Wallet numbers are “BS” as a way of measuring bitcoin adoption, according to Jeremy Allaire, founder of Circle, the bitcoin buying and storage firm pitched at consumers.
Bitcoin wallets can be easily generated by automated means and for myriad reasons, so their numbers are a poor estimate of bitcoin’s popularity, Allaire said during a panel discussion at CoinDesk’s first Expert Briefing in London yesterday.
Allaire was joined by Elliptic co-founder James Smith, who agreed that wallet figures are a problematic way of tracking the cryptocurrency’s growth.
Smith discussed his firm’s efforts in the enterprise side of the bitcoin space, acting as a custodian for bitcoin funds. The London-based firm stores and insures client funds in an attempt to develop into a “custodian bank” for the digital currency.
Click below to see a gallery of photos from the Expert Briefing:
The panel was preceded by an update to the State of Bitcoin 2015 report by Garrick Hileman, CoinDesk’s lead analyst.
A key point in the updated report is that venture capital flowing into bitcoin companies is dwarfed by funds moving into the wider FinTech ecosystem. Last year, the total amount of funding for FinTech was 10 times greater than the $300m bitcoin startups received from investors.
Hileman’s assertion is that the VC-backed bitcoin space is a subset of a larger trend towards disruptive businesses in the financial services world, one that appears to have been triggered by the financial crisis of 2008.
ATM-maker General Bytes also installed its latest two-way machine at the event along with a bitcoin-only point-of-sale system for merchants.
Yesterday’s event, held at Google’s co-working space Campus, was developed as a way to help technology and finance journalists in London understand the bitcoin economy in greater depth. Journalists from the Financial Times, the BBC, Bloomberg and more attended.
Future Expert Briefings will focus on different parts of the digital currency landscape, ranging from storage technologies to regulation. These events will be aimed at professionals in the field.