The adoption of cryptocurrency wallets has grown significantly in the last three years.
According to Statista data published on Twitter by Signum Bank, from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2019 the number of wallets has more than quadrupled, increasing from less than 10 million to more than 40 million.
— Sygnum Bank (@sygnumofficial) February 20, 2020
However, this growth has not taken place in a uniform manner. For example, from the third quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017, wallets increased from just under 10 million to around 15 million, but in the third and fourth quarters of 2017, they rose to over 20 million.
Another peak occurred in the second quarter of 2019 when in a single quarter they went from less than 35 million to about 40 million.
The first doubling took only one year, from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, while the second doubling took almost two years.
In the long term, however, the growing trend seems to be constant, characterized by peaks coinciding with price surges.
In total, by the end of the third quarter of 2019, there were over 42 million cryptocurrency wallets, although this does not mean that the number of people was 42 million.
Very often cryptocurrency holders have more than one wallet, and sometimes some of them are abandoned, perhaps due to the loss of seeds or private keys, which makes it reasonable to assume that the number of people in possession of cryptocurrency wallets is less than this figure.
It is also worth mentioning that many cryptocurrency users keep their funds on third-party wallets, such as those on exchanges, which means that the number of cryptocurrency holders may be higher than the number of people owning crypto wallets.
Moreover, according to Chainalysis, only about one-third of these wallets are actively used.
On the one hand, this should not come as a surprise, considering the numerous holders (or hodlers) that use wallets only as a storage for cryptocurrencies retaining their exclusive ownership, but on the other, it could also suggest that a significant number might be inoperable due to the loss of the seed or private keys.
Chainalysis also reveals that 2.3 million people use BTC to make payments, but 4.8 million users, or more than double that, consider it above all an investment to buy and store in anticipation of a price increase.
Nevertheless, the growth trend remains evident and shows how cryptocurrencies are starting to become a mass phenomenon, even if this development is still in its early stages.