NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 'www.whyforum.com.'
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.