The explosive growth of cryptocurrencies over the past decade


  • Cryptocurrencies surged from 66 in 2013 to 8,886 in 2023.
  • 2017 marked explosive growth, leading to 2,817 currencies.
  • The market peaked at 7,557 in 2021, later consolidating to 8,886 in 2023.

In the fast-paced world of finance and technology, the last decade has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the popularity and diversity of cryptocurrencies. Beginning with the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, the subsequent years have seen the emergence of numerous digital currencies, each vying for its place in the evolving landscape.

A new research by analysed the data available on Statista in order to get an overview of the incredible growth of cryptocurrencies over the past decade.

Year Number of cryptocurrencies
2013 66
2014 506
2015 562
2016 644
2017 1,335
2018 1,658
2019 2,817
2020 4,117
2021 7,557
2022 9,310
2023 8,886

The Early Years (2013-2016)

In 2013, the cryptocurrency market was in its infancy with a modest 66 digital currencies. Bitcoin, as the pioneer, dominated the scene, setting the stage for what was to come. The subsequent years saw a gradual increase, with 506 cryptocurrencies in 2014 and 562 in 2015. As the technology matured, the number of cryptocurrencies continued to climb, reaching 644 in 2016.

The Cryptocurrency Boom (2017-2019)

The year 2017 marked a turning point, as the cryptocurrency market exploded with a staggering 1,335 digital currencies. This surge was fueled by increased public awareness, growing investor interest, and the rise of ICOs as a popular fundraising method. The momentum continued into 2018 and 2019, with 1,658 and 2,817 cryptocurrencies, respectively. These years were characterised by innovation, competition, and the exploration of diverse blockchain applications beyond just digital currencies.

The Years of Unprecedented Growth (2020-2021)

The cryptocurrency market experienced an unprecedented leap in 2020, with the number of cryptocurrencies soaring to 4,117. The COVID-19 pandemic, financial uncertainty, and the growing appeal of decentralised finance contributed to this remarkable expansion. However, the most remarkable growth occurred in 2021, with a staggering 7,557 cryptocurrencies. This explosive increase can be attributed to the mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies, institutional investments, and the broader adoption of blockchain technology.

Consolidation and Adjustments (2022-2023)

As we entered 2022, the cryptocurrency market experienced a shift. While the number of cryptocurrencies continued to grow, reaching 9,310, the pace slowed compared to the previous year. Regulatory scrutiny, market corrections, and a focus on quality over quantity contributed to a more consolidated landscape. In 2023, the number dipped slightly to 8,886, indicating a maturing market where projects were evaluated more critically.

Max Coupland, the director of CoinJournal, comments, “As we reflect on the journey of cryptocurrencies over the past decade, it becomes evident that the market has not only weathered challenges but has also reshaped the financial world. The stage is set for continued evolution, adaptation, and integration into the broader financial system. Cryptocurrencies, having already made an indelible mark on finance, are certain to revolutionise our understanding of money and technology in the years to come.”


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