A new report has forecast that the value of cryptocurrency transactions will surpass the $1 trillion milestone before the end of 2017.
Should the forecast come true, it would represent growth 15 times larger than the previous year.
The report, The Future of Blockchain: Key Vertical Opportunities & Deployment Strategies 2017-2022, states that the first half of 2017 brought in more than $325bn in cryptocurrency transactions, two-thirds of which were attributed to the dramatic increase in the price of Ethereum.
Another cryptocurrency, Litecoin, also enjoyed a significant surge in volume in 2017 and Juniper forecasts that it should exceed $100bn in transaction value by the year-end.
Bitcoin has also enjoyed a recent rise in value, attributed to its hard fork (change to the currency's protocol) on August 1st and the creation of a new currency Bitcoin Cash. However, Juniper warns that another planned fork in November - the implementation of a scaling solution, may lead to a split in the cryptocurrency community and a depreciation of Bitcoin, which has risen from $1000 to $4000 since the start of 2017.
“There is no resolution in sight to the continuing and fundamental disagreements between many Bitcoin miners and Bitcoin Core developers over the future of the cryptocurrency," warns the report's author Dr Windsor Holden. "This in turn could lead to uncertainty about Bitcoin’s future and downward pressure on its valuation.”
Juniper Research has also forecast that digital payments will exceed the $5trn mark by 2020. The report, Strategies for Payment Providers: Opportunities, Risks & Competition 2017-2021, attributes the growth to the "evolutionary strategies" employed by a number of payment providers, notably Visa and Mastercard.
The report praises Mastercard's two-pronged approach of partnering with third-party wallet providers like Apple and Samsung while also developing its own API-based digital wallet. It also cites the efforts of Visa to implement a one-click login process in order to reduce friction in online payments and increase both custromer conversion rates and online spending totals.
The report also suggests that payment service providers will have to offer merchants a wider range of options to suceed in the ever-more digital e-commerce market.
“To succeed in an increasingly competitive environment, it will be essential for payment service providers to provide merchants with an array of flexible, localized solutions with transparent pricing structures,” stated Holden.