When Bitcoin was created back in 2009, few people believed in its longevity, let alone its adoption, leading to the creation of a plethora of start-ups that make up an industry to support it. Satoshi Nakamoto created the crypto-currency and pioneered the blockchain architecture it uses. That, too, has been used to create many more currencies and a host of start-ups looking to use the technology of Bitcoin blockchain in various sectors and industries. Bitcoin, today, in November 2017, is worth well over USD 7,000 and has dominated the headlines for much of the year.
Though many continue to focus on the impressive gains of Bitcoin, few take the time to sit back and see the entire landscape that Bitcoin has created. According to BitcoinPlay it has not just created millionaires in its earliest users and adopters, but an entire network of companies and systems built on its back. Exchanges, wallets, mining pools and even its own set of ATM’s are a few of these Bitcoin startups and, in 2017, these are some of the fastest growing startups in the world. Here is a closer look at the start-up industry that Bitcoin created.
Exchanges & Digital Wallets
One of the first industries that were created on Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency revolution is the Bitcoin exchange and wallet sector. There are 100’s if not 1000’s of these marketplaces to buy, sell and trade Bitcoin. These start-ups are not small either, and some have even received funding well into the 8-figure USD range. For example, “Blockchain”, a Bitcoin wallet raised $40 million from Google Ventures and Richard Branson to get it started. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as most major cities have in-person exchanges that though small, are start-ups in their own right. In terms of digital wallets, there are at least 5.8 million users that have them, and some of the top wallets are worth a pretty penny themselves; in some cases, some are well into the $100 million valuation range.
Currently, there are approximately 1354 Bitcoin ATM’s in over 55 countries around the world. Though 75% of all Bitcoin ATM’s are in North America, the Bitcoin ATM network is growing and growing fast. The top start-ups in this sector are Genesis Coin, with 48.5% of all Bitcoin ATMs, and General Bytes, with 19.74% of market share in this Bitcoin-created industry.
Another major sector that is growing alongside Bitcoin, and who owes their very existence to Bitcoin and Satoshi, is the thousands of other crypto-currencies that have popped up. According to a recent study, over 2000 of these smaller and less known coins exist, and many of them are getting pretty big. Ethereum & Bitcoin Cash is two of these newer coins, and both are worth billions of USD in market cap. Ethereum, as of September 2017, was over $28.9 billion and Bitcoin Cash had a market cap of $8.8 billion.
Mining Pools & Operations
As Bitcoin’s value grew, the lucrativeness of mining it became a driving force in creating an entire industry dedicated to creating new Bitcoin. Mining pools are groups of miners that get together to solve the complex mathematical problems that bring Bitcoin into circulation. This industry is growing rapidly due to the skyrocketing value of Bitcoin and the biggest of these mining companies, “Antpool,” mined around 20% of all new blocks of Bitcoin between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, Chinese mining pools, including Antpool, currently control 81% of the Bitcoin network’s collective hash rate. Considering a new set of Bitcoin are solved and mined every 10 minutes, these start-ups are cashing in big and wouldn’t exist without Bitcoin to mine.
These are just a few of the biggest sectors that have risen out of the Bitcoin revolution but are not the only ones. Bitcoin casinos and a growing number of ICO’s (initial coin offerings) are also worth mentioning and are gaining traction. Bitcoin’s market valuation is impressive, but what is even more impressive is that its market disruption has single-handedly created an entirely new marketplace of startups and industries to power its rise.
Guest Post made by Karthik Reddy from Webmasterjury.