Former Wall Street analyst and venture capitalist Mary Meeker has dedicated a slide to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as part of her latest Internet Trends 2014 Code Conference report.
Released today, the extensive slideshow features a graph showcasing the rapid expansion evident in the bitcoin wallet space.
With this information, Meeker concludes that the uptick in bitcoin wallet ownership is proof of "extraordinary interest" in cryptocurrencies.
Meeker noted that the number of bitcoin wallets has increased eight-fold since last year, and that more than 5 million bitcoin wallets are currently in use today from major providers such as Blockchain, Multibit and Coinbase.
The slide was part of a short series on the "Re-Imagining of Money", which also alluded to Square Cash, the latest mobile wallet play by mobile point-of-sale giant Square.
Additional topics included the rising use of mobile phones, the growing intensity of cyber security threats and the increasing role of the Internet in the healthcare and education fields.
"Queen of the net"
Famously nicknamed the "queen of the net" by Barron's in 1998, Meeker's report has become an annual touchstone for the tech community, drawing more praise and criticism, but above all, attention with each publication.
As noted by the San Francisco Chronicle, "Mary Meeker's words can sway even casual investors". As such, her positive inclusion of bitcoin could prove influential in drawing more interest and intellect toward the digital currency ecosystem.
Meeker has been praised by publications such as Fortune for her ability to spot big-picture trends, as she championed Google stock as a prime investment opportunity.
However, her career has not been without controversy, as she was criticized for certain choices made during her tenure as a stock analyst for Morgan Stanley during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.
Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), the venture capital company at which Meeker is a partner, has also released a website showcasing all of Meekers' past Internet Trends reports, including the most recent slideshow.
Meeker joined the company after leaving Morgan Stanley in 2010, and she later investing in peer-to-peer lending startup Lending Club after a long break in such activity in 2012.
For more of Meeker's research into the state of the web, see the full slideshow below: