New research from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. suggests that revenue generated by cryptocurrency exchanges could more than double to hit $4 billion in 2018.
The report, titled “Crypto Trading — the Next Big Thing is Here?,” argues that the protracted crypto bear market is unlikely to impact the burgeoning revenue generated by exchanges.
Moreover, “as the crypto-asset class seasons and institutional demand builds,” traditional financial sector firms — including custodians and asset managers — will find “a plethora of opportunities,” the analysts suggest.
Bernstein found that in 2017, the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies generated $1.8 billion in transaction fees alone — equivalent to eight percent of the revenue of traditional exchanges. On the basis of the analysts’ findings, Bloomberg notes that “in terms of segments, only the global cash equities business surpassed crypto trading.”
How cryptocurrencies' average daily traded volume over 30 days compares with major traditional segments. Source: Sanford C. Bernstein note citing CoinMarketCap, CBOE, Coindance, SIFMA, as cited by Bloomberg
The analysts note that the mainstream financial sector has been wary of entering crypto spot markets amid regulatory uncertainty and market volatility that besets the nascent industry.
They add that Wall Street’s circumspection risks that in the U.S., major crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase could end up with an “unassailable competitive position.” The analysts estimate that Coinbase boasts a whopping 50 percent of the transaction revenue pool.
As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has said that the exchange was signing up 50,000 users per day in 2017, helping customers to trade $150 billion worth in crypto that year.