Ideally, the rally that cryptocurrencies have been on would benefit all market stakeholders. However, it would seem that not even crypto can escape the rule of not being able to please everyone.
Last Friday, Bloomberg published a report which revealed that while Bitcoin (and a lot of other crypto assets) has enjoyed a recent bullish run, crypto-based apps are not seeing as much love as before.
Low Drive from Retail Investors
According to the report, app tracking platform App Annie conducted a survey of mobile apps available for users in mobile stores. It found around 6,500 mobile apps with the words “blockchain, cryptocurrencies, or Bitcoin” in their descriptions, in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. While the numbers were astounding, the downloads haven’t been impressive.
App Annie discovered that there have been 67 million downloads of these apps in the first six months in 2019, compared to 65.8 million over the same period in 2018. This equals a paltry 1.79 percent increase in download rates over a year. Why is this so?
Off the bat, the first reason will have to be the fact that while Bitcoin picked up its bullish run in June, this rise was largely attributed to institutional investors.
Generally, crypto investors are grouped into retail investors (like you and me), and institutions; large corporations that are flush with cash.
When institutional investors make their entry into the crypto space, they use sophisticated charts and data forms, not mobile apps. Unfortunately for app developers, the crypto market has witnessed the entry of large players who have no use for mobile apps.
The Invasion of Institutions
Multiple trading and asset management platforms have alluded to an increase in institutional crypto presence. Just last week, CNBC ran a broadcast where crypto lender Genesis Capital reported a three-fold increase in institutional investment in cryptocurrencies this year.
In addition to Genesis, asset manager Grayscale Investments published its Digital Asset Investment Report for Q1 2019, revealing that up to 73 percent of the company’s total portfolio was held by hedge funds and other institutional investors; much more than the 56 percent it reported in H1 2018.
Security Issues, and a Bad Reputation for Apps
The dwindling popularity of crypto apps could also be as a result of increased security consciousness. Earlier this year, Internet security firm WeLiveSecurity published a report where it revealed an increase in the growth of fake crypto apps on mobile marketplaces.
Per the report, scam artists have become aware of crypto assets’ growing profitability and are developing clone apps and encoding them with malware to steal crypto users’ information and access their funds.
To stay safe, users have decided to keep their funds in exchanges, which explains why trading platforms have become a target, of recent. As the recent Bitsane and Bitrue issues have shown us, this is a terrible idea on its own.
Proponents of “Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins” have advised users to keep their coins privately, as leaving them on custodial exchanges is a risky affair. However, users argue there’s little to no convenience in keeping a long string of keys plus, it’s not good for those who trade often.
There could be a trade-off for those who trade on a daily basis, but if you’re buying to HODL like institutional investors, then you need to have access to your private keys.