Visa continues to dwarf Bitcoin in this important metric

Visa continues to dwarf Bitcoin in this important metric

Despite optimistic predictions, Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it can compete with companies such as Visa. The fiat currency giant reported transaction volume of over $11.2 trillion in 2018, while Bitcoin network only managed to transact around $2.2 trillion until 2019.

Visa dominates all payment processors with $11 trillion transaction volume

While the crypto industry as a whole seems confident that digital assets will ultimately replace traditional fiat currencies, the reality is that there’s a long way to go before the two can even compete in the same category.

The growing transaction volume of most high-market cap cryptocurrencies definitely shows that major improvements are made. However, most of that growth fades away when compared to the big players in the payment processing industry.

According to its annual performance report, Visa saw a total transaction volume of just over $11.2 trillion. The volume is the sum of both the payment volume and cash volume, with the payment volume being the total monetary value of transactions on Visa-branded cards and payment products, the company explained in the report.

This is a huge increase from the $10.3 trillion the company reported in 2017 and an even bigger increase from the $8.1 trillion in total volume reported in 2016.

Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018
Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018. (Source: Visa)

Bitcoin still has a long way to go to catch up with Visa

Bitcoin‘s numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as these. However, it’s worth noting that digital asset data can often be misleading and can never be taken at face value. As a Fidelity Digital Assets research put it, one of the most commonly overstated measures is Bitcoin’s transaction volume.

Most data providers use an unspent transaction output (UTXO) system, which doesn’t distinguish between economic and non-economic transactions. Because of that, the difference between the adjusted and unadjusted transaction value figures are often very significant.

According to the report, Bitcoin’s total adjusted transaction value from inception to Dec. 11, 2019, was approximately $2.2 trillion. It’s unadjusted transaction volume, however, stands at approximately $7.5 trillion.

Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted valueChart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value
Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value. (Source: CoinMetrics)

While the $2.2 trillion is a significant achievement for a system as young and as novel as Bitcoin is, it’s still a long way behind Visa. Bitcoin’s transaction volume was amassed over a period of more than 10 years, while Visa recorded its $11.2 trillion from September 2017 to September 2018.