Bitcoin usage to plummet in 2015

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The value of all cryptocurrency transactions will fall this year to just over $30 billion from $71 billion in 2014, according to Juniper Research.

The Hampshire-based research consultancy claimed that exchange collapses, Bitcoin theft and regulatory concerns around cryptocurrency’s use in dark web transactions would lead to a 58% decline in its usage.

"One of the key concerns surrounding cryptocurrency is the threat that either an individual wallet, or an exchange, may be hacked," the accompanying whitepaper read, citing the 2011 hack of Mt. Gox as one of the most notable hacks of an exchange.

"Certainly the value of cryptocurrencies is far more volatile than those of standard currencies," Juniper Research added.

Cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is the most well-known, are digital currencies that use encryption to secure and verify transactions.

"(In 2014) the market was dominated by 4 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Auroracoin and Dogecoin. In each case, the dollar value of these currencies – and their attendant transactions – has tumbled to a quite extraordinary degree.

"Given the difficulties across the cryptocurrency space, we believe that overall transaction values will fall by 58% this year to just over $30 billion."

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