Twenty-six wallet providers participated in the survey, including Airbitz, Armory, Bitgo, Blockchain, Coinbase, Greenaddress, Ledger, Jaxx, Mycelium, Samourai, and Xapo. The study defines a wallet provider as “any volunteer project or company that provides a standalone wallet that anyone can use.”
First, the total number of wallets is estimated using data collected from study participants, in addition to “the number of software downloads of major wallet providers and Bitcoin’s reference implementation.” The estimate represents all cryptocurrency wallets, not just Bitcoin.
While citing “a potentially infinite number of wallets could be created from a single software download,” the study uses a conservative assumption that one software download equals one wallet created. Some numbers are unavailable and therefore omitted such as the number of downloads for some open-source wallets, resulting in a “lower bound” estimate. Overall, the report’s authors wrote:
It is estimated that the total number of wallets has increased more than 4x from 8.2 million in 2013 to nearly 35 million in 2016.
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