one at that. However, we live now in an era of full development and growth for “all things crypto”; taking this in consideration, it makes full sense to start a conversation about “The Crypto Ecosystem”.
But first, let’s see what an ecosystem actually is.
The first definition we find on Wikipedia goes like this: “an ecosystem consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact”.
If we make a quick extrapolation, we can say that an ecosystem represents the sum of elements that have something in common and the environment which is created by their interaction.
For a better understanding, let’s take the following example: the “mountain bikers’ ecosystem” is made of people that are passionate about this sport, the manufacturers of mountain bikes, the organizers of various events, the hotels/restaurants in the proximity of the places where mountain bike competitions take place, and so on.
The particular ecosystem we are concerned with is “The Crypto Ecosystem”, which is comprised out of all stakeholders of the crypto industry. In the following lines, we will discuss the two major categories and we will list each and every one of them while sharing a few details about their characteristics and uniqueness.
When we speak about “The Crypto Ecosystem”, the stakeholders can be either individuals or organizations. Let’s see what differentiates these two.
Software developers — people that are developing the code for new Cryptoassets.
Traders — people that trade Cryptoassets on a regular basis, with a clear intent of making a profit and making a living out of it.
Enthusiasts — people that buy Cryptoassets for a long term period, people that are active on social media talking about crypto, people that buy crypto merchandise, etc.
Banks — they are the first ones affected by crypto and it is in their interest to keep a very close eye on what is happening in this industry.
Companies — some use crypto as a way to store some extra assets, others use it as collateral for bank loans, etc.
Non-Governmental Organizations — charities, social support groups, etc.
Government agencies — the ones that define taxation, etc.
HW & SW manufacturers: hot wallets, cold wallets, graphic cards for mining, etc.
Service providers: internet, bank cards, money transfer, online payments, cloud services, cloud computing, IT infrastructure, etc.
Power plants that generate electricity — needed for the mining activity.
Art galleries — a new form of digital art is making its way in the world: NFTs.
Exchanges — online platforms where people can exchange one crypto asset with another or with FIAT money; some platforms could offer more additional services. A good example of this kind of place is IXFI (www.ixfi.com) — a new-age crypto exchange created by investors and built also for investors.
However, there still are elements of “The Crypto Ecosystem” that are neither individuals nor organizations and they need their own category: the crypto-assets themselves that are being mined, traded, sold, bought, etc.
And of course, also the internet is a big part of “The Crypto Ecosystem” because everything inside this ecosystem is based on the existence of the internet.
Another method to extend the definition of “The Crypto Ecosystem” is to ask yourself what else is connected to crypto, in any way possible, and add it to this list above.
Perhaps you are wondering why and how this new ecosystem appeared into existence?
Well, it just did, as a result of the expansion of the general interest for Bitcoin at first, then all the other crypto assets (cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, transactional tokens, platform tokens, security tokens, stablecoins, NFTs — non-fungible tokens), then the financial opportunities derived from trading the crypto assets as any other commodity, and eventually from improving already existing aspects of our life by the use of blockchain technology.
Just a few examples: healthcare, finances, supply chains, and many more. The main advantage offered by blockchain is the possibility to securely exchange information among peers without the risk of having that information stolen or altered in any way b third parties.
My personal assumption, from my own perspective, is that the crypto ecosystem, as big as it is today, will only grow bigger and bigger. I’m not really sure where the limit actually is, but it’s not difficult to estimate that in the foreseeable future, we will have a little bit of crypto in every aspect of our lives: banking, payments, contracts, art, taxes, etc.
Article written by Aurel Rusu — founder of www.investeo.ro