Fitch: Bitcoin Remains Small in Comparison to Payment Processors and Currencies

Fitch: Bitcoin Remains Small in Comparison to Payment Processors and Currencies

Despite significant increases in its use as a payment system and attention in the marketplace, Bitcoin is small relative to both traditional payment processors and global currencies, according to a Fitch Ratings Why Forum commentary published today.

Total Bitcoin transactions averaged $68 million per day in February 2014, a more than 10 fold increase compared to February 2013. By comparison, payment processors Western Union and PayPal averaged $225 million and $492 million respectively in transaction volumes per day during 2013. Bitcoin's transaction volumes are less significant compared to the major credit card companies.

From a trading perspective, Bitcoin transaction volumes relative to the stock of outstanding bitcoins resemble those of equity securities. There was about $68 million in average daily transaction volume in Bitcoin in February 2014 relative to its $6.75 billion money supply, or approximately 1% of total market capitalization was traded per day.

Over the same period, an analysis of a sample of the largest U.S. equity securities shows that daily trading volumes were approximately 0.6% of total market capitalization.

Fitch also notes that Bitcoin's market capitalization is less than 1% of total U.S. Dollars, and is closer in size to smaller currencies such as the Guatemalan Quetzal.

The full commentary 'Sizing Up Bitcoin' is available on Fitch's Why Forum site http://www.whyforum.com/

Additional information about Fitch is available at http://www.fitchratings.com/

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