Jitters about the economy and the impact of the FTX implosion may have combined to clobber the cryptocurrency market, but new data shows that app downloads peaked as long as a year ago. In fact, downloads of crypto trading apps from the App Store, and Google Play, along with direct downloads from crypto trading platforms, have been plummeting steadily for months, according to fresh numbers from data.ai, an app-tracking firm.
Worldwide downloads of the apps, which enable users to buy, sell, and spend cryptocurrencies, totaled 62.6 million in the third quarter, down 30% from the second quarter. U.S. downloads in the same period fell 42%, to 5.58 million, according to the figures from data.ai, formerly known as App Annie.
That may not seem surprising, given gloomy news such as the collapse this fall of the major trading firm FTX and recent bankruptcy of BlockFi, another crypto firm. But the plunge in app downloads started long before these events, according to data.ai’s tracking. After reaching a peak at 144 million globally and 25.5 million in the United States in the fourth quarter last year, downloads steadily withered throughout 2022, with percentage declines in double-digits each quarter.
If there’s any good news in the trend, it’s that the number of crypto app downloads worldwide and for the U.S. market are still relatively robust, if reduced. For the first 10 months of the year, they totaled 286.5 million worldwide and 31.6 million for the U.S. That’s down from 2021’s totals of 305.4 million and 61 million, respectively, but still considerably stronger than the 2020 totals of 47 million and 7.8 million for the same months.
The most popular app by number of App Store and Google Play downloads in the U.S. market is that of the trading exchange Coinbase, which registered 240,000 downloads in October, well ahead of No. 2 Crypto.com, at 160,000. But that total for Coinbase represents a considerable drop from January and February, both of which registered download totals of more than a million.
The steady decline in downloads comes as the U.S. economy has slowed markedly compared to 2021, with slight declines in real gross domestic product in both the first and second quarters, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.