The adoption curve of crypto starts with bitcoin (BTC), before moving to ethereum (ETH), decentralized finance (DeFi) and other cryptoassets, the US-based crypto exchange Coinbase said in an earnings call this week. They also noted that the current market cycle “feels less speculative” than past cycles, with real use cases coming into focus.

In terms of a typical user’s journey into crypto, Coinbase’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Alesia Haas said that people generally start with bitcoin, before they move beyond just buying and holding BTC, ETH or other cryptocurrencies offered on the exchange.

“And what we see there is an adoption curve that starts with Bitcoin, typically then moves to Ethereum but is quickly then picking up to other cryptoassets. And we’re seeing those investors looking for allocation to DeFi, finding ways that they can make bets in the growing innovation of crypto broadly,” Haas said.

Meanwhile, the comments from Coinbase about activity on its platform last quarter were similar to remarks from the exchange from May last year when the exchange said that the vast majority of its clients go on to trade altcoins and other digital assets after first buying bitcoin.

“Among customers with at least five purchases, 60% start with bitcoin but just 24% stick exclusively to BTC,” the exchange said at the time.

Back then, however, Coinbase also admitted that the “increasing drive” to non-BTC assets “is in part due to” its own business strategy that has involved the “continued addition” of new altcoins and other tokens.


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