The research arm of U.S.-based fintech firm Circle has published a thorough 80-page report covering the crypto industry’s key developments from the first quarter of 2019.
Entitled 1Q19 Crypto Retrospective, the report – authored by Circle Research’s Mrinalini ‘Ria’ Bhutoria and Wilson Withiam – began with general market and industry commentary before providing detailed updates on five previously identified key themes for 2019: open finance, institutionalization, stablecoins, security tokens, and Bitcoin.
Following this, Bhutoria and Withiam homed in on the five key developments they saw dominate industry discussion across the first quarter of the year. The continued rise of proof-of-stake networks was unsurprisingly a focus, as was the crypto lending space; initial exchange offerings (IEOs); fabricated reported trading volumes by crypto exchanges; and crypto network launches and upgrades.
Blockchain Analytics Firms: The VC boom’s Big Winners
Despite last year’s well-publicized dive in the value of bitcoin and the overall cryptocurrency market, 1Q19 Crypto Retrospective noted rising levels of venture capital (VC) – both traditional and corporate – investment into blockchain startups focused on creating the infrastructure and solutions necessary to legitimatize the nascent crypto industry.
One such sector, the research arm of the Goldman Sachs-backed Circle reported as having attracted an influx of VC investment in 2019’s first quarter – “at least $63 million” – was data and analytics. In explaining the possible reasons behind such growth, the report quoted a recent predictive blog post published by TD Research’s Mohamed Fouda:
“The customers of [blockchain analytics] companies are governments, legislative bodies, and exchanges that have to comply with KYC regulations. The customers here are well-funded and deep-pocketed entities which, in turn, works in favor of the data analytics companies.”
Data Providers Help Circle Research Set “The New Standard”
Speaking of blockchain data startups, Circle Research made use of custom data from the likes of Messari, TokenAnalyst, The TIE, and Kaiko in their quarterly report. The majority of this appeared in the latter half of 1Q19 Crypto Retrospective, wherein Bhutoria and Withiam thoroughly covered the crypto market’s performance and network activity of certain blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Circle Research’s decision to call upon the assistance of various blockchain analytics firms appeared a popular one, judging by the sheer volume of positive feedback upon the report’s publication on Thursday. One of many to laud the publication was industry veteran Ryan Selkis (Founder & CEO, Messari), who declared the report “the new standard for quarterly crypto research updates.”
For busy CryptoGlobe readers wanting to know more about the key takeaways from Circle Research’s quarterly report, we suggest heading to this blog post published by Bhutoria earlier today. Alternatively, Circle Research shared an eight-part Twitter thread summing up their main findings.