update 27 November 2021

Bitcoin Processes More Volume Than PayPal In 2021

Bitcoin has grown into a viral payment method, and info from BlockData proves it. The blockchain analysis firm recently stated that Bitcoin had supported 65% greater transaction volume than PayPal this year. This shows that Bitcoin is increasingly popular as a payment method and not just a store of value.

Bitcoin Versus Paypal 2021

On Monday, Blockdata released a detailed analysis of how it will adopt the Bitcoin network for payments over time. While examining some current numbers, the firm estimated that Bitcoin had processed $489 billion per quarter for 2021. That number dwarfs Paypal’s $302 billion per quarter during this year.

That said, Bitcoin still trails behind some other major payment networks. For example, the equivalent figures for Mastercard and Visa were $1.8 trillion and $3.2 trillion, respectively. Still, Bitcoin is scaling in adoption remarkably fast by this particular metric.

It’s impressive how Bitcoin, as a 12 year old decentralized network, is 27% of the way in terms of one metric (volume processed) compared to Mastercard, a company founded in 1966,” reads the report. “Especially when you take into account that this is a decentralized movement.”

Network volumes compared
Payment Network Volumes. Source: Blockdata

Moreover, the report recognizes that Bitcoin is a very different type of network from an ordinary payment processor. The cryptocurrency’s primary appeal is as a savings technology rather than a spending technology. Indeed, one of the most vital interests institutions and billionaires have in Bitcoin is an inflation hedge asset, or “digital gold”.

This arguably makes Bitcoin’s massive transaction volume even more impressive.

Harnessing the Lightning Network

On the path to scaling transactions and volume moved over Bitcoin, Blockdata believes the lightning network could play a pivotal role. They estimated that daily transaction throughput over Bitcoin could double if the number of lightning users grows to just 1% of base-layer users.

So far, all available metrics for measuring lightning network adoption are growing at an exponential rate. The firm even surmises that Bitcoin could process substantially more transactions than Visa or Mastercard in the long term if this trend continues.

price change

Lightning has catalyzed Bitcoin adoption as a medium of exchange across the world. Recently, a financial technology company “Stripe” stated that it might readopt Bitcoin as a payment method given the lightning’s network’s throughput. It is also primarily responsible for facilitating payment at scale for stores across El Salvador.