A new study from Juniper Research has found that the value of cryptocurrency transactions is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2017, more than 15 times the level in 2016.
According to the research, called “The Future of Blockchain: Key Vertical Opportunities & Deployment Strategies 2017-2022”, transaction values in H1 2017 surpassed $325 billion, driven by the dramatic increase in Ethereum’s price which saw it account for two-thirds of cryptocurrency transaction values in that time.
Cryptocurrency is now typically seeing daily trades well in excess of $2 billion. Meanwhile, the research found that Litecoin experienced a surge in volume and value; if current levels are maintained it should exceed $100 billion in transactions this year.
Bitcoin has continued its recent rise in value in the wake of the currency’s hard fork on 1st August, which resulted in the creation of a new currency, Bitcoin Cash. Indeed, since the start of 2017, Bitcoin prices have risen from around $1,000 to more than $4,000.
The research, however, cautioned that a second planned fork in November, when the SegWit2x scaling solution is due to be implemented, may prompt a split in the community, potentially leading to depreciation.
Research author Dr Windsor Holden said, “There is no resolution in sight to the continuing and fundamental disagreements between many Bitcoin miners and Bitcoin Core developers over the future of the cryptocurrency. This in turn could lead to uncertainty about Bitcoin’s future and downward pressure on its valuation.”
The study, which also focused on new use cases for blockchain, claimed that ultimately the brightest prospects in the sector came from deployments of private blockchain technologies for permissioned ledgers, rather than the public chains running cryptocurrencies.