In its latest The State of Bitcoin report, CoinDesk reveals the key trends, challenges, and opportunities in FinTech with bitcoin in Q1 2015.
In the first quarter, $229m was invested in bitcoin startups. It was led by 21 Inc and Coinbase with $116m and $75m respectively. 21 Inc has overtaken Coinbase as the best capitalized startup in bitcoin.
Bitcoin has seen an increase in investment of $676 millions since 2012, which is a 51% increase from the end of 2014. Four new countries were added to the VC investment list – France, Kenya, Barbados and Switzerland.
Bitcoin had a rocky start to 2015 and saw the Bitcoin prices drop below $200 mark to $144. Since then, it has gain pace and the price has stabilized to around $250. But, the price decline has shown little effect on the exchange trading volume.
Merchants adoption of the bitcoin wallets have been slow. The main reason is not the merchant interest in bitcoin, but the lack of consumer interest. In the first quarter, 1 million new bitcoin wallets were created. The number of blockchain wallets surpassed the three million mark in February. CoinDesk has estimated that by the end of 2015, there will be more than 12 million bitcoin wallets.
Many other non-currency applications of the bitcoin technology is being explored, including property rights, smart contracts, notary services and also voting. Companies in these industries are looking to improve their efficiency and offer better services to their customers.
There is a growing interest in bitcoin with more financial services executives moving to bitcoin startups. Even leading financial institutions are looking into the blockchain technology that may lead to partnerships developing between the traditional finances and new bitcoin companies. The revised New York BitLicense was released in February and has major positive changes that will benefit the industry.
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