At 10.6 million active brokerage accounts as of October, brokerage firm Charles Schwab has fewer users than Coinbase, the largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., according to a news report from CNBC.
According to the Monday (Nov. 27) report, though Charles Schwab’s accounts total is up 5 percent year over year, Coinbase boasted 11.7 million users as of the end of October, a 148 percent growth from the year before.
The number of users on the digital currency platform has since grown to 13.3 million as of Sunday (Nov. 26).
“With all the talk about bitcoin, a good deal of people are also starting to open accounts where they can buy and sell cryptocurrencies,” said Bespoke Investment Group in a recent blog post.
Bitcoin’s value surpassed $9,000 per coin over the weekend, reaching a high of $9,732.76 Monday morning and finishing out the afternoon at $9,580. Its market value currently sits at approximately $160 billion.
Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency platform in the U.S., hosting transactions for bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Charles Schwab, by comparison, is the second largest broker-dealer, after Fidelity, when ranked by assets under management. Fidelity recorded 24.9 million brokerage accounts at the end of June and $6.2 trillion in total customer assets. Charles Schwab listed $3.26 trillion in client assets at the end of October, and Coinbase reports it has exchanged more than $50 billion.
With the rise of bitcoin, Coinbase has seen its user base more than double in the past year, putting the platform on pace to surpass Fidelity’s usership by next November.
"Yes, Charles Schwab has a lot more assets in its accounts than Coinbase users, but the idea that cryptocurrency's users are just a fringe part of the financial universe is not accurate," Bespoke noted.
According to CNBC, the CME Group, the largest futures exchange, has announced plans to launch bitcoin futures in December, a decision that will likely provide a further boost to the already booming cryptocurrency.